Hurricane Dorian moving away from Central Florida, winds expected through the evening

Hurricane Dorian moving away from Central Florida, winds expected through the evening”

More than 2 million people along the coast in Florida, Georgia and North and SC were warned to evacuate.

Maximum sustained winds are being clocked at 110 miles per hour (175 kph).

Jacksonville and its surrounding counties began feeling the effects of Hurricane Dorian early Wednesday morning as the storm continued its slow trek toward the north-northwest. Earlier projections showed Dorian would likely strike the east coast of Florida as a Category 4 or 5, which could have meant sustained wind speeds ranging anywhere from 130 miles per hour to over 156 miles per hour, in addition to deadly flooding and storm surges.

On its way to the USA, the hurricane swept over the Bahamas, ravaging neighborhoods and devastating entire towns.

At least seven deaths were reported in the Bahamas, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

It left "all docks destroyed and every boat sunk", in some parts of the islands, the Hope Town Volunteer Fire & Rescue said. "I'm sure we are not done tracking storms".

The forecast path still brings the storm off our coast but has it remaining a Category 2 hurricane as it sweeps by.

The storm resulted in hundreds of flight cancellations to and from airports in Florida, according to air traffic tracker FlightAware. A flood chart posted by the National Weather Service projected a combined high tide and storm surge around Charleston Harbor of 10.3 feet (3.1 meters); The record, 12.5 feet (4 meters), was set by Hugo in 1989.

"We have to channel all that anxiety into something positive", relief coordinator Jonathan Archer said. "This is not a storm to mess with".

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Georgia's coastal islands were also at risk, Gov. Brian Kemp said Wednesday.

A day after the most powerful hurricane on record ever to hit the country finished mauling the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama, emergency workers had yet to reach some stricken areas.

"Current predictions indicate that it may affect parts of Virginia", Gov. Ralph Northam said.

The Walt Disney Company announced it will give more than $1 million in cash and in-kind support to the Bahamas for Hurricane Dorian relief.

Across the Southeast, interstate highways in SC and Georgia were turned into one-way evacuation routes.

On Tuesday evening, heavier rain bands were blowing through Volusia and Seminole counties, with occasional wind gusts that were over tropical storm strength.

The Carolinas aren't out of the woods yet in terms of landfall.

Dorian was expected to pass dangerously close to Georgia and perhaps strike SC or North Carolina on Thursday and Friday with the potential for over a foot of rain in some spots. The American Red Cross said they've already opened 170 shelters and evacuation centers and over 13,000 people are already at those facilities.

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