Last updated: Sept. 1, 2019 at 8:50P.M.
Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis calls Sunday "the worst day of my life" as Hurricane Dorian pummels the islands as the strongest Atlantic storm in 84 years.
"Many had not heeded the warning. Many have remained behind and still there are individuals within the West End area who still refuse to leave," he said at a Nassau news conference. "I can only say to them that I hope this is not the last time they will hear my voice."
Dorian is pounding Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas and Grand Bahama Island as a monstrous Category 5 storm, with top sustained winds of 295 kilometers per hour.
What makes Dorian especially dangerous is its slow speed. As of late Sunday, Dorian was crawling at just 7 kilometers per hour, slower than many people can walk. Its powerful winds and massive amount of rain – as much as 76 centimeters – have plenty of time to cause heavy damage.
Dorian now has its sights on the U.S. East Coast. Its projected path has it coming dangerously close to Florida Monday and into Tuesday.
Hurricane warnings and watches are out from north of Miami to Daytona Beach.
States of emergency have been declared in Florida, Georgia, and North and South Carolina
U.S. President Donald Trump canceled a trip to Poland to stay home to monitor the storm. He visited Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters Sunday, urging everyone in "Hurricane Dorian's path to heed all warnings and evacuation orders from local authorities."
Forecasters predict Dorian will affect much of the Atlantic Coast throughout the week, from Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia. Areas as far north as the tip of New Jersey could experience heavy rain and tropical force winds by Friday.