Hurricane Dorian bumped up to a Category 5 storm in a hurry and shows little signs of slowing down as it batters its way through the Bahamas and heads towards Florida.
The devastating storm is currently ripping through the Bahamas with 165 mph winds — down from 185 mph — and is inching its way closer the U.S. anticipated to hit Florida late Monday. Dorian has caused the waters to rise at least 20 feet higher than normal, ripping roofs off homes and tearing down power lines in it's path.
According to the New York Times, the eye of the storm is lingering over Grand Bahama Island right now as Florida braces for impact. Residents along the U.S. coastline have been encouraged to evacuate before the storm hits.
However, it is still unclear when and if Dorian will make landfall. As CNN points out, the National Hurricane Center's tracking has the storm around 110 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida, and likely veering north over the next few days. If that turn starts soon enough, landfall won't occur and the U.S. coast will be rocked by the edges of the hurricane. However, the NHC's latest update finds the storm "dangerously close" to Florida by late Monday night.
Dorian made landfall in the Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane — which is the highest rating on the Saffit-Simpson hurricane wind scale. It was the strongest hurricane in modern records to hit the northwestern Bahamas. Now, several people have taken to social media to express their frightened emotions.
One Twitter user shared a slew of videos from the Abaco Islands in the northern Bahamas, showing flooded streets and damaged homes. She said that members of her family and friends are now left without homes after the devastating storm.
Someone else wrote, "I have seen utter devastation here in Marsh Harbour. We are surrounded by water with no way out. Absolution devastation, there really are no words it is pure hell here on Marsh Harbour on Avoca Island in the northern part of the Bahamas."
The National Hurricane Center gave out a recent forecast of Dorian, stating, "Dorian has slowed down even more and is now moving toward the west of 270 degrees at 4 kt. the steering currents are collapsing and Dorian is expected to slow down a little more, prolonging its catastrophic effects in the northwestern Bahamas. The NHC forecast calls for a slow west to west-northwest motion during the next 48 hours. A turn to the north and northeast with a gradual increase in forward speed is expected thereafter, as the mid-level trough over the eastern United States deepens."
Several states along the eastern coast are now being evacuated. According to CBS News, South Carolina governor Henry McMaster ordered an evacuation of the state's entire coastline — which is totals out to be 830,000 people. Georgia's governor, Brian Kemp, requested the same thing, along with Florida state officials, who have ordered evacuations in some parts of the Sunshine State. North Carolina's governor, Roy Cooper, has warned his state of heavy rain, winds and floods that are expected a little later in the week.