Hurricane Dorian, the strongest hurricane in modern history with wind speeds of up to 180 miles per hour, slammed into the Abacos Islands this morning, creating catastrophic conditions.
In its advisory at 11:00 am (local time), the Miami-based National Hurricane Centre said the storm had wind gusts of up to 220 mph.
Residents in the Northwest Bahamas – Abaco & Grand Bahama, can potentially expect prolonged periods of either life-threatening storm surge, devastating hurricane force winds and/or torrential rainfall projected to be between 12-24 inches.
Reports from the Abacos say that low-lying areas of Green Turtle Cay, home to approximately 500 people, have been flooded.
The Tribune Newspaper reports that very few of the residents followed the evacuation order issued by the government.
According to the NHC, the distinct eye of Hurricane Dorian was located near latitude 26.5 North, longitude 76.8 West.
Dorian is moving toward the west near seven mph and a slower westward motion should continue for the next day or two, followed by a gradual turn toward the northwest.
On this track, the core of the extremely dangerous Hurricane Dorian will continue to move over Great Abaco and move near or over Grand Bahama Island tonight and into Monday.
The hurricane should then move closer to the Florida east-coast late Monday through Tuesday night.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 180 mph with higher gusts.
Dorian is a extremely dangerous category five hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely, but Dorian is expected to remain a powerful hurricane during the next few days.
The NHC reports that Dorian has grown larger in size. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.
Meanwhile, hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area in Florida by late Monday or early Tuesday.
The NHC says the area under the hurricane watch includes the east coast of Florida from north of Deerfield Beach to the Volusia/Brevard county line.
The NHC noted that while the projected consensus path has the storm, staying offshore, the three-day cone of uncertainty moved inland overnight to now include all of metro Orlando including Walt Disney World.