HURRICANE TRACKER: Dorian death toll rises to 44 in Bahamas | KSTP.com

HURRICANE TRACKER: Dorian death toll rises to 44 in Bahamas

HURRICANE TRACKER: Dorian death toll rises to 44 in Bahamas Photo: KSTP-TV

Updated: September 09, 2019 06:04 AM

The latest on Hurricane Dorian (all times local):

3 p.m.

The government in the Bahamas says the death toll from Hurricane Dorian has risen by one to 44.

Health Minister Duane Sands on Sunday confirmed the toll in a WhatsApp message to The Associated Press.

Officials have warned that the number of deaths is likely to rise as security forces and other teams search devastated areas of the northern Bahamas.

The government also announced a telephone hotline where Bahamians can call to report family members who have been unaccounted for since the storm.

At least five deaths have been blamed on the storm in the Southeastern U.S. and one in Puerto Rico.

KSTP's complete hurricane coverage


Track Dorian's path via the interactive radar below:


11:40 a.m.

The government of the Bahamas says more than 900 members of the Bahamian police and military are on Abaco and Grand Bahama islands to help with hurricane relief.

The government also says 120 Jamaican security personnel arrived in the Bahamas on Saturday evening and 100 troops from Trinidad and Tobago are to arrive Sunday as part of the aid effort in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.

The Bahamas says "large numbers of security forces" from Britain and the United States are already involved in search, rescue and recovery operations.

The government says at least 43 people died in the storm, but authorities are still trying to reach some areas that were cut off by flooding and debris.

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10:15 a.m.

About 250 people who lost their homes when Hurricane Dorian hit the northern Bahamas have arrived in the Bahamian capital after a 13-hour trip on a government-chartered ferry.

Passengers on the "Sea Wind" ferry arrived in Nassau on Saturday, joining hundreds of other people from Abaco and Grand Bahama islands who were desperate to escape harsh conditions there.

Carlen Merizier, 23, says she and her two-year-old son are lucky to be alive. She says "a lot of people died" and that she started praying when her home collapsed in the hurricane.

The hurricane death toll in the Bahamas is at least 43 and officials say it is likely to increase.

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10 a.m.

Emergency officials in the Bahamas say they have had to "clamp down" on aircraft demanding payment for evacuating displaced people from areas devastated by Hurricane Dorian.

The National Emergency Management Agency says aviation authorities are aware of reports of "commercial activity" and will revoke flight permission for any aircraft charging fees.

The agency said in a statement Sunday that no flights are permitted to bill for evacuations and that consumer protection officials are investigating "incidences of price gouging."

Civil aviation authorities also say they are restricting air space over the devastated Abaco and Grand Bahama islands to prevent accidents and ensure only approved aircraft that are providing aid can fly there.

Officials have already authorized 200 private planes in the area and say "saturated airspace was creating a volatile situation."

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9 a.m.

The storm that has already walloped the Virgin Islands, Bahamas and North Carolina is now bringing hurricane-force winds to far-eastern Canada.

Dorian has knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people, toppled a huge construction crane and ripped roofs off apartments in the city of Halifax.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the post-tropical cyclone was centered about 55 miles (90 kilometers) east-northeast of Anticosti Island Sunday morning and had top sustained winds of 80 mph (130 kph). It was heading to the north-northwest, roughly up the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Meanwhile, authorities in the Bahamas were scrambling to find shelter for tens of thousands left homeless by a storm that struck with Category 5 force.

The storm is blamed for at least 49 deaths.
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1:35 p.m.

The United Nations said Friday that the International Office on Migration is providing 1,000 tarps to replace roofs stripped from homes by Hurricane Dorian on the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the migration office stressed that the priority right now is search and rescue operations. He says that after everyone has been rescued and the wounded safely evacuated, the agency will focus on providing temporary shelter for those who lost their homes.

Dujarric said the World Health Organization reports it's focusing on providing clinical care, food supplies, safe drinking water and sanitation to survivors.

Officials say 30 people have been confirmed dead in the Bahamas, but the toll is sure to rise.

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5 a.m.

The eye of Hurricane Dorian is passing just east of Cape Lookout as the Category 1 storm skirts North Carolina's coast.

Sustained, hurricane-force winds are battering the southern Outer Banks, a 200-mile-long (320-kilometer-long) chain of low-lying barrier islands and spits off North Carolina. The center of the storm is around 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Cape Lookout and 55 miles (89 kilometers) southwest of Cape Hatteras, further north in the Outer Banks.

Top sustained winds are near 90 mph (145 kph) and the storm is moving northeast at 14 mph (22 kph).

As of 5 a.m., the National Hurricane Center replaced a hurricane warning with a tropical storm warning from South Santee River to Little River Inlet in South Carolina. The storm-surge warning south of Surf City, North Carolina, has been discontinued.

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4:15 a.m.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami is reporting hurricane-force wind gusts along the southern Outer Banks of North Carolina.

A weather station at Cape Lookout on the southern end of the chain of low-lying islands recently reported a 10-minute average wind of 63 mph (101 kph), equivalent to a 1-minute sustained wind speed of 69 mph (111 kph). A wind gust of 75 mph (121 kph) was also reported, but the weather station inside the western part of Dorian's eye hasn't reported data since 3 a.m.

Dorian's center is around 15 miles (24 kilometers) south of Cape Lookout, and around 80 miles (129 kilometers) southwest of Cape Hatteras, further north on the string of barrier islands and spits.

The Category 1 storm's top sustained winds remain at 90 mph (145 kph) and the storm is still moving northeast at 14 mph (22 kph).

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3:10 a.m.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami is reporting hurricane-force winds "just offshore" Cape Lookout, part of the low-lying islands that make up North Carolina's Outer Banks.

The Category 1 storm is located around 25 miles (40 kilometers) south-southwest of Cape Lookout, and around 90 miles (145 kilometers) southwest of Cape Hatteras, further north on the string of barrier islands and spits.

Top sustained winds remain at 90 mph (145 kph) and the storm is moving northeast at 14 mph (23 kph).

The storm is expected to weaken slowly over the next few days, but will likely remain a powerful hurricane as it moves along the coast of North Carolina.

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2 a.m.

Hurricane Dorian has weakened somewhat to a Category 1 storm, but forecasters say the threat posed to the southeastern U.S. coast hasn't abated.

Dorian is currently 55 miles (89 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina, and 30 miles (48 kilometers) south-southwest of Cape Lookout, North Carolina, and moving northeast at 15 mph (24 kph). The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says that general motion is expected to continue, with an increase in speed through Saturday.

The center of the storm will move near or over the coast of North Carolina over the next several hours, before moving to the "southeast of extreme southeastern New England" on Friday night and Saturday morning and then across Nova Scotia.

A storm surge warning has been discontinued south of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, but flooding remains possible in parts of North Carolina depending on the tide and the storm's distance from the coast.

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1:40 a.m.

After triggering tornadoes in South Carolina, Hurricane Dorian is closing in for a possible direct hit Friday on North Carolina's Outer Banks, a string of low-lying islands.

On Ocracoke Island, near the southern end of the 200-mile-long (322-kilometer-long) string of barrier islands and spits, about half of the 1,000 residents have stuck around to face the storm.

Further north, Virginia was also in harm's way.

Overnight winds are expected to cause trees and branches to fall on power lines, and debris could block repair crews from accessing damaged line.

As of early Friday, Dorian was centered about 40 miles (64 kilometers) east-northeast of Wilmington, North Carolina and had weakened to a Category 1 storm. With maximum sustained winds of 90 mph (145 kph), Dorian was moving northeast at 15 mph (24 kph).

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11:05 p.m.

Forecasters say Hurricane Dorian is brushing up against North Carolina as it keeps churning northeast, just offshore.

In a late Thursday night advisory, the National Hurricane Center says the Category 2 storm continued to have maximum sustained winds of 100 mph (160 kph).

Dorian is about 35 miles (56 kilometers) southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and is moving northeast at 13 mph (21 kph)

Regardless of whether the storm makes landfall overnight, forecasters expect Dorian to produce life-threatening storm surges, dangerous winds and flash floods along coastal areas of the Carolinas and southeast Virginia.

Dorian grazes Carolina coast, aims for Outer Banks

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5:55 p.m.

A North Carolina speedway continues to get evacuees from Hurricane Dorian.

Charlotte Motor Speedway spokesman Scott Cooper said in a statement that there were 69 campsites occupied by about 150 people impacted by Dorian as of Thursday afternoon. Cooper said many of them were arriving from the Wilmington area.

Cooper said the speedway's Rock City Campground remains open free of charge along with access to showers, the kids' playground and the pet park.

The speedway is offering free tours twice a day, and evacuees can sign up for a tour in the camping office. In addition, local businesses are providing complimentary meals this week, and some are dropping off coupons.

American Airlines says it flew a plane carrying 14,000 pounds of relief supplies to the Bahamas.

In a news release, the airline said a Boeing 737 flew from Miami to Nassau to drop off supplies for those affected by the devastation.

The airline is also giving frequent-flyer points to customers who donate at least $25 to the Red Cross.

American Airlines says airport operations are still being affected at airports in the Bahamas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

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3 p.m.

A third death in Florida is being blamed on Hurricane Dorian.

Brevard County Medical Examiner's Office manager Craig Engleson says that on Sunday, a 68-year-old man fell to his death while putting up plywood hurricane shutters.

At least four storm-related deaths have been reported on the U.S. mainland, three in Florida and one in North Carolina. All have involved men who were trimming trees or otherwise getting ready for the storm.

Dorian is currently moving up the East Coast as a Category 2 hurricane. The storm devastated the Bahamas as it moved over the islands earlier this week, causing at least 20 deaths.

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8:35 a.m.

More than 215,000 homes and businesses are without power as Hurricane Dorian lashes the southeastern coast with wind and rain.

More than 200,000 of the outages were being reported Thursday morning in the coastal counties of South Carolina. But lights are also out in southeastern Georgia.

Outages will likely spread up the East Coast as Dorian moves north. Duke Energy projects Dorian will knock out electrical service to about 700,000 customers in the Carolinas.

Forecasters say Dorian is a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 115 mph (185 kph).

The storm devastated the Bahamas as it moved over the islands earlier this week, causing at least 20 deaths.

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5:16 a.m.

Hundreds of shelter animals from coastal South Carolina have arrived in Delaware ahead of Hurricane Dorian's expected landfall.

The News Journal of Wilmington reports the animals were moved from shelters at risk of flooding. The Category 3 storm began making its way across the Carolinas Thursday and was expected to flood low-lying areas and bring enough rain to cause flash flooding concerns well inland.

Nearly 200 animals were airlifted off the endangered coast and picked up by Brandywine Valley SPCA early Tuesday. About 150 other animals were expected to arrive that night via land transport from Best Friends Animal Society. The animals may be up for adoption throughout New England later this week.

Brandywine says the lessened South Carolina shelter populations will make space for local pets impacted by Dorian.

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9:40 p.m.

Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis says he has visited storm-ravaged Grand Bahama, finding many people remain in shelters even though much of the flooding has eased.

Minnis spoke at a news briefing Wednesday evening and said many are suffering in Grand Bahama after it was devastated by Hurricane Dorian. He added: "We know there are many Bahamians that are in need of help. I want to assure you that more help is on the way."

He thanked the international community for its response, especially the U.S. government for what he called their "exceptional assistance."

Earlier this week, Dorian smashed through the northern Bahamas as the strongest hurricane ever to hit the islands, leaving at least 20 dead.

Minnis noted that several agencies and organizations have pledged aid, including $1 million each from the United Nations and from Disney Cruise Line. Meanwhile, National Security Minister Marvin Dames said food and water is being distributed to people in the neighboring Abaco islands but that more supplies will be needed soon.

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8:45 p.m.

American Red Cross officials say that more than 1,500 people have sought refuge from Hurricane Dorian in a total of 28 shelters in the central and eastern portions of South Carolina.

In Charleston, South Carolina, meanwhile, steady rain began falling Wednesday evening as Dorian approached the Carolinas and winds began picking up. Thunder could be heard frequently and only a few cars seemed to be plying the roads connecting the western edge of downtown Charleston with areas of the city just across a river.

Forecasters say the Category 2 hurricane was centered at 8 p.m. EDT Wednesday about 130 miles (210 kilometers) south of Charleston. It has top sustained winds of 110 mph (175 kph) and is moving to the north-northwest at 8 mph (13 kph). Earlier this week, Dorian smashed through the northern Bahamas as the strongest hurricane ever to hit the islands, leaving at least 20 dead.

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8:20 p.m.

People in the hard-hit Abaco islands say they haven't seen any aid come in after Dorian's onslaught, except for medical supplies for the main hospital, where hundreds are gathered to await help.

Ben Allen, a 40-year-old construction worker and maintenance man, worried about supplies of potable water running out.

"Today is the last day you're going to find water," said Ben Allen, a 40-year-old construction worker and maintenance man.

Earlier Wednesday, U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock disclosed that about 70,000 people "are in immediate need of life-saving assistance" on Abaco and Grand Bahama islands following Hurricane Dorian's pummeling of the Bahamas.

Dorian smashed into the northern Bahamas earlier this week as a powerful Category 5 and Category 4 hurricane, leaving at least 20 dead.

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8:10 p.m.

The National Hurricane Center says Dorian is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and flooding to a big swath of the U.S. coast in coming days.

Forecasters say the Category 2 hurricane was centered at 8 p.m. EDT Wednesday about 130 miles (210 kilometers) south of Charleston, South Carolina. It has top sustained winds of 110 mph (175 kph) and is moving to the north-northwest at 8 mph (13 kph).

The hurricane center in Miami says Dorian will continue to approach the South Carolina coast Wednesdy night and then move near or over the coast of the Carolinas on Thursday and Friday.

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7:30 p.m.

Nathan May evacuated his Carolina Beach, North Carolina, home for Hurricane Florence last year. After it didn't flood and only a few branches were knocked down, he decided he would ride out Hurricane Dorian as it trekked up the coast.

"I want to see what it is like," said May, who moved from Arizona a few years ago. "A bunch of the neighbors are having a party and they said we will be OK. This one isn't too strong."

May is an electrician and has a generator ready to run his air conditioner and a few other items. He was going to wire up more things, but Dorian's outer bands reached the North Carolina coast too quickly Wednesday afternoon.

Fran Mitteness and her husband Mo are also staying put in Carolina Beach. They left for Florence when it was a Category 4 and immediately regretted it when the storm weakened. Their regret only grew when it took weeks to get back.

Says Fran Mittenness: "This is just a Category 2. We are ready. I think we will be fine.

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7:15 p.m.

Bahamian Health Minister Duane Sands tells The Associated Press that the death toll from Hurricane Dorian has risen to 20 and that more fatalities are expected.

Sands said Wednesday night that 17 victims are from the Abaco islands and three from Grand Bahama. He says three of the 20 victims died after being transported to a hospital in nearby New Providence.

Sands says he's unable to release further details at this time because the government still is working to contact family members.

The sharp jump in the death toll comes after search and rescue teams fanned out across both islands as floodwaters receded and the weather cleared. Dorian hit the Abaco islands as a catastrophic Category 5 storm on Sunday and then lashed Grand Bahama for a day and a half as a Category 4 storm, leaving widespread devastation.

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7:05 p.m.

U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock says about 70,000 people "are in immediate need of life-saving assistance" on Abaco and Grand Bahama islands following Hurricane Dorian's pummeling of the Bahamas.

Lowcock says the most urgent needs are water, food, shelter and accommodation.

He flew to the Bahamas on Wednesday and spoke to reporters in New York by phone from Nassau after meeting with Prime Minister Hubert Minnis.

Lowcock says he told Minnis that he was releasing $1 million from the U.N. Central Emergency Response Fund immediately to deal with these priorities as well as for medical supplies and services for Grand Bahama. He says the United Nations began gathering data Wednesday with officials in the region "so we really understand where the most vulnerable people are and what their precise needs are."

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7 p.m.

White House spokesman Judd Deere says President Donald Trump has offered his condolences to Prime Minister Hubert Minnis of the Bahamas for the loss of life and catastrophic destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian.

Deere says the president underscored the importance of the friendship between the United States and the Bahamas.

The president also said the United States will provide all appropriate support to the people of the Bahamas during the Bahamian government's response to Hurricane Dorian. Both leaders agreed to continue close coordination to ensure the most efficient and effective use of humanitarian aid and disaster response efforts.

Earlier this week Dorian mauled the northern Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane, causing widespread devastation and leaving at least seven people dead. Officials say the death toll is certain to rise.

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6:45 p.m.

The approach of Dorian has left the cobblestone streets of Savannah, Georgia's downtown historic district largely deserted. But there are still places to find a hurricane party.

More than 30 people gathered around the bar at Pinkie Master's Lounge on Wednesday evening, as wind gusts from the storm offshore of the Georgia coast bent the tops of trees in Savannah nearly 20 miles (32 kilometers) inland.

Co-owner Mike Warren was tending bar. He says crowds had been steady for hours. A mandatory evacuation order meant most businesses were closed and many locals had a day off work. Warren says the bar would abide by Savannah's 9 p.m. curfew — moving up last call about 6 hours early.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Dorian is trekking up the Southeast seaboard as a Category 2 storm. Earlier this week Dorian mauled the northern Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane, causing widespread devastation and leaving at least seven people dead

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6:35 p.m.

There were boarded up windows and empty parking lots in Wilmington, North Carolina, about 24 hours before Hurricane Dorian was forecast to sideswipe the area.

But there were plenty of open gas stations without lines and traffic heading both in and out of town.

Wilmington is used to storms. Hurricane Florence hit the area last year. Old timers struggle to keep the storms separate in their minds. At least 10 hurricanes have passed through the area in the past 25 years including the back-to-back blows of Bertha and Fran in 1996.

About 15 miles (25 kilometers) south of Wilmington, plenty of people were staying at Carolina Beach despite a mandatory evacuation for the barrier island. The few open restaurants had full parking lots.

Fran Mitteness is staying with her husband. They evacuated for Florence last year and their home three blocks from the ocean wasn't damaged. They were frustrated when they couldn't get back for weeks.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Dorian is trekking up the Southeast seaboard as a Category 2 storm. Earlier this week Dorian mauled the northern Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane, causing widespread devastation and leaving at least seven people dead

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9:05 a.m.

The U.S. Navy has ordered ships based on Virginia's coast to head out to sea to avoid Hurricane Dorian.

Navy spokeswoman Elizabeth Baker said by phone Wednesday that vessels docked at the world's largest Navy base in Norfolk and other nearby installations are getting under way.

Vice Admiral Andrew Lewis said in a statement Tuesday that the ships will remain at sea until the threat from the storm subsides. Navy aircraft will either be secured in hangars or fly to more inland airfields.

The Navy's order follows a similar one made by the U.S Air Force earlier Tuesday.

F-22 Raptor fighter jets and T-38 Talon training planes were ordered to leave Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia. They're going to the Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base outside Columbus, Ohio.

Bahamians begin rescues as Dorian moves on toward US coast

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8:45 a.m.

Bahamian Parliament member Iram Lewis, who is in Grand Bahama, said rescue crews are preparing to go into the island's eastern region for the first time since Hurricane Dorian hit.

He says he fears casualties in that area and said there are a lot of medical needs overall on the island. Lewis was driving and said he observed only one gas station open with a line of about half a mile forming.

He said the government was now pulling teams together to receive goods from abroad and was organizing distribution centers as teams began to launch search-and-rescue missions now that the weather has cleared.

At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas from Dorian, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

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8:10 a.m.

Hurricane Dorian's center is moving parallel to Florida's northeastern coast as it churns north-northwestward in the Atlantic.

The storm's maximum sustained winds Wednesday morning are near 105 mph (165 kph), making it a Category 2 storm.

Dorian is centered about 95 miles (155 kilometers) east-northeast of Daytona Beach, Florida, and is moving about 8 mph (13 kph).

At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas from Dorian, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

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8:10 a.m.

Sea turtle nests along many of Florida's beaches are in danger of being washed out to sea as Hurricane Dorian sideswipes the Atlantic Coast.

Conservation officials urge the public not to interfere by trying to rescue any stranded hatchlings or disturbing buried nests.

Volusia County's seat turtle habitat conservation plan manager Jennifer Winters tell the Orlando Sentinel "there's not a lot" that can be done. She says once eggs get pulled from the sand, "they're not going to make it."

She says on Friday 397 sea turtle nests were recorded on Volusia County beaches. Since Saturday, 40 nests were washed out and more are expected as Dorian passes by.

Canaveral National Seashore spokeswoman Laura Henning says before closing Saturday for the storm, 12,000 nests were counted.

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6:15 a.m.

While Hurricane Dorian moves closer to Florida, two other named storms are blowing in the Atlantic region.

Tropical Storm Fernand is in the Gulf of Mexico and closing in on the Northeast Mexican coast just south of the U.S. border, with top sustained winds near 50 mph (85 kmh) and higher gusts. The hurricane center says heavy rainfall of up to 18 inches (46 centimeters) could fall in places along Mexico's Gulf Coast and the Sierra Madre Oriental, and could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides as the storm moves ashore Wednesday.

Tropical Storm Gabrielle, meanwhile, is far out in the Atlantic Ocean and poses no threat to land. It is expected to remain a tropical storm on a track far from North America.

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5:00 a.m.

Tropical storm conditions continue along portions of the northeastern coast of Florida as Dorian continues to make its slow trek toward the U.S.

The National Hurricane Center says the deadly storm was centered at 5 a.m. EDT Wednesday about 90 miles (144 kilometers) east of Daytona Beach, Florida. It has top sustained winds of 105 mph (168 kph) as a Category 2 hurricane. The storm is moving north northwest at 8 mph (12 kph), tracking offshore and nearly parallel to Florida's Atlantic shoreline.

Some weakening is expected during the next couple of days but Dorian is expected to remain a powerful hurricane.

The Miami-based weather center says a turn toward the north is forecast by Wednesday evening, followed by a turn toward the north-northeast on Thursday morning. The core of Dorian will move dangerously close to the Florida east coast and the Georgia coast through Wednesday night. The center of Dorian is forecast to move near or over the coast of South Carolina and North Carolina Thursday through Friday morning.

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1:30 a.m.

Hurricane Dorian's eye is passing to the east of Cape Canaveral, Florida. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the deadly storm is now about 90 miles (144 kilometers) east northeast of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Maximum sustained winds are being clocked at 110 mph (175 kph). It's moving to the north northwest at 7 mph (11 kph).

The Miami-based weather center says a turn toward the north is forecast by Wednesday evening, followed by a turn toward the north-northeast on Thursday morning. The core of Dorian will move dangerously close to the Florida east coast and the Georgia coast through Wednesd

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