"This is probably the most sad and worst day of my life", he said, calling Dorian a "monster storm".
The storm's path might take it north before it makes landfall on USA territory, albeit with very little room to spare.
Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft had measured a maximum sustained wind speed of 295 km/h at the time of landfall.
Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center expect the center of the storm to be offshore, about 40 to 50 miles off the coast of Florida Tuesday and Wednesday, with hurricane-force winds extending about 35 miles to the west. This can happen with powerful storms like Dorian and gets its name from the clouds forming high walls that make it look like you're in the bowl of a sports stadium.
The Miami Herald reported that President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, which is located in Palm Beach County, is included in the mandatory evacuation. Zone B includes the barrier islands, land areas north and south of the Jupiter Inlet, and other surge-vulnerable areas south along the Intracoastal Waterway to the Broward County line.
A "life-threatening" storm surge of 23ft (7 metres) is also predicted in places, officials warn. "Catastrophic conditions" were reported in The Abaco Islands and the storm was expected to cross Grand Bahama later in the day "with all its fury", the center said.More news: Twitter CEO's hacked account sends racist tweets before being secured
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With its maximum sustained winds of 185 miles per hour and gusts up to 220 miles per hour, Dorian tied the record for the most powerful Atlantic hurricane ever to come ashore, equaling the Labor Day hurricane of 1935, before the storms were named. Lake Okeechobee was under a tropical storm watch.
Hurricane Dorian is one of the strongest storms to make landfall in history. "Only a slight deviation to the left of the official forecast would bring the core of Dorian near or over the Florida east coast".
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says that the eye of Hurricane Dorian has moved past Great Abaco and trends for the next 48 hours show the hurricane "turning northward offshore but dangerously close to the Florida peninsula".
Even while the majority of computer models predict that Dorian will remain just off the Florida coast, the National Hurricane Center is urging residents not to let their guard down and to continue preparing for an "extremely dangerous" hurricane and that landfall can still not be ruled out.
According to WHS officials, these cats had already been in shelters, searching for homes, and their departure helped ensure Florida shelters would be better prepared to support any pets displaced by the storm. With every new forecast, "we keep nudging (Dorian's track) a little bit to the left" - that is, is closer to the Florida coast, Graham said. That makes forecasting its path delicate and hard. "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".
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said the state could see heavy rain, winds and floods. "But it can change its course again and it can go back more toward Florida". All we know is it's possibly the biggest.
A Category 5 hurricane will flatten many homes, snap trees and power lines, and leave the area "uninhabitable for weeks or months", the hurricane center said.