Hurricane Dorian Slowly Approaching Florida, Evacuations Ordered in Georgia, South Carolina

By , RADIO.COM

Hurricane Dorian continued to pummel the Bahamas on Monday morning with winds still whipping at 165 mph and gusts up to 200 mph. The storm surge is also raising water levels 20 feet above normal.

The Category 5 storm has also slowed down, moving west at just 1 mph while the U.S. braces for its impact.

The hurricane center still forecasts that the U.S. will avoid a direct hit as the storm moves upward along the eastern seaboard, but said that "life-threatening storm surges and dangerous hurricane-force winds are expected along portions of the Florida east coast through mid-week."

Heavy rains that could produce flash flooding are also expected on the southeast coast all the way up to the lower Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. into Friday.

Evacuations have been ordered for parts of Florida while Georgia and South Carolina will begin evacuations later on Monday. North Carolina has not ordered any evacuations, but Governor Roy Cooper warned his state about potential heavy winds, rain and flooding from the storm.

Acting Department of Homeland Security chief Kevin McAleenan said on Sunday that even if the storm only braces the coastline, it could still cause major problems.

Dorian is already impacting flights into and out of the U.S. on Monday, with more than 1,000 flights cancelled, according to aviation tracking website FlightAware. The top five airports with the most cancellations are all located in Florida.

According to The Associated Press, Dorian has tied the record for most powerful Atlantic hurricane to make landfall in the Bahamas, equaling the Labor Day hurricane of 1935.