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OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 10:45 AM PST – Mon. September 2, 2019

Hurricane Dorian prompts mass evacuations in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, as the storm makes its way towards the U.S.

This GOES-16 satellite image taken Monday, Sept. 2, 2019, at 16:40 UTC and provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), shows Hurricane Dorian, left, churning over Bahamas. Hurricane Dorian hovered over the Bahamas on Monday, pummeling the islands with a fearsome Category 4 assault that forced even rescue crews to take shelter until the onslaught passes. (NOAA via AP)

Officials reported Monday that Hurricane Dorian downgraded to a category 4 storm, but warned the public the weather conditions are still extremely dangerous.

According to the White House, President Trump issued an emergency declaration for Georgia Sunday and has ordered federal assistance to supplement local response efforts.

The president’s declaration authorizes FEMA to provide assistance for required emergency measures in 12 Georgia counties and makes additional federal aid from the agency available.

This comes as Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has ordered mandatory evacuations for several counties in the state.

Hurricane Dorian intensified yet again Sunday as it closed in on the northern Bahamas, threatening to batter islands with Category 5-strength winds.;

The National Hurricane Center said the storm is expected to move closer to Florida’s east coast Monday night. Forecasters predict the worst of the storm will hit Tuesday, and could cause flooding throughout parts of Central Florida.

Florida senator Rick Scott has advised residents not to take the risk and evacuate now. He pointed to reports saying a boy drowned in The Bahamas, adding that people can rebuild houses, but they can’t rebuild lives.

The maximum sustained winds storm had reached 185 miles per hour when it initially hit the Bahamas causing devastating damage to the island.

Scott said the state is expecting storm surges of at least 7 feet, saying if that much water comes into someone’s home, they aren’t going to survive it. He referenced Hurricane Michael which hit Florida last year, saying people didn’t leave some communities, and it cost them their lives.

He said he would rather overestimate the storm’s potential, than lose one life in the state.

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