Hurricane Dorian started to move northward toward the U.S. Tuesday morning after stalling over the Bahamas and causing widespread devastation. Millions of people in Florida and the Southeast were anxiously watching the storm, a powerful and menacing threat sitting miles off the Florida coast.
Dorian was a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph as of 11 a.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center said. The hurricane slammed into the Bahamas as a Category 5 -- as powerful as a hurricane can get.
It unleashed massive flooding, shredding roofs, hurling cars and forcing rescue crews to take shelter. By late Monday afternoon, the storm's top sustained winds fell to 130 mph -- down from 185 mph hours earlier -- as it crept along on its path of destruction. Storm surges in some places raised water levels more than 20 feet above normal.
Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said Dorian took at least five lives on the Abaco Islands and called the storm "a historic tragedy," adding, "The devastation is unprecedented and extensive."
The hurricane center said Dorian would move "dangerously close" to the east coast of Florida late Tuesday through Wednesday evening, and evacuations were ordered for parts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
CBS News weather producer David Parkinson said four-to-seven feet of storm surge was possible all the way north through at least Charleston, South Carolina, including in Savannah, Georgia.
As of 11 a.m. ET Tuesday, Dorian's core was some 45 miles north of Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, and about 105 miles east of Fort Pierce, Florida, the center said. The storm was moving northwest at 2 mph.
The Associated Press said Dorian tied the record for the most powerful Atlantic hurricane ever to come ashore in the Bahamas, equaling the Labor Day hurricane of 1935, before storms were named.