Hurricane-force winds strike southern Outer Banks as Dorian reaches North Carolina at a Category 1

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Hurricane-force winds have hit the southern Outer Banks of North Carolinas as Hurricane Dorian drives past Cape Lookout.

As of 5 a.m. Thursday, the Category 1 storm is about 25 miles east of Cape Lookout, North Carolina, and 55 miles southwest of Cape Hatteras, headed northeast at 14 mph. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 90 mph.

“Get to safety and stay there,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said in a Thursday news conference.

The entire North Carolina coast remains under a Hurricane Warning, as well as Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

“We will be ready and we will not underestimate the damage this storm can cause,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said in a Wednesday news conference. “… Today is the day to finish preparing.”

A mandatory evacuation order is already in effect for North Carolina’s barrier islands.

Follow the storm with the FOX8 Hurricane Tracker here.

Forecasters say the hurricane will continue to move to the northeast Thursday night.

“Dorian should remain a powerful hurricane as it moves near or along the coast of North Carolina during the next several hours,” the NHC reports. “Dorian is forecast to become a post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds by Saturday night as it approaches Nova Scotia.”

FOX8 Meteorologist Emily Byrd says the hurricane may be off the North Carolina coast and headed into the Atlantic Ocean by 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. Thursday. By the night, the sky is expected to be clear not only in the Triad, but also on the coast.

Two deaths in North Carolina have been blamed on Hurricane Dorian. Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday that an 85-year-old Columbus County man was the first storm-related death in North Carolina. Cooper said the man fell from a ladder as he was preparing his home for the storm. On Thursday, Pamlico County Sheriff Chris Davis said a man pulling his boat out of the water in Oriental had a heart attack and died, according to WTVD. His identity was not released.

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