On Monday, the eye of Hurricane Dorian was moving very little while over Grand Bahama Island. The National Hurricane Center reports that Hurricane Dorian now has maximum sustained winds of 140. The storm has continued to move slightly more to the north, whereas it had previously been moving due west.
Hurricane Dorian -- the strongest storm anywhere on the planet this year -- is leaving "catastrophic damage" in its wake as it makes its way across the Bahamas, where it's claimed at least one life. The monster Category 5 storm made landfall on the eastern end of Grand Bahama Island Sunday night and will continue to pound the island for most of Monday as it creeps toward the southeastern US coast.
The death of a 7-year-old boy is being reported by Bahamas news outlets Eyewitness News and Bahamas Press. The boy's grandmother, Ingrid McIntosh, told Eyewitness News that her grandson died on Abaco island. She said her 31-year-old daughter found the body of her son, who she believed drowned in the rising waters. McIntosh said her granddaughter is also missing.
The hurricane is now about 105 miles from West Palm Beach, Florida.
Dorian has slowed down and is moving west at 1 mph. 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, the core of extremely dangerous Hurricane Dorian will continue to pound Grand Bahama Island through much of today and tonight. The hurricane will then move dangerously close to the Florida east coast late tonight through Wednesday evening and then move dangerously close to the Georgia and South Carolina coasts on Wednesday night and Thursday.
Most forecast models show the storm riding along the US east coast along Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.
But will it make landfall on any of those states?
It is not yet clear. Many models show the storm staying just off Florida's coast and then skirting the coasts of Georgia and North and South Carolina.
On Sunday night, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued on Sunday night a mandatory evacuation for residents of the SC coastline.
On Friday, N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm, and put a price-gouging law into effect.
A major hurricane hovering just off a U.S. coast could cause life-threatening damage.
"Understand: Even if it doesn't directly strike Florida ... you're looking at major flooding events," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters Saturday in Tallahassee.
The Bahamas are taking the brunt now
As it pummeled islands in the Bahamas, the hurricane left behind "catastrophic damage," Hope Town Volunteer Fire & Rescue said on Facebook. Damage was reported in Elbow Cay, Man-o-War and Marsh Harbour in the Abaco Islands, where buildings were destroyed and many were partially submerged, with water flooding all around them.
The Abaco Islands are a group of islands and barrier cays in the northern Bahamas, east of southern Florida. Dorian made landfall there as a Category 5 hurricane just after noon Sunday.
The northwestern Bahamas will be drenched in up to 24 inches of rain, with some areas expecting up to 30 inches of water, the hurricane center said.
"This is a life-threatening situation," the National Hurricane Center said. "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."
On Monday there was a hurricane warning in effect for Grand Bahama and the Abacos Islands in the northwestern Bahamas and also in Florida, from the Jupiter Inlet to the Brevard and Volusia county line.
Hurricane watches were in effect in Florida north of Deerfield Beach all the way to Jupiter Inlet as well as from the Brevard and Volusia county line to the mouth of the St. Mary's River on the border with Georgia.
'My house sounds like the ocean,' Bahamas resident says
This is the first time a Category 5 storm has hit the Bahamas since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
Category 5 storms have winds exceeding 156 mph and cause a "high percentage of framed homes" to be destroyed with "total roof failure and wall collapse," the hurricane center says.
"Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas," according to the center. "Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months."
Dorian, at one point, had sustained winds of almost 185 mph, but the storm has slowed slightly as it moved over land.
Vickareio Adderely, a resident of Marsh Harbour, said his home was filled with water Sunday after Dorian pummeled the area. One of the rooms in his home was "gone," he said and a hole in his roof kept "getting bigger."
Adderely said his four family members were huddled on a single mattress in the only room in their home "that didn't cave in."
"There are three houses adjacent to mine that also lost their roof," he said. As he sent messages during intermittent periods of internet connection, he said he was standing in water up to his knees and felt strong wings that were continuing to "wreck the remainder of our roof."
"There is no way we could have prepared for this," he said. "My house sounds like the ocean."
Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Hubert Minnis, said the islands were "facing a hurricane that we have never seen before."
"Please pray for us," he said.