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Hurricane Dorian, now a weakened Category 2, speeds up and grows while still pummeling Bahamas

Alex Harris, Charles Rabin, Douglas Hanks and David Ovalle, Miami Herald on

Published in Weather News

MIAMI -- Hurricane Dorian began its long-awaited north turn Tuesday morning, a move that is likely to spare Florida's coast the brunt of the now Category 2 storm's winds and storm surge.

The turn also offers some relief for the Bahamas, which saw the worst impacts of a record-breaking storm that stalled out over the islands and rained destruction for most of Monday. At least five people were killed in the relentless winds and two-story storm surge over the weekend, and the stalled out storm stymied relief efforts underway in Florida and beyond.

As of the 2 p.m. EDT update from the National Hurricane Center, Dorian was 100 miles away from Fort Pierce with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour. The storm may be weakening, but its wind field is growing larger, increasing the risk of high winds and dangerous storm surge to more inland areas of the eastern seaboard.

The storm's movement was still not fast -- just 2 miles an hour -- but hurricane-force winds extended 60 miles from the center of the system, and tropical-storm-force winds whipped up to 175 miles from the core.

The Florida coast from Jupiter Inlet to Ponte Vedra Beach is expected to start feeling hurricane conditions Tuesday night as the storm passes off shore. A hurricane warning remained in place for that stretch of Florida.

By Friday morning, at 2 a.m., the forecast has Dorian coming dangerously close to the shores of North Carolina, still as a hurricane. "Dorian is expected to remain a powerful hurricane during the next couple of days," the hurricane center wrote in its latest advisory.

 

Hurricane Dorian spent most of Labor Day parked over Grand Bahama, lashing the island with winds topping 145 mph and 12 to 18 feet of storm surge.

The ferocious storm ripped off roofs, flooded shelters and killed at least five people. Horrifying video shared on social media showed murky brown waters battering at people's windows, invading the first floor of their homes and, in one case, lapping at the floor of someone's attic.

The U.S. Coast Guard had already rescued 19 people from a medical clinic in Marsh Harbour in the Abaco islands, evacuating them by helicopter to Nassau. The Coast Guard said it was resuming its rescue efforts at dawn on Tuesday.

The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance was mobilizing aid for the Bahamian government, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a tweet on Tuesday.

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