HURRICANE Dorian has smashed into the coast of Florida after wreaking havoc on the Bahamas.
Here’s the latest on the hurricane whose winds have reached 220mph, a strength that hasn’t been seen since 1935.
What’s the latest on Hurricane Dorian?
Dorian hit Florida’s east coast – whipping up 110mph winds that prompted Disney World to close.
The Category 2 storm began creeping up the shore 95 miles off Cape Canaveral on Tuesday – having already devastated the Bahamas.
The storm is currently classified as category 3 and is currently around the North Carolina area.
The death toll from Dorian – the most powerful storm on record ever to hit the islands – has reached seven but was expected to rise amid frantic rescue efforts.
Earlier Dorian remained stuck over the Bahamas for a day, causing extensive flooding on the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama.
Walls of water lapped into the second floors of buildings, trapping people in attics and left Grand Bahama airport under six feet of water.
Dorian hit with sustained winds of 185mph and gusts up to 220mph – speeds put the storm among the most dangerous in recent history.
In Florida, Walt Disney World closed its four theme parks by mid-afternoon on Tuesday amid fears for tourist safety.
It vowed to reopen the park today, writing on its site: “We are closely monitoring the progress of the storm and are making operational adjustments as needed, because nothing is more important than the safety of our guests and cast members.”
Universal Orlando Resort also closed its theme parks early for the day because of the threat of the vicious storm.
An aerial view shows devastation after hurricane Dorian hit the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas[/caption]
Have there been any casualties?
The death toll in the Bahamas has risen to 20 as people were airlifted to the capital Freeport by the US Coast Guard, Bahamas officials said.
The hurricane claimed the life of a boy, aged seven, as its 225mph winds.
The Bahamas Press reported: “The first recorded death of Hurricane Dorian is now being confirmed.
“Seven year-old, Lachino Mcintosh, drowned after his family attempts to relocate their home. McIntosh’s sister is missing.”
The schoolboy reportedly drowned in floodwater and his sister is currently missing.
The National Hurricane Center warned of a “life-threatening situation”.
What is Hurricane Dorian?
Dorian is the fifth in 2019’s Atlantic hurricane season.
A tropical storm is a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms.
Depending on its location and strength, a tropical storm is referred to as a hurricane, typhoon, cyclone or simply a tropical storm.
The tropical storm strengthened into a hurricane as it hit the Bahamas with winds of 225mph.
A boat that ran aground on the coast at South Causeway Park in Fort Pierce, Florida after losing its mooring in the strong winds of Hurricane Dorian[/caption]
The waterfront pier of Juno Beach, Florida, United States, is hit by the strong waves[/caption]
Where has it been and where is it headed?
It is currently over North Carolina and pushing towards Florida.
US Federal Emergency Management Agency official Carlos Castillo said: “Don’t tough it out. Get out.”
But even if the storm’s epicentre doesn’t make landfall, Americans were warned storm surge would likely cause flooding up the east coast.
The US coast from north of West Palm Beach, Florida, through Georgia was expected to get up to nine inches in places.
And the Carolinas could get up to 15 inches of rain, the National Hurricane Centre said.
Across the southeastern US, motorways leading away from beaches in South Carolina and Georgia were turned into one-way evacuation routes.
Several airports announced closings, and hundreds of flights were cancelled.
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Is it safe to travel to Florida?
The UK foreign office has warned those travelling to Florida.
A statement says: ” A state of emergency has also been declared in the state.
“Life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds are possible along portions of the Florida east coast.”
States of emergency have also been declared in Carolina states and parts of Georgia.
Those travelling to the affected areas in the next few days, have been told to contact their airline and to monitor the progress of approaching storms on the US National Hurricane Center website.
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