"The reports out of Abaco as everyone knows", spokesman Quincy Parker said, pausing for a deep sigh, "were not good".
By 11 p.m. EDT Monday, the storm's top sustained winds had fallen to 130 miles per hour (220 kph), still within Category 4 range. Even a glancing blow from one of the strongest storms could bring torrential rains and damaging winds, it added.
Dorian is almost stationary and looks like it might be undergoing an eye-wall replacement as it is starting to pull in some cooler waters as the storm sits over the same spot.
It is moving with maximum sustained winds near 165mph (270km/h).
It also said Florida's east-central coast may see a brief tornado sometime between Monday afternoon and Monday night. Life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds are expected along portions of the Florida east coast through mid-week.
Disney Under Fire After Leaving Cruise Staff in Bahamas
The US National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch for Florida's East Coast from Deerfield Beach north to the Georgia state line. In a statement Virginia's Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam said the southeastern part of the state could begin to feel the effects of the storm by Thursday.
The current forecast predicts a close shave and near-miss for Florida. The video also captures a tree whipping violently in the wind as water outside sloshes against the same window.
A sailing club in Hope Town, Abaco, has been updating its website with eyewitness information and images, largely from local sources, that detail some of the devastation around the islands.
Earlier in the morning, Radio Bahamas reported that Freeport's worldwide airport was under water, along with the Regency Hotel and homes on the eastern end of Grand Bahama.
"This looks like it could be larger than all of them", Trump said during a briefing with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Sunday. He said the company's office in Abaco island was flattened.
"We ask you to continue to pray for us", he said.More news: Govt working on steps to revive auto industry
NPR's Greg Allen, based in Miami, tells NPR's Newscast that it's not just Florida residents who are keeping a close watch on Dorian.
"And with Dorian now moving very slowly, and forecast to stay offshore and move slowly up the coast, high surge, and strong waves are likely to persist over a period of days".
Evacuations ordered in Florida included 14,000 people in St. Augustine.
Based on the storm's projected path as of 8 a.m. Monday, Georgia and SC will fare the worst, with 100 percent of their beaches facing some level of dune erosion.
That White House announcement came hours before a mandatory evacuation went into effect for several counties in Georgia east of Interstate 95.
Parts of Duval County, home to Jacksonville, one of Florida's two biggest cities, were under a mandatory evacuation.More news: Javi Gracia "respects" Watford decision
The Bahamas are being hit with winds of up to 200mph and tides have risen to around 23 feet above ordinary levels, the National Hurricane Center said today.
Henfield said Abaco's government facility and a public clinic in Marsh Harbor had been turned into emergency shelter after "all of our shelters were mainly compromised". He said the president is "fully engaged" and promised to provide resources the state needs to weather Dorian. As of noon E.T., its eye was located about 25 miles east of Freeport on Grand Bahama Island and 105 miles east of West Palm Beach, Fla.
"We can't make everybody happy, but we believe we can keep everyone alive", McMaster said. Most people went to shelters as the storm approached, with tourist hotels shutting down and residents boarded up their homes.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned his state that it could see heavy rain, winds and floods later in the week. He is the first named victim of the hurricane. According to Flight Aware, an airline tracking website, more than 1,400 flights into or out of the United States have been canceled so far Monday.More news: Apple's new streaming service targets Netflix, Amazon Prime
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