Hurricane Dorian triggers major flooding across Bahamas

Royal Caribbean CEO visits hurricane relief effort in The Bahamas

Hurricane Dorian: Bahamas damage 'like nuclear bomb'

Dorian's winds have come down a little to 145 miles per hour but it is still a very powerful hurricane causing widespread devastation for the island of Grand Bahama. He said the company's office in Abaco island was flattened.

Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas as the second strongest Atlantic storm on record on Sunday night and inched closer to the United States, with parts of Florida evacuating and Georgia and the Carolinas bracing for wind and flooding.

Dorian is the strongest hurricane on record to hit the northwestern Bahamas as a life-threatening Category 5 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale.

For those in Hurricane Dorian's path, that's a big cause for concern.

It is moving with maximum sustained winds near 165mph (270km/h).

What's slowing Dorian down? Homes are required to have metal reinforcements for roof beams to withstand winds into the upper limits of a Category 4 hurricane, and compliance is generally tight for those who can afford it. Risks are higher in poorer neighbourhoods that have wooden homes in low-lying areas.

Forecasters said Dorian was most likely to begin pulling away from the Bahamas early Tuesday and curving to the northeast parallel to the U.S. Southeast seaboard. Now, the storm is essentially waiting for another external force before it starts moving quickly again.

"We can't make everybody happy, but we believe we can keep everyone alive", McMaster said. "There's nothing to steer it basically until Tuesday, when it starts to get a nudge", Lance Wood, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, tells TIME.

The National Hurricane Center is predicting "life-threatening" storm surge that will lift tides as high as 12 feet to 18 feet above normal levels in areas on Grand Bahama Island, where the storm spent most of the day Monday, as projected.

Hurricane Dorian is now making its way toward Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas.

Jack Pittard, a 76-year-old American who has visited the Bahamas for 40 years, also made a decision to stay put on Abaco for Dorian, which he said was his first hurricane. "Power lines are down, lamp posts are down, trees are across the street - it is very unsafe to be outdoors if you don't have to be outdoors".

Anastacia Makey, 43, far right, looks at her phone as she and her family sits on cots with other residents inside a church that was opened up as a shelter as they wait out Hurricane Dorian in Freeport on Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019.

"We are facing a hurricane that we have never seen in The Bahamas".

Now, the question remains where Dorian will hit the US, if it will hit at all. (Live update: It's looking pretty ominous outside.) A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the Orlando area as well. "It cannot be stressed enough that only a small deviation to the left of the NHC forecast could bring the core of the extremely unsafe hurricane onshore of the Florida east coast", an NHC forecaster warned in a Monday briefing. A warning means hurricane conditions are imminent, while a watch means they are possible.

Dorian was lingering over the Bahamas this morning - leaving an airport under five feet of water - but is expected to move towards the Florida coast later on Monday.

Dorian is almost stationary and looks like it might be undergoing an eye-wall replacement as it is starting to pull in some cooler waters as the storm sits over the same spot.

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