Hurricane Dorian, now a “catastrophic” Category 5 storm, is the strongest storm ever in the northwestern Bahamas with wind speeds of 185 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said Sunday at 5 p.m.
The ever-shifting storm was scheduled to plow through Florida but has shifted course to veer over the Bahamas. It will continue to be a strong hurricane over the next few days. According to the National Hurricane Center, North Carolina is in the storm’s potential path. It is increasingly likely that North Carolina could get hit by hurricane-level winds and high storm surges along its coast.
The state’s coast could see isolated areas of up to 15 inches of rainfall this week, with general rainfall expectations of 5 to 10 inches along the coast. Residents should monitor the storm, the Center wrote.
Duke’s emergency management team is also tracking the hurricane and has been in touch with the Marine Lab, Vice President for Administration Kyle Cavanaugh wrote in an email to The Chronicle Saturday.
Raleigh has a 21% chance of seeing winds of 39-plus miles per hour from Thursday morning through Friday morning, according to the Center. There is also a 3 percent chance of eventual 58-plus mph winds, it reported.
There is still a lot of uncertainty about Dorian’s ultimate path in computer projections. Its center could make landfall in Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas or simply fade into the ocean, according to the Center’s projections. Currently, the Triangle area is projected to see 1 to 4 inches of rain.
North Carolina declared a state of emergency Friday to help farmers and relief efforts.
The growing hurricane was plowing through the Abacos Islands as of 2 p.m. Sunday and will hit Grand Bahama Island later Sunday, with storm surges currently as much as 23 feet. Wind gusts have gone as high as 220 mph, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
The storm comes after North Carolina was swamped by multiple hurricanes last year, including Category 4 Hurricane Florence. It ultimately avoided Duke's campus, but classes were canceled for several days.
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Managing Editor 2018-19, 2019-2020 Features & Investigations Editor
A member of the class of 2020 hailing from San Mateo, Calif., Ben is The Chronicle's Towerview Editor and Investigations Editor. Outside of the Chronicle, he is a public policy major working towards a journalism certificate, has interned at the Tampa Bay Times and NBC News and frequents Pitchforks.