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  1. Hurricane

‘Extremely dangerous,’ Hurricane Dorian now a Category 4 as it hovers over the Bahamas

Dorian, crawling at just 1 mph, still poses a threat to the east coast of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

Dorian is now a Category 4 storm, but the hurricane continues to pummel the Bahamas as the eye looms over Grand Bahama Island. NOAA’s latest advisory warns that Dorian is still “extremely dangerous” and will continue to be a powerful hurricane for several more days.

As of 11 a.m., Dorian was located about 30 miles northeast of Freeport, Grand Bahama Island. The storm is about 110 miles east of West Palm Beach.

Dorian continues to inch along at just 1 mph. It is expected to wallop Grand Bahama Island for most of today and tonight. “Catastrophic winds” up to 155 mph have been reported, though higher gusts remain. Hazards including a storm surge of 18 to 23 feet have caused officials to urge island residents to stay sheltered as the eye passes.

“This is a life-threatening situation,” said NOAA’s earlier hurricane advisory, which warned of “extreme destruction on the island.”

Strong winds and storm surge also continue to pose a threat to people living along the coast of Georgia and the Carolinas.

The 11 a.m. update extended the hurricane warning on the east coast of Florida north up to the Flagler/ Volusia County line. In Georgia, the hurricane watch was also extended north.

Gusts of 47 mph winds have been reported at Juno Beach Pier — the first tropical-storm force winds in Florida so far. The Sunshine State is expected to see hurricane conditions by late tonight or Tuesday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a statement on Dorian ahead of NOAA’s 11 a.m. update.

“We have seen what Hurricane Dorian is capable of, and the First Lady and I extend our prayers to the people of the Bahamas,” said DeSantis. “As we continue to monitor this storm, all Floridians should follow local reports and heed the call for evacuations. We are ready to deploy assets as needed and will continue to monitor traffic and fuel levels as more counties come under hurricane watches and warnings.”

Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center is monitoring four other disturbances in the Atlantic that could develop later in the week.

2019 Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide

HURRICANE SEASON IS HERE: Get ready and stay informed at tampabay.com/hurricane

PREPARE YOUR STUFF: Get your documents and your data ready for a storm

BUILD YOUR KIT: The stuff you’ll need to stay safe — and comfortable — for the storm

PROTECT YOUR PETS: Your pets can’t get ready for a storm. That’s your job

NEED TO KNOW: Click here to find your evacuation zone and shelter

What Michael taught the Panhandle and Tampa Bay

What the Panhandle’s top emergency officials learned from Michael

‘We’re not going to give up.’ What a school superintendent learned from Michael

What Tampa Bay school leaders fear most from a storm

Tampa Bay’s top cops fear for those who stay behind

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