‘Catastrophic’ Hurricane Dorian Builds to Category 5, Closes on Bahamas

ATLANTIC OCEAN - AUGUST 31: In this NOAA GOES-East satellite handout image, Hurricane Dorian, now a Cat. 4 storm, tracks towards the Florida coast taken at 13:40Z August 31, 2019 in the Atlantic Ocean. A hurricane warning is in effect for the northwestern Bahamas, where Dorian will arrive Sunday. According …
NOAA via Getty

Hurricane Dorian has continued to build in strength over the past 12 hours and now has maximum sustained winds of 160 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

This puts the storm in the highest category on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Dorian will be capable of catastrophic damage as it tracks towards the Bahamas during Sunday and into the early hours of tomorrow.

The NHC has confirmed Dorian’s strength and direction:

Donald Trump told reporters a determination on whether to order evacuations on the U.S. East coast will be made later on Sunday as Brevard county, which is on the coast near to Orlando, said it would start asking people to move out of danger on Monday.

Orlando airport will shut down from 2am Monday morning local time with authorities saying they made the move “out of an abundance of caution”.

The eye of the  hurricane is due to make its first landfall on the island of Great Abaco in the northern Bahamas.

After hitting the Bahamas, it was expected to move up the U.S. coast, grazing Florida, which had expected a direct hit but appeared to have been spared the worst by a change in the storm’s path.

The BBC reports Dorian’s wind speeds put the storm among the most dangerous in recent history. Forecasters warned it could be the region’s worst since the category five Hurricane Andrew killed 65 people and destroyed 63,000 homes in 1992.

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