The core of Dorian will move dangerously close to the Florida east coast and the Georgia coast through Wednesday night. But besides that, the Tampa Bay area relatively felt no major effects from the record-breaking storm.
Hurricane Dorian battered the Bahamas with high winds and rain for more than two days, and officials in the Bahamas say at least seven people died in the storm, including children.
An 8-year-old boy is among the storm's victims. Dorian forced Disney Cruise Line to cancel one trip and delay the return of another ship to Port Canaveral, Florida.
On Tuesday evening, heavier rain bands were blowing through Volusia and Seminole counties, with occasional wind gusts that were over tropical storm strength.
The storm stalled over the Bahamas for two days, but is picking up speed and had a forward speed of 9 miles per hour on Wednesday. "Places like Charleston, South Carolina are very susceptible to flooding from hurricanes, and that is a huge concern to those folks up there". The much-watched cone of probability showed the storm forecast to remain off the state's east coast as it headed north toward the Carolinas.
"The Bahamas, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas ... may all be in our prayers now", Williamson tweeted, according to images posted by several Twitter users.
Airports were flooded and roads impassable after the most powerful storm to hit the Bahamas in recorded history parked over Abaco and Grand Bahama islands, pounding them with winds up to 185 miles per hour (295 kph) and torrential rain before finally moving into open waters Tuesday on a course toward Florida. At least seven deaths were reported but the full scope of the disaster still remains unknown.
The storm will still be a powerful hurricane over the next few days.
"It's total devastation. It's decimated".
National Security Minister Marvin Dames said rescue teams were fanning out as the winds and rain subsided, with more than 600 police officers and marines in Grand Bahama and 100 in Abaco. "It's not rebuilding something that was there; we have to start again".
Georgia and SC are expected to face the worse of the storm Wednesday.
Newly-formed Tropical Storm Gabrielle off the coast of Africa is projected to move north and into the Atlantic. "But we have more waves emerging off the coast of Africa".
"We are very anxious, especially about the barrier islands getting cut off if we have these storm surges at the same time as. the high tides", Kemp said.
"I don't think we've seen anything like this in our lifetime".
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