The Latest: Minnis: Many still in shelters on Grand Bahama

National News

This GOES-16, GeoColor satellite image taken Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, at 17:10 UTC and provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), shows Hurricane Dorian moving off the east coast of Florida in the Atlantic Ocean. (NOAA via AP)

FREEPORT, Bahamas (AP) — The Latest on Hurricane Dorian (all times local):

9:40 p.m.

Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis says he has visited storm-ravaged Grand Bahama, finding many people remain in shelters even though much of the flooding has eased.

Minnis spoke at a news briefing Wednesday evening and said many are suffering in Grand Bahama after it was devastated by Hurricane Dorian. He added: “We know there are many Bahamians that are in need of help. I want to assure you that more help is on the way.”

He thanked the international community for its response, especially the U.S. government for what he called their “exceptional assistance.”

Earlier this week, Dorian smashed through the northern Bahamas as the strongest hurricane ever to hit the islands, leaving at least 20 dead.

Minnis noted that several agencies and organizations have pledged aid, including $1 million each from the United Nations and from Disney Cruise Line. Meanwhile, National Security Minister Marvin Dames said food and water is being distributed to people in the neighboring Abaco islands but that more supplies will be needed soon.

___

8:45 p.m.

American Red Cross officials say that more than 1,500 people have sought refuge from Hurricane Dorian in a total of 28 shelters in the central and eastern portions of South Carolina.

In Charleston, South Carolina, meanwhile, steady rain began falling Wednesday evening as Dorian approached the Carolinas and winds began picking up. Thunder could be heard frequently and only a few cars seemed to be plying the roads connecting the western edge of downtown Charleston with areas of the city just across a river.

Forecasters say the Category 2 hurricane was centered at 8 p.m. EDT Wednesday about 130 miles (210 kilometers) south of Charleston. It has top sustained winds of 110 mph (175 kph) and is moving to the north-northwest at 8 mph (13 kph). Earlier this week, Dorian smashed through the northern Bahamas as the strongest hurricane ever to hit the islands, leaving at least 20 dead.

____

8:20 p.m.

People in the hard-hit Abaco islands say they haven’t seen any aid come in after Dorian’s onslaught, except for medical supplies for the main hospital, where hundreds are gathered to await help.

Ben Allen, a 40-year-old construction worker and maintenance man, worried about supplies of potable water running out.

“Today is the last day you’re going to find water,” said Ben Allen, a 40-year-old construction worker and maintenance man.

Earlier Wednesday, U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock disclosed that about 70,000 people “are in immediate need of life-saving assistance” on Abaco and Grand Bahama islands following Hurricane Dorian’s pummeling of the Bahamas.

Dorian smashed into the northern Bahamas earlier this week as a powerful Category 5 and Category 4 hurricane, leaving at least 20 dead.

____

8:10 p.m.

The National Hurricane Center says Dorian is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and flooding to a big swath of the U.S. coast in coming days.

Forecasters say the Category 2 hurricane was centered at 8 p.m. EDT Wednesday about 130 miles (210 kilometers) south of Charleston, South Carolina. It has top sustained winds of 110 mph (175 kph) and is moving to the north-northwest at 8 mph (13 kph).

The hurricane center in Miami says Dorian will continue to approach the South Carolina coast Wednesdy night and then move near or over the coast of the Carolinas on Thursday and Friday.

____

7:30 p.m.

Nathan May evacuated his Carolina Beach, North Carolina, home for Hurricane Florence last year. After it didn’t flood and only a few branches were knocked down, he decided he would ride out Hurricane Dorian as it trekked up the coast.

“I want to see what it is like,” said May, who moved from Arizona a few years ago. “A bunch of the neighbors are having a party and they said we will be OK. This one isn’t too strong.”

May is an electrician and has a generator ready to run his air conditioner and a few other items. He was going to wire up more things, but Dorian’s outer bands reached the North Carolina coast too quickly Wednesday afternoon.

Fran Mitteness and her husband Mo are also staying put in Carolina Beach. They left for Florence when it was a Category 4 and immediately regretted it when the storm weakened. Their regret only grew when it took weeks to get back.

Says Fran Mittenness: “This is just a Category 2. We are ready. I think we will be fine.

_____

7:15 p.m.

Bahamian Health Minister Duane Sands tells The Associated Press that the death toll from Hurricane Dorian has risen to 20 and that more fatalities are expected.

Sands said Wednesday night that 17 victims are from the Abaco islands and three from Grand Bahama. He says three of the 20 victims died after being transported to a hospital in nearby New Providence.

Sands says he’s unable to release further details at this time because the government still is working to contact family members.

The sharp jump in the death toll comes after search and rescue teams fanned out across both islands as floodwaters receded and the weather cleared. Dorian hit the Abaco islands as a catastrophic Category 5 storm on Sunday and then lashed Grand Bahama for a day and a half as a Category 4 storm, leaving widespread devastation.

____

7:05 p.m.

U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock says about 70,000 people “are in immediate need of life-saving assistance” on Abaco and Grand Bahama islands following Hurricane Dorian’s pummeling of the Bahamas.

Lowcock says the most urgent needs are water, food, shelter and accommodation.

He flew to the Bahamas on Wednesday and spoke to reporters in New York by phone from Nassau after meeting with Prime Minister Hubert Minnis.

Lowcock says he told Minnis that he was releasing $1 million from the U.N. Central Emergency Response Fund immediately to deal with these priorities as well as for medical supplies and services for Grand Bahama. He says the United Nations began gathering data Wednesday with officials in the region “so we really understand where the most vulnerable people are and what their precise needs are.”

___

7 p.m.

White House spokesman Judd Deere says President Donald Trump has offered his condolences to Prime Minister Hubert Minnis of the Bahamas for the loss of life and catastrophic destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian.

Deere says the president underscored the importance of the friendship between the United States and the Bahamas.

The president also said the United States will provide all appropriate support to the people of the Bahamas during the Bahamian government’s response to Hurricane Dorian. Both leaders agreed to continue close coordination to ensure the most efficient and effective use of humanitarian aid and disaster response efforts.

Earlier this week Dorian mauled the northern Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane, causing widespread devastation and leaving at least seven people dead. Officials say the death toll is certain to rise.

____

6:45 p.m.

The approach of Dorian has left the cobblestone streets of Savannah, Georgia’s downtown historic district largely deserted. But there are still places to find a hurricane party.

More than 30 people gathered around the bar at Pinkie Master’s Lounge on Wednesday evening, as wind gusts from the storm offshore of the Georgia coast bent the tops of trees in Savannah nearly 20 miles (32 kilometers) inland.

Co-owner Mike Warren was tending bar. He says crowds had been steady for hours. A mandatory evacuation order meant most businesses were closed and many locals had a day off work. Warren says the bar would abide by Savannah’s 9 p.m. curfew — moving up last call about 6 hours early.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Dorian is trekking up the Southeast seaboard as a Category 2 storm. Earlier this week Dorian mauled the northern Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane, causing widespread devastation and leaving at least seven people dead

___

6:35 p.m.

There were boarded up windows and empty parking lots in Wilmington, North Carolina, about 24 hours before Hurricane Dorian was forecast to sideswipe the area.

But there were plenty of open gas stations without lines and traffic heading both in and out of town.

Wilmington is used to storms. Hurricane Florence hit the area last year. Old timers struggle to keep the storms separate in their minds. At least 10 hurricanes have passed through the area in the past 25 years including the back-to-back blows of Bertha and Fran in 1996.

About 15 miles (25 kilometers) south of Wilmington, plenty of people were staying at Carolina Beach despite a mandatory evacuation for the barrier island. The few open restaurants had full parking lots.

Fran Mitteness is staying with her husband. They evacuated for Florence last year and their home three blocks from the ocean wasn’t damaged. They were frustrated when they couldn’t get back for weeks.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Dorian is trekking up the Southeast seaboard as a Category 2 storm. Earlier this week Dorian mauled the northern Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane, causing widespread devastation and leaving at least seven people dead

___

6:25 p.m.

The commander of the Navy Region Mid-Atlantic has issued an emergency evacuation order for military personnel and their dependents in five North Carolina counties as Hurricane Dorian lurked near the coast.

The order issued on Wednesday impacts Hyde, Dare, Carteret, Currituck and New Hanover counties. Specifically, it affects active duty service members and their dependents; reservists on active duty and their dependents; Department of Defense and Department of the Navy employees; and authorized escorts for a dependent or civilian employee.

Also, all naval units and activities in the state in or east of the Raleigh-Durham metropolitan area have been told to prepare for possible sustained destructive winds.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Dorian is trekking up the Southeast seaboard as a Category 2 storm. Earlier this week Dorian mauled the northern Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane, causing widespread devastation and leaving at least seven people dead

___

6:10 p.m.

The U.S. Navy has ordered ships based on Virginia’s coast to head out to sea to avoid Hurricane Dorian.

Navy spokeswoman Elizabeth Baker said by phone Wednesday that vessels docked at the world’s largest Navy base in Norfolk and other nearby installations are getting under way. Vice Admiral Andrew Lewis said in a statement that the ships will remain at sea until the threat from the storm subsides. Navy aircraft will either be secured in hangars or fly to more inland airfields.

The Navy’s order follows a similar one made by the U.S Air Force earlier Tuesday. F-22 Raptor fighter jets and T-38 Talon training planes were ordered to leave Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia. They’re going to a base outside Columbus, Ohio.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Dorian is trekking up the Southeast seaboard as a Category 2 storm. Earlier this week Dorian mauled the northern Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane, causing widespread devastation and leaving at least seven people dead.

___

6 p.m.

Forecasters say the eye of Hurricane Dorian is moving off the Georgia coast.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Dorian was centered at 6 p.m. Wednesday about 150 miles (245 kilometers) south of Charleston, South Carolina. It has top sustained winds of 110 mph (175 kph). It’s moving to the north-northwest at 8 mph (13 kph).

Earlier this week Dorian mauled the northern Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane, causing widespread devastation and leaving at least seven people dead.

____

5:45 p.m.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and his administration are urging people to heed a coastal evacuation order as Hurricane Dorian nears the state’s seaboard.

“We want everyone to leave who can,” McMaster said during a briefing Wednesday. “We know there are some who can’t or some who don’t want to for various reasons. But we’re urging people to be safe, rather than sorry.

Transportation Secretary Christy Hall says an estimated 360,000 people had evacuated the Charleston, Myrtle Beach and Beaufort-Hilton Head Island areas as of 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Authorities say any who have chosen to remain in the evacuation zone should let relatives know where they are.

___

5:25 p.m.

The congressman who represents much of South Carolina’s coast says he’s doing what he can to make sure his district is prepared as Hurricane Dorian approaches.

U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he’s spent days making sure his constituents have the information they need to stay safe. That includes manning informational phone lines and helping an area food bank. Cunningham spoke after touring the U.S. Coast Guard’s operations center in North Charleston, South Carolina.

This is the Democrat’s first hurricane season since taking office earlier this year. He plans to ride out the storm with his family in West Ashley, near downtown Charleston.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Dorian remained a Category 2 hurricane and was centered Wednesday afternoon about 150 miles south of Charleston and approaching the Carolinas. Earlier this week Dorian mauled the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm, causing widespread devastation on some of its northern islands and leaving at least seven people dead.

____

5:05 p.m.

Hurricane Dorian has strengthened a little as it tracks up the Southeast seaboard off Georgia.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Dorian’s top sustained winds are back up to 110 mph (175 kph). Dorian is a Category 2 hurricane with its eye located about 150 miles (245 kilometers) south of Charleston, South Carolina. The storm is moving to the north-northwest at 8 mph (13 kph).

Forecasters say a tropical storm warning has been issued from North Carolina and the Virginia border to Chincoteague, Virginia, and for Chesapeake Bay from Smith Point southward.

Dorian slammed into the northern Bahamas earlier this week as a Category 5 storm, the strongest hurricane on record ever to hit the islands. At least seven deaths in the Bahamas have been reported by authorities, but they leave little doubt the toll will rise further amid scenes of wide devastation on some of the islands.

____

4:55 p.m.

Authorities say a Florida man in a suburb of Orlando has died after falling from a tree while preparing for Hurricane Dorian.

Police in the suburb of Ocoee said in a statement that 56-year-old Joseph Walden died Monday evening while Dorian was roaring across the Bahamas with a projected path that might have included central Florida.

Police say Walden was sitting on a tree limb and using a chain saw to trim other limbs. One of the cut limbs broke free and struck the man, which caused him to fall to the ground. Walden was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

___

4:45 p.m.

A group of Bahamians on hurricane-ravaged Great Abaco island are awaiting help, even as cars go past and helicopters fly overhead.

Among those hoping for relief assistance is 89-year-old Sylvia Cottis, who uses a wheelchair and has an infected gash on her right knee and a leg cut by bits of glass when a window shattered during Dorian’s rampage. Her caregiver, Kathryn Cartwright, 58, says of her elderly charge: “I can’t leave her here too long.” So far, the only help they had received was from neighbors helping clear debris.

Others are in better condition. Kevie Thomas, who lives in the house beside Cottis, says she and some friends are drinking rainwater and eating small amounts of food to make supplies last. She says the hurricane was horrendous, but adds, “If you’re alive, to me that’s important. How can you be upset?”

At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas from Dorian, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

_____

4:35 p.m.

The U.S. Coast Guard is preparing boats and helicopters for any rescue operations that may be needed after Hurricane Dorian makes its way along the South Carolina coast.

Capt. John Reed said Wednesday that boats had been brought in from other Coast Guard stations along the Southeastern coast. They’ve been placed at the Charleston Area Convention Center in North Charleston.

A helicopter is stationed at Savannah, Georgia, about 100 miles (161 km) away.

Aside from being ready for water rescues, Reed says the Coast Guard is focused on keeping areas around the Port of Charleston safe so the port can reopen as quickly as possible after the storm.

In 2017, $69 billion worth of cargo moved through the port, which is a major employer and economic driver in South Carolina.

___

4:10 p.m.

Officials in South Carolina county are warning about the potential for life-threatening flooding from Hurricane Dorian.

A statement from Georgetown County says anyone who lives near the waterfront in the coastal town of Georgetown should evacuate.

The city of about 8,900 people is located on the coast north of Charleston. It’s situated along a bay and two rivers, the Great Pee Dee and the Sampit.

The county’s statement says the National Weather Service contacted officials there to warn about the combination of storm surge and high tide at Georgetown on Thursday afternoon.

Rising seas caused by the storm could add as much as 6 feet to normal high tide levels. The county says anyone who doesn’t leave may be putting themselves at risk.

___

3:40 p.m.

Utilities say Hurricane Dorian could leave hundreds of thousands without electricity in the southeastern United States as it moves up the Atlantic Coast.

Duke Energy says the slow-moving storm could cause more than 700,000 power outages in eastern regions of North Carolina and South Carolina based on current predictions.

The utility says some outages could last for several days, and problems are expected as far as 100 miles (161 kilometers) inland.

Georgia Power says about 2,800 homes and businesses are without power in coastal areas of Georgia and several thousand utility customers are in the dark in northeast Florida.

It isn’t just electricity that’s being affected. Brunswick County in coastal North Carolina is shutting off water and sewer service in advance of Dorian.

___

2:10 p.m.

Hurricane Dorian’s center is east of Jacksonville, Florida, as the storm moves parallel to the U.S. Atlantic coast.

By Wednesday afternoon, Dorian’s maximum sustained winds had decreased slightly to 105 mph (165 kph) but it remains a Category 2 hurricane.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Dorian is centered about 115 miles (185 kilometers) east of Jacksonville and is moving north-northwest near 9 mph (15 kph).

At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas from Dorian, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

___

1:35 p.m.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the United Nations is supporting rescue and relief efforts led by the Bahamas government and is part of assessment teams planning to deploy Wednesday to areas devastated by Hurricane Dorian .

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock was arriving in the Bahamas on Wednesday and is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Hubert Minnis in the capital, Nassau.

Dujarric said Guterres “remains deeply concerned for the tens of thousands of people affected in Grand Bahamas and Abaco” and sends condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the devastation.

At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas from Dorian, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

___

1:20 a.m.

Tales of survival are emerging in the Bahamas as evacuees from the Abaco Islands reach the capital in Nassau.

Londa Sawyer stepped off a helicopter with her two children and two dogs on Wednesday after being rescued from Marsh Harbor, where she says “it looks like a bomb hit.”

She says her home was completely flooded and that she and her family fled to a friend’s home where the water came up past the second floor, carrying them up to within a few feet of the ceiling. She said she and her children and the dogs were floating on a mattress for about half an hour until the water started receding.

Sawyer said there was some looting but she didn’t witness any violence.

___

1:10 p.m.

Rain from the outermost bands of Hurricane Dorian have been pelting downtown Charleston, South Carolina, where shops normally bustling with tourists are boarded up along King Street. The historic city sits on a peninsula that already floods at high tides, and the city is expecting trouble as Dorian’s storm surge tops a 10 foot high tide on Thursday.

Hundreds of people in low-lying areas are evacuating to shelters ahead of the storm, supported by Red Cross volunteers.

U.S. Army veteran Mark Russell says he went to a shelter early to avoid the rush. He doesn’t want to experience what he lived through during Hurricane Hugo, which slammed into South Carolina’s coast in 1989, killing dozens of people and causing $6 billion in damage.

___

12:45 p.m.

Pope Francis is urging prayers for victims of Hurricane Dorian , saying they’re suffering from the loss of their homes and their lives.

Francis made the appeal in brief remarks to journalists travelling aboard the papal plane to Mozambique on Wednesday at the start of a weeklong, three-nation visit to southern Africa.

Francis urged the journalists to pray for all those in the Bahamas, which suffered the most powerful storm in its history, with 185 mph (295 kph) winds and torrential rains that flooded homes, hospitals and airports and made roads impassable.

At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas from Dorian, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

___

12:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump is expressing some relief regarding Hurricane Dorian’s impact on Florida, saying “we got lucky in Florida.”

Still, his administration is bracing for significant amounts of rain and storm surge as the hurricane makes its way up the Atlantic coast.

Trump is meeting in the Oval Office with his chief of staff and leaders at the Department of Homeland Security to get the latest information about the hurricane.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds Wednesday remain near 105 mph (165 kph), making it a Category 2 hurricane.

At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

Trump says the United States is providing humanitarian support to the Bahamas.

___

12:15 p.m.

Residents of Georgia’s largest public beach are scrambling to fortify low-lying homes as Hurricane Dorian approaches.

Debbie and Tony Pagan stacked their beds and couches atop other furniture and covered their doors with plastic wrap and sandbags Wednesday morning before evacuating Tybee Island east of Savannah. Their home flooded during both Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Hurricane Irma the following year, as did hundreds of other houses on the island.

Debbie Pagan says facing their third storm in four years is alarming because it’s still relatively early in the hurricane season.

The Category 2 hurricane is moving parallel to the U.S. East coast. At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas from Dorian, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

___

12:15 p.m.

A beachgoer found a package of cocaine washed up on a Florida beach by Hurricane Dorian .

As the storm skirted Florida’s coastline Tuesday, the beachgoer found the package. Police say the package contained a kilogram of cocaine which is typically worth thousands of dollars on the street.

Melbourne city spokeswoman Cheryl Mall tells Florida Today the beachgoer spotted the cocaine while watching the rough surf Tuesday and told a nearby police officer.

The package was labeled “dinamitar,” which mean “dynamite” in Spanish. Police say the cocaine will be destroyed.

Authorities say there were reports of other bricks of cocaine possibly washing up on shore.

___

12 p.m.

North Carolina emergency officials are reporting the first death in the state related to Hurricane Dorian .

Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday that an 85-year-old man from Columbus County died from injuries when he fell off a ladder as he was trying to prepare his home for the approaching storm. The state emergency operations center didn’t have the man’s name, but a spokesman said he died Monday at a hospital in nearby Fayetteville.

Cooper warned the public at a news conference about the threat of flash flooding, storm surge and more than a foot of rainfall as Dorian arrives Thursday along the southeastern coast. The governor already has ordered evacuations on the state’s fragile barrier islands.

At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas from Dorian, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

___

11:10 a.m.

Hurricane and storm surge warnings are being extended as Hurricane Dorian crawls up a path parallel to the U.S. East Coast.

A storm surge warning is now in effect from north of Port Canaveral, Florida, up to the North Carolina-Virginia border.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds Wednesday remain near 105 mph (165 kph), making it a Category 2 hurricane. Dorian is centered about 90 miles (140 kilometers) east-northeast of Daytona Beach, Florida, and is moving north-northwest near 9 mph (15 kph).

At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas from Dorian, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

___

10:25 a.m.

Florida’s busiest airport is re-opening after being closed for more than a day because Hurricane Dorian was skirting the state’s eastern coast.

Officials say Orlando International Airport was resuming commercial operations at noon Wednesday. Flights into and out of the airport were halted Tuesday morning in anticipation of the storm.

Meanwhile, Orlando’s theme parks were back to regular operating hours, for the most part.

Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort opened for a full day on Wednesday after having closed early Tuesday. SeaWorld Orlando was re-opening mid-morning Wednesday after being closed all day Tuesday.

___

10:25 a.m.

South Carolina Department of Correction officials have decided not to evacuate a coastal prison that houses about 950 inmates, although Hurricane Dorian is projected to head toward the area by midweek.

The department tweeted Monday that staff and inmates at the Ridgeland Correctional Institution in the Jasper County evacuation zone will remain at the prison during the storm. Inmates with extra medical needs were evacuated.

The department says Ridgeland has enough supplies to last several weeks. The department says they believe Ridgeland is the safest place for staff and inmates. It says Ridgeland opened in 1995 and has never been evacuated.

The State newspaper reported an inmate previously died at Ridgeland in 2016 during Hurricane Matthew. Then-Gov. Nikki Haley said the death was “seemingly unrelated.”

___

9:05 a.m.

The U.S. Navy has ordered ships based on Virginia’s coast to head out to sea to avoid Hurricane Dorian .

Navy spokeswoman Elizabeth Baker said by phone Wednesday that vessels docked at the world’s largest Navy base in Norfolk and other nearby installations are getting underway.

Vice Admiral Andrew Lewis said in a statement Tuesday that the ships will remain at sea until the threat from the storm subsides. Navy aircraft will either be secured in hangars or fly to more inland airfields.

The Navy’s order follows a similar one made by the U.S Air Force earlier Tuesday.

F-22 Raptor fighter jets and T-38 Talon training planes were ordered to leave Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia. They’re going to the Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base outside Columbus, Ohio.

___

9:05 a.m.

Officials in Florida are expecting some beach erosion but say there have been no reports of major damage as Hurricane Dorian passed near Daytona Beach.

The National Weather Service reported a peak wind gust of 79 mph (127 kph) in New Smyrna Beach early Wednesday.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal said there were reports of seawater surging up the beach ramps in several locations. The newspaper said the Granada Bridge in Ormond Beach had reopened in both directions by 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said that as of 4 a.m., not a single 911 call had been reported.

___

8:45 a.m.

Bahamian Parliament member Iram Lewis, who is in Grand Bahama, said rescue crews are preparing to go into the island’s eastern region for the first time since Hurricane Dorian hit.

He says he fears casualties in that area and said there are a lot of medical needs overall on the island. Lewis was driving and said he observed only one gas station open with a line of about half a mile forming.

He said the government was now pulling teams together to receive goods from abroad and was organizing distribution centers as teams began to launch search-and-rescue missions now that the weather has cleared.

At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas from Dorian, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

___

8:10 a.m.

Hurricane Dorian’s center is moving parallel to Florida’s northeastern coast as it churns north-northwestward in the Atlantic.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds Wednesday morning are near 105 mph (165 kph), making it a Category 2 storm.

Dorian is centered about 95 miles (155 kilometers) east-northeast of Daytona Beach, Florida, and is moving about 8 mph (13 kph).

At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas from Dorian, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

___

8:10 a.m.

Sea turtle nests along many of Florida’s beaches are in danger of being washed out to sea as Hurricane Dorian sideswipes the Atlantic Coast.

Conservation officials urge the public not to interfere by trying to rescue any stranded hatchlings or disturbing buried nests.

Volusia County’s seat turtle habitat conservation plan manager Jennifer Winters tell the Orlando Sentinel “there’s not a lot” that can be done. She says once eggs get pulled from the sand, “they’re not going to make it.”

She says on Friday 397 sea turtle nests were recorded on Volusia County beaches. Since Saturday, 40 nests were washed out and more are expected as Dorian passes by.

Canaveral National Seashore spokeswoman Laura Henning says before closing Saturday for the storm, 12,000 nests were counted.

___

6:15 a.m.

While Hurricane Dorian moves closer to Florida, two other named storms are blowing in the Atlantic region.

Tropical Storm Fernand is in the Gulf of Mexico and closing in on the Northeast Mexican coast just south of the U.S. border, with top sustained winds near 50 mph (85 kmh) and higher gusts. The hurricane center says heavy rainfall of up to 18 inches (46 centimeters) could fall in places along Mexico’s Gulf Coast and the Sierra Madre Oriental, and could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides as the storm moves ashore Wednesday.

Tropical Storm Gabrielle, meanwhile, is far out in the Atlantic Ocean and poses no threat to land. It is expected to remain a tropical storm on a track far from North America.

___

5:00 a.m.

Tropical storm conditions continue along portions of the northeastern coast of Florida as Dorian continues to make its slow trek toward the U.S.

The National Hurricane Center says the deadly storm was centered at 5 a.m. EDT Wednesday about 90 miles (144 kilometers) east of Daytona Beach, Florida. It has top sustained winds of 105 mph (168 kph) as a Category 2 hurricane. The storm is moving north northwest at 8 mph (12 kph), tracking offshore and nearly parallel to Florida’s Atlantic shoreline.

Some weakening is expected during the next couple of days but Dorian is expected to remain a powerful hurricane.

The Miami-based weather center says a turn toward the north is forecast by Wednesday evening, followed by a turn toward the north-northeast on Thursday morning. The core of Dorian will move dangerously close to the Florida east coast and the Georgia coast through Wednesday night. The center of Dorian is forecast to move near or over the coast of South Carolina and North Carolina Thursday through Friday morning.

____

1:30 a.m.

Hurricane Dorian’s eye is passing to the east of Cape Canaveral, Florida. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the deadly storm is now about 90 miles (144 kilometers) east northeast of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Maximum sustained winds are being clocked at 110 mph (175 kph). It’s moving to the north northwest at 7 mph (11 kph).

The Miami-based weather center says a turn toward the north is forecast by Wednesday evening, followed by a turn toward the north-northeast on Thursday morning. The core of Dorian will move dangerously close to the Florida east coast and the Georgia coast through Wednesday night. The center of Dorian is forecast to move near or over the coast of South Carolina and North Carolina Thursday through Friday morning. Earlier this week Dorian pummeled parts of the Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane, leaving widespread devastation and at least seven people dead.

___

12 a.m.

Bahamians are rescuing victims of Hurricane Dorian with jet skis and a bulldozer as the U.S. Coast Guard, Britain’s Royal Navy and a handful of aid groups try to get food and medicine to survivors.

Airports are flooded and roads impassable after the most powerful storm to hit the Bahamas in recorded history parked over Abaco and Grand Bahama islands and pounded them with winds up to 185 mph (295 kph) and torrential rain before finally moving into open waters on a course toward Florida.

People on the U.S. coast are making final preparations for a storm with winds at a still-dangerous 110 mph (175 kph).

At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

___

For AP’s complete coverage of the hurricane: https://apnews.com/Hurricanes .

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.