Bahamas braces as monster Hurricane Dorian heads for US mainland
01 Sep 2019
Tropical Storm Dorian is seen as it approaches the Bahamas and Florida.
Hurricane Dorian roared Sunday towards the Bahamas as the island chain braced for a devastating direct hit, before the monster storm churns up the US coast from Florida towards the Carolinas.
Barreling in from the Atlantic Ocean, the core of the extremely dangerous Category 4 storm is set to be "near or over" parts of the northwestern Bahamas on Sunday, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its latest bulletin at 0300 GMT.
Further ahead the NHC said Dorian would "move closer to the Florida east coast late Monday through Tuesday" but exactly where -- and how hard -- it will strike the US coast looked uncertain after the storm shifted course, apparently sparing Florida the worst.
In Grand Bahama, businesses were boarded up and thousands have evacuated Dorian's predicted path with forecasts of devastating winds, life-threatening surf conditions, and storm surges of up to 15 to 20 feet (4.5 to 6 meters).
'Very great danger'
Dorian's current strength, with maximum sustained winds of 150 miles per hour (240 kph) and even more powerful gusts, makes it nearly a Category 5 hurricane -- the highest and most damaging level.
In the Bahamas, government offices were closed and people rushed to prepare for a storm they were told could prove catastrophic.
"The price you may pay for not evacuating is your life or other serious physical harm," Prime Minister Hubert Minnis warned residents.
Donald Trump, who canceled a high-profile trip to Warsaw to focus on storm preparations, was "being briefed every hour," his spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told reporters who accompanied the president to his Virginia golf course Saturday.