Hurricane Dorian has been upgraded to a potentially catastrophic category 5 storm, the National Hurricane Center announced Sunday.
The hurricane center said on Twitter that Dorian had “devastating” sustained winds of 160 mph winds as it headed toward the Bahamas.
It also warned of a “life-threatening storm surge and very heavy rainfall” in the area of the Abaco Islands, east of southern Florida.
Dorian is expected to make landfall in the region on Sunday.
NEW: #Dorian is now a category 5 #hurricane with 160 mph sustained winds. The eyewall of this catastrophic hurricane is about to hit the Abaco Islands with devastating winds. Next advisory: https://t.co/tW4KeFW0gB pic.twitter.com/oFspgN0XbT
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 1, 2019
Much of Florida’s east coast is now under a tropical storm warning. The storm is projected to slow and head northward as it nears the state, potentially resulting in hurricane-force winds for parts of the Florida coast by mid-week, according to the hurricane center.
Tourists in the Bahamas have been evacuated to government shelters in schools and churches, according to NBC News.
Residents, meanwhile, have boarded up their homes and, in some cases, been moved to larger islands from low-lying areas by boat. Grand Bahama and Great Abaco Island are home to about 70,000 people in all.
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