Category 5 Hurricane Dorian has effectively stalled over Grand Bahama Island in the Bahamas, hammering it with 160 mph winds, said U.S. forecasters in a 10 a.m. update on Monday, Sept. 2.
According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC), the storm is moving extremely slowly—at 1 mph—to the west and is about 115 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida. It is still 30 miles east-northeast of Freeport, the largest city in the Grand Bahamas.
“This is a life-threatening situation. Residents on Grand Bahama Island should not leave their shelter when the eye passes over, as winds will rapidly increase on the other side of the eye. Residents in the Abacos should continue to stay in their shelter until conditions subside later today,” the agency wrote in its latest update, adding, “These hazards will continue over Grand Bahama Island during most of the day, causing extreme destruction on the island.”
The latest cone of probability shows Dorian moving precariously close to Florida’s east coast by Tuesday morning before moving north along the southeastern coast of the United States.
Storm surge warnings have been issued for north of Deerfield Beach to south of Lantana in Florida as well as from the Volusia-Brevard County line to the mouth of the St. Mary’s River in Florida, the NHC said.
Hurricane warnings were issued for Jupiter Inlet to the Volusia-Brevard County line in Florida, the agency said. Hurricane warnings are also still in effect for Grand Bahama Island and the Abacos Islands in the Bahamas.
A tropical storm warning was issued for north of Deerfield Beach to Jupiter Inlet, Florida.
In an 8 a.m. update, the NHC said a “slow westward to west-northwestward motion is forecast during the next day or so, followed by a gradual turn toward the northwest and north.”
“On this track,” it added, “the core of extremely dangerous Hurricane Dorian will continue to pound Grand Bahama Island through much of today and tonight. The hurricane will move dangerously close to the Florida east coast tonight through Wednesday evening.”
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued an order Sunday for an evacuation of the entire coast, where about 830,000 people live. The order was to take effect on Monday, reported The Associated Press.
“We can’t make everybody happy, but we believe we can keep everyone alive,” McMaster said.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp ordered mandatory evacuations for his state’s entire coastline several hours later, AP reported.