With torrential rains and wind gusts reportedly over 200 mph on Sunday, Hurricane Dorian has become the strongest hurricane to strike the Bahamas in modern records, according to the National Hurricane Center.
As the storm strengthened to a Category 5 on Sunday, forecasters warned residents that the storm could be catastrophic and the flooding as a result of the rainfall could be lethal.
“Keep sending your prayers up, don’t stop,” is what Twitter user Love Deje posted along with a video showing rising waters, heavy winds, and downed tree limbs in Abaco.
Hurricane Dorian has strengthened into a Category 5 storm with sustained winds of 180 mph as it lashes through the Bahamas, according to the National Hurricane Center.
“Take cover now, this is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation,” a tweet from the National Hurricane Center reads as the eyewall of Dorian made its way to the Abaco Islands.
Located in the northern Bahamas, east of southern Florida, the Abaco Islands are expected to be impacted the most.
Meteorologists warn that the storm surge could raise water levels up to 23 feet above normal, which could lead to some areas becoming completely flooded.
“It’s going to be really, really bad for the Bahamas,” Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach told the Guardian, adding: “Abaco is going to get wiped.”
Bahama Prime Minister Hubert Minnis told the New York Times that 73,000 residents and 21,000 homes would be affected by the storm.
“We will pray and hope for the best, but plan for the worst,” the Bahamas Minister of Agriculture, Michael Pintard, as reported in the New York Times.
In the United States, a tropical storm warning has been issued along the east coast of Florida as the storm makes its way to the area through Monday.
A tropical storm warning is in effect from north of Deerfield Beach to Sebastian Inlet, including West Palm Beach.
“There is an increasing likelihood of strong winds and dangerous storm surge along the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina later this week,” a statement from the NHC reads. “Residents in these areas should continue to monitor the progress of Dorian.”
The governors of North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida have declared states of emergency.
Keep Sending Your Prayers.