News Home » Top Stories » 5 dead as Hurricane Dorian slams into the Bahamas: Live updates

Around the World

5 dead as Hurricane Dorian slams into the Bahamas: Live updates

Businesses are seen shuttered near Fort Pierce Jetty Park, in Florida on September 2.
Businesses are seen shuttered near Fort Pierce Jetty Park, in Florida on September 2. ADAM DELGIUDICE/AFP/Getty Images

Hurricane Dorian has weakened from a Category 4 storm down to Category 3, now with winds of 120 miles per hour -- but experts and officials say it's too soon for Floridians to relax. Category 3 is still a powerful storm that could destroy homes and coastlines.

CNN correspondent Nick Valencia in Melbourne, Florida said, "Yesterday when we were going around this community, we talked to a lot of residents who were under a mandatory evacuation warning but were planning on not evacuating at all."

"I think a lot of people let their guard down. Emergency management officials, they don't like the sound of that. They've been out front and center trying to reiterate, people need to take precautions, and telling people they should know these tracks can change at the last minute."

Millions have been ordered to evacuate across Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. In Florida, many people have been preparing for the hurricane since last week, stockpiling homes with food and emergency supplies.

Floridians are boarding up their homes and businesses and leaving behind messages for Hurricane Dorian.

"Dorian Olive U 2 go back 2 sea," reads the board on Olive U Mediterranean Grill in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

The owner, Abdul, told CNN that staff were with their families, and that the restaurant would open on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, boards at a snack bar in Boca Raton, Florida, read "Hieeeee k byeeee."

The inspiration was "nothing really other then trying to have a sense of humor in a time of panic and preparation," Matthew Williams told CNN.

"Thoughts and prayers with the people who are getting directly hit," he said.

In its latest updated advisory, the National Hurricane Center said "Dorian won't budge," as the hurricane continues to stay put at Grand Bahama.

Wind gusts and storm surges are expected to continue on Grand Bahama through today.

The hurricane has now been hovering over the island for more than a day, with destructive winds and floods destroying homes. Five people have died in the Abaco Islands.

The US Coast Guard deployed Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews to medically evacuate 19 people from the Marsh Harbour Clinic to Nassau International Airport in the Bahamas on Monday.

In a statement, the Coast Guard said the 19 people ranged in ages from children to the elderly, and were in varying medical conditions.

"As Hurricane Dorian began to make its way toward the Bahamas, the Coast Guard pre-positioned several surface assets in Key West and positioned Jayhawk helicopter crews on Andros Island to be able to respond to the devastation created by Hurricane Dorian. The Coast Guard plans to continue its search in the Bahamas at first light Tuesday," the statement said.

Hurricane Dorian has been reclassified as a Category 3 storm, down from Category 4.

It now has winds of 125 miles per hour. At its peak over the weekend, Dorian was a Category 5 storm with winds of 185 mph.

The storm is now stationary, and has been hovering at Grand Bahama for the past day. It's about 105 miles from West Palm Beach, on the Florida coast.

North Carolina has started issuing mandatory evacuations.

On Ocracoke Island, the evacuation will go into effect for visitors on Tuesday at 5 am local time, and for residents on Wednesday at 5 am.

In Dare County, the evacuation will go into effect for visitors on Tuesday at 12 pm local time, and for residents on Wednesday at 6 am.

Shani Bowd, a resident in the Bahamas, was up to her shoulders in water when a storm surge flooded her home earlier today.

"Every room in the house was filled with water, up to maybe about four or five feet. All the furniture floating, you know, the bathroom flowing. Everything is just about ruined. Before that, we put everything up as high as we could.
Now, the water is probably about down to my knees and it's still going down. But everything is, you know, floating from room to room. You know, unsanitary, which is the number one reason why we need to get out," Bowd told CNN.

The storm surge may have subsided for now, but Bowd fears another surge could come. She's still at home with seven other people, including four children, and she has no idea when she can escape, with the wind still howling outside.

She had never experienced anything like this, she told CNN.

"Hurricane Matthew was bad. I thought Hurricane Matthew was the worst. But this is ten times worse," she said.

Hear Shani's story here:

Hurricane Dorian, photographed from space on September 2.
Hurricane Dorian, photographed from space on September 2. Christian Koch/NASA

NASA astronaut Christian Koch took photos of Hurricane Dorian on Monday from the International Space Station Monday.

The images show a giant white vortex over the ocean. Dorian has ground to a halt over Grand Bahama, battering the island for the past 24 hours.

Photos of Hurricane Dorian from the International Space Station.
Photos of Hurricane Dorian from the International Space Station. Christian Koch/NASA

Hundreds of cats and dogs have been welcomed by temporary foster homes in Jacksonville, Florida, as Hurricane Dorian approaches.

Jacksonville Humane Society put out a call on Saturday for "storm troopers" to step in and help evacuate its animals. In total, 140 cats and 70 dogs have been taken in.

The “Storm Troopers” program allows animals to ride out severe weather inside a warm home instead of a shelter kennel, according to their website. By Monday, the call had been answered and nearly all the animals had been placed in foster homes. A few animals that require special attention are staying at the shelter with trained staff.

"Your response to our call for help was tremendous, and we can't thank everyone enough for their generosity and support. We feel so incredibly lucky to be a part of such a kind, compassionate community," the shelter posted on Facebook.
Staff at the Jacksonville Humane Society, where hundreds of shelter dogs and cats found temporary foster homes ahead of Dorian.
Staff at the Jacksonville Humane Society, where hundreds of shelter dogs and cats found temporary foster homes ahead of Dorian. Jacksonville Humane Society