Most people went to shelters as the Category 5 storm approached, with tourist hotels shutting down and residents boarded up their homes. Because the storm is predicted to be a slow mover, effects from wind, rain and storm surge - could be prolonged, lingering through the middle of next week.
Dowe said she's just hoping "everything works out better than it did a year ago".
The strongest storm ever to hit the Bahamas has pulverized houses and left countless residents homeless. "That's why there are some watches and warnings". Jupiter Inlet to the Volusia/Brevard County Line is also under a hurricane warning.
Seven hospitals - Advent Health in New Smyrna Beach in Volusia County, Cape Canaveral Hospital in Brevard County, Cleveland Clinic South in Martin County, Port St. Lucie Hospital in St. Lucie County, Samaritan Medical Center in Palm Beach County, Stuart Sebastian River Medical Center in Indian River County and Halifax Psychiatric Center North in Volusia County - were also fully evacuated.
"Today we are getting ready to send our teams down south to support Hurricane Dorian as it makes landfall", said Heather Carbajal, Disaster Program Manager.
The second-strongest Atlantic storm on record, now packing maximum sustained winds of 165 miles per hour (270 km/h), was forecast to pound Grand Bahama Island through the day before veering northwest in the next day or so. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
There will likely be further relief over the coming week: the American Red Cross says 19 million people live in areas across Florida, Georgia and SC that could be impacted by the storm in the upcoming days.
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The storm is now stalled over the island nation and is scheduled to remain there until the mid-week. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.
"We are in the midst of a historic tragedy", Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said, calling the devastation "unprecedented and extensive".
"If you're in an evacuation zone, get out NOW".
The storm is expected to barrel up the U.S.as people were to head back to work Tuesday. Isolated areas could see as much as 150 mm. The hurricane is already the most powerful storm to make landfall in the Atlantic since the 1935 Labor Day hurricane, according to the National Weather Service.
The hurricane center said "life-threatening storm surges and unsafe hurricane-force winds are expected along portions of the Florida east coast through mid-week". Follow them on Twitter as they post live updates.
Weekend traffic was light in Florida despite the many evacuation orders, unlike during the chaotic run-up to Hurricane Irma in 2017, when the unusually broad storm menaced the entire state. At this point, there is increasing confidence that Dorian will remain offshore and skim the coast. At $40 billion, it would rank just behind Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 storm that devastated much of the Gulf Coast and New Orleans, according to data compiled by Statista for Newsweek. These slight changes in movement are what forecasters need to determine in order to know where Dorian will impact.
People buy supplies at a Walmart in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on September 2, 2019.