|As Hurricane Dennis approaches the Gulf Coast waves pound a pier on Pensacola Beach, Florida|
Hurricane Dennis is moving closer to the U.S. Gulf coast, with landfall expected in just a few hours.
The storm is making its way towards the shores of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi, packing winds of 217 kilometers per hour.
While the hurricane has been slowly weakening, the director of the National Hurricane Center, Max Mayfield, says it will cause extensive damage.
Authorities have urged more than a million people in the storm's path to evacuate. For those who have remained, officials are encouraging them to remain indoors.
Hurricane Dennis has already left a trail of death and destruction, killing at least 20 people in Cuba and Haiti and toppling trees and flooding streets in the Florida Keys.