Hurricane Dorian intensified into a risky category 5 storm as it approached the Bahamas on Sunday, expected to pound the islands with up to two days of torrential rain, high waves and damaging winds before taking aim at the US mainland.
"Everything we see is showing it getting stronger and larger", the NHC's Eric Blake warned in a briefing Sunday morning.
The NHC said "life-threatening storm surge, devastating hurricane-force winds, and heavy rains capable of life-threatening flash floods" were expected to hit the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama on Sunday.
The remnants of the offshore hurricane could still pose risks, like rip currents, high seas and gusty winds, Carr said, noting, "depending on how close it gets to us".
Dorian hit land in Elbow Cay in the Abaco Islands at 12.40pm, and then made a second landfall near Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco Island at 2pm, after authorities made last-minute pleas for those in low-lying areas to evacuate.
"The entire week we're going to be talking about this hurricane", Graham said of the slow-moving destruction.
In the center of Hurricane Dorian, the eye of the storm reveals just how powerful it is.
Communities farther north in Georgia and SC raised alert levels on Saturday, with residents filling sandbags as authorities tested infrastructure and hurricane drills.
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Hurricane Dorian is a mercurial storm, one that was meant to hit Florida but shifted course.
"A small deviation to the left of the track could bring the intense core of the hurricane its unsafe winds closer to or onto the Florida coast", the Hurricane Center wrote in its 5 pm discussion Sunday.
Tropical Storm Watches and Warnings have been issued for parts of Florida as Dorian approaches.
According to Rigby, memories of past hurricanes were still fresh - including 2005's historic storm Wilma, when it took weeks for water, food and electricity to be back to normal.
In a tweet on Sunday, Mr Trump warned Dorian was expected to hit "much" harder than expected and urged residents in its path to be careful.
The governor's office also said that tolls would be lifted in relevant areas to speed traffic if and when evacuations are ordered.
US President Donald Trump said he was monitoring Dorian. As the Hurricane Center writes: "Residents in these areas should continue to monitor the progress of Dorian".
"A small deviation to the left of the track could bring the intense core of the hurricane its risky winds closer to or onto the coast", the Hurricane Center stated.