Hurricane Dorian off South Carolina's coast, brings tropical weather to North Carolina

View The Original Article Here
Hurricane Dorian raked the Southeastern U.S. coast with howling, window-rattling winds and sideways rain Thursday, knocking out power to more than 200,000 homes and businesses as it pushed northward toward North Carolina’s dangerously exposed Outer Banks.

STAY UP-TO-DATE on Hurricane Dorian coverage: Download the ABC11 app here.

Leaving at least 20 people dead in its wake in the devastated Bahamas, Dorian made its way up the Eastern Seaboard, sweeping past Florida on Wednesday at a relatively safe distance. From there, the storm apparently grazed Georgia, then hugged the South Carolina coast with more serious effects.

At noon, the National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Dorian was located 45 miles east/southeast of Charleston, South Carolina, and 275 miles south of Raleigh. It was a Category 2 storm with 110 mph winds.

RELATED: How does Hurricane Dorian compare to Florence and Matthew?

An estimated 3 million people in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas were warned to evacuate as the storm closed in with the potential for life-threatening storm surge. Navy ships were ordered to ride it out at sea, and military aircraft were moved inland.

At least two deaths were reported on the U.S. mainland, in Florida and North Carolina, both involving men who fell while getting ready for the storm.

The National Hurricane Center’s projected track showed Dorian passing near or over the Outer Banks on Friday, lashing the thin line of islands that stick out from the U.S. coast like a boxer’s chin. Dorian was then expected to peel away from the shoreline.

Atlantic Beach residents hoping for the best but preparing for the worst

About 830,000 people were under mandatory evacuation orders on the South Carolina coast alone.

“It’s a terrible way to live,” Debbie Pagan said. “We have the whole month of September and October to go. How would you like to be living on pins and needles?”

Another Tybee islander, Sandy Cason, said: “The uncertainty and the unknown are the worst part. Just not knowing what’s going to be here when you get back.”

Along King Street in historic Charleston, South Carolina, dozens of shops and restaurants typically bustling with tourists were boarded up, plywood and corrugated metal over windows and doors, as the flood-prone downtown area braced for high water.

Mark Russell, an Army veteran who has lived in South Carolina much of his life, went to a hurricane shelter right away. As for those who hesitated to do so, he said: “If they go through it one time, maybe they’ll understand.”

RELATED: Timing Dorian’s arrival in NC

RELATED: Carriers offering free data, texting for those in storm’s path
Live: Tracking Hurricane Dorian
MORE: Here’s what you actually need to prepare for Hurricane Dorian
WATCH: Bahamas resident shows, describes conditions as Dorian pounds island nation

PREPARE FOR THE STORM
What to know about generators before a power outage
What happens to your home in hurricane-force winds?
Foods to stock up on before a storm hits

Copyright © 2019 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved – The Associated Press contributed to this report.