Hurricane Dorian made landfall moments ago on the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas, according to CNN. The Category 5 storm is continuing to churn northwestward.
The storm has sustained winds of 185 mph. Gusts over 200 mph are being experienced there while storm surge up to and over 20 feet is likely occurring. Extreme rainfall rates will likely lead to flash flooding.
According to the New York Times, at 12:45 p.m. Eastern time, the storm had made landfall at Elbow Cay in the Bahamas and was moving westward fairly slowly, at about 7 miles an hour. The Washington Post reports that in Marsh Harbour, the largest town on Abacos, witnesses observed the start of Dorian-related storm surges, with sea sprays increasing. Even before the eyewall crashed upon shore, waves ripped apart docks, they said. Seawater topped sea walls, flooding roads. In some parts of Abacos, residents reported electricity outages as early as 1:30 a.m. as the island began to feel tropical storm-force winds.
According to the Times, it is expected to continue near or over Grand Bahama later Sunday or early Monday with possible storm surges of as much as 18 to 23 feet, enough to swamp low-lying areas of the islands, and as much as 25 inches of rain could fall before the storm passes.
CBS News reports that forcasts say that Dorian may not go in the exact direction that had been anticipated, and that it may not directly hit the U.S. coast, but that it will move close to Florida’s east coast late Monday, it it will likely affect the South Carolina coast Wednesday or Thursday.
States of emergency aree in effect for all of Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina, along with 12 counties in Georgia.