Winds from Hurricane Dorian begin to strike Bahamas

Hurricane continues to strengthen as tropical storm winds begin to batter Bahamas. Multiple east coast states to be affected.

Tags: Hurricane
Gary Willig ,

Hurricane Dorian approaches the coast of Florida
Hurricane Dorian approaches the coast of Florida

Tropical storm-force winds began to strike the Bahamas Sunday morning as Hurricane Dorian bared down on the Caribbean island nation.

Sustained winds of over 39 miles per hour have begun to affect the Abaco islands.

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis has warned residents and tourists that hurricane force winds were expected to begin to strike Grand Bahama by 7 PM local time.

Hurricane Dorian strengthened to a Category 4 storm and turned west on Saturday, putting it on a direct path for the Bahamas.

The storm's maximum sustained winds have strengthened to 150 miles per hour, just seven miles per hour shy of the Category 5 designation, the most powerful type of hurricane.

As much as 25 inches of rain are expected in parts of the Bahamas. Water levels could rise as high as 15 feet above normal.

Reports from the Bahamas described tourists scrambling to leave before the closure of the international airport, the BBC reported.

States of emergency have been declared in Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina. Residents have been urged to stock enough food, water and medicine to last at least a week.

US President Donald Trump on Saturday received a briefing on Hurricane Dorian from Acting Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Pete Gaynor, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction Dr. Neil Jacobs, and Deputy Assistant to the President and Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor Pete Brown.

The President was provided an update on the ongoing locally executed, State-managed, and Federally supported preparation efforts. Officials discussed the projected track of Hurricane Dorian as it approaches Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, and the potential impacts of the storm.