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Sunday September 22nd, 2019 8:50PM

The Latest: Flooding sent island residents to attics

By The Associated Press
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on Hurricane Dorian (all times local):

10 a.m.

Ocracoke Island resident Leslie Lanier says some residents on the thin strip of land on North Carolina's coast have had to climb into their attics because of high water from Hurricane Dorian .

Lanier said via text message Friday morning that some first floors have been flooded. But she added that the water level has started to drop. Lanier owns a bookstore on the Outer Banks island. She said she's OK but "nervous and worried."

Dorian came ashore Friday morning at Cape Hatteras on North Carolina's Outer Banks.

At the start of the week, the storm slammed the Bahamas, killing at least 30 people and obliterating countless homes. From there, it swept past Florida and Georgia before sideswiping the Carolinas on Thursday with tornadoes that peeled away roofs and flipped recreational vehicles.

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10 a.m.

On Friday morning in the Bahamas, several hundred people waited behind a yellow cloth tape at the port in Grand Abaco, many of them holding small children and valuables they tried to save after Hurricane Dorian devastated the area.

Some had duffel bags piled in shopping carts while others carried tools. Some in the crowd had already placed their names on evacuation lists at shelters and arrived as early as 1 a.m., hoping for transportation to the capital of Nassau.

There were no government-organized evacuations yet, but the Royal Bahamas Defense Force was helping people board a 139-foot (42-meter) ferry that had come to pick up its employees and had room for an additional 160 people.

At least 30 people have been killed in the Bahamas and countless homes were destroyed.

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9:35 a.m.

Ocracoke Island resident Leslie Lanier says the North Carolina island in the Outer Banks is "flooding like crazy" as Hurricane Dorian rakes the Carolinas.

Lanier said by text message Friday morning that the water is in homes on the island and she expects the water to keep rising.

She said she's safe for the time being, but added that she has been on Ocracoke for 32 years and not seen anything like this. Lanier owns a bookshop on the island at the southern end of the Outer Banks. She moved books and gifts off the ground in anticipation of the storm, which made landfall Friday morning at Cape Hatteras.

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9 a.m.

Hurricane Dorian has come ashore at Cape Hatteras on North Carolina's Outer Banks, marking its first U.S. landfall since it slammed into the Bahamas days ago.

Dorian sideswiped most of the Southeast seaboard from Florida to Carolinas in recent days before its eye made landfall Friday morning.

At 9 a.m. EDT, the storm's center was moving northeast at 14 mph (22 kph).

On Thursday, Dorian raked the Carolina coast with howling winds and heavy rain, spinning off tornadoes and knocking out power to more than 200,000 homes and businesses. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Dorian is expected to accelerate as it moves off extreme southeastern New England sometime Friday night and early Saturday before a weekend approach to Nova Scotia in Canada.

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8:05 a.m.

Hurricane Dorian's center is near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, as it continues its crawl up the East Coast.

The storm's maximum sustained winds Friday morning are near 90 mph (150 kph), making it a Category 1 hurricane.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm is centered about 10 miles (15 kilometers) west-southwest of Cape Hatteras and is moving northeast near 14 mph (22 kph).

Dorian hammered the Bahamas earlier this week, killing at least 30 people. But it swept past Florida at a relatively safe distance, grazed Georgia, and then hugged the South Carolina-North Carolina coastline. At least four deaths in the Southeast have been blamed on the storm.

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6:45 a.m.

Hurricane Dorian continues to scrape the North Carolina coast just offshore, with the worst weather hitting the Outer Banks.

The storm's strong winds and heavy rains early Friday knocked out power to about 194,000 homes and businesses in North Carolina.

PowerOutage.US reports 160,000 outages remain in South Carolina after Dorian scraped that state's coast Thursday.

Authorities haven't reported any major damage, but were waiting for daylight to make a more comprehensive assessment.

The center of the storm has remained off the North Carolina coast. A weather station on Cape Lookout recorded winds of 75 mph (121 kph) as the eye of Dorian passes less than 10 miles (16 kilometers) away.

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6:38 a.m.

People who live in southeastern Virginia are beginning to lose their electricity as Dorian blows up the Atlantic Coast.

Dominion Energy reported on its website Friday that more than 7,000 people have lost power. Most of the outages are in the cities of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake. Both cities border North Carolina and are home to hundreds of thousands of people.

The city of Norfolk is also reporting outages.

Much of Virginia's Hampton Roads region is already shut down in anticipation of the storm. Schools have closed. Mass transit has stopped running. And the area's large military bases are operating with only mission-essential personnel.

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5 a.m.

The eye of Hurricane Dorian is passing just east of Cape Lookout as the Category 1 storm skirts North Carolina's coast.

Sustained, hurricane-force winds are battering the southern Outer Banks, a 200-mile-long (320-kilometer-long) chain of low-lying barrier islands and spits off North Carolina. The center of the storm is around 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Cape Lookout and 55 miles (89 kilometers) southwest of Cape Hatteras, further north in the Outer Banks.

Top sustained winds are near 90 mph (145 kph) and the storm is moving northeast at 14 mph (22 kph).

As of 5 a.m., the National Hurricane Center replaced a hurricane warning with a tropical storm warning from South Santee River to Little River Inlet in South Carolina. The storm-surge warning south of Surf City, North Carolina, has been discontinued.

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4:15 a.m.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami is reporting hurricane-force wind gusts along the southern Outer Banks of North Carolina.

A weather station at Cape Lookout on the southern end of the chain of low-lying islands recently reported a 10-minute average wind of 63 mph (101 kph), equivalent to a 1-minute sustained wind speed of 69 mph (111 kph). A wind gust of 75 mph (121 kph) was also reported, but the weather station inside the western part of Dorian's eye hasn't reported data since 3 a.m.

Dorian's center is around 15 miles (24 kilometers) south of Cape Lookout, and around 80 miles (129 kilometers) southwest of Cape Hatteras, further north on the string of barrier islands and spits.

The Category 1 storm's top sustained winds remain at 90 mph (145 kph) and the storm is still moving northeast at 14 mph (22 kph).

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3:10 a.m.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami is reporting hurricane-force winds "just offshore" Cape Lookout, part of the low-lying islands that make up North Carolina's Outer Banks.

The Category 1 storm is located around 25 miles (40 kilometers) south-southwest of Cape Lookout, and around 90 miles (145 kilometers) southwest of Cape Hatteras, further north on the string of barrier islands and spits.

Top sustained winds remain at 90 mph (145 kph) and the storm is moving northeast at 14 mph (23 kph).

The storm is expected to weaken slowly over the next few days, but will likely remain a powerful hurricane as it moves along the coast of North Carolina.

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2 a.m.

Hurricane Dorian has weakened somewhat to a Category 1 storm, but forecasters say the threat posed to the southeastern U.S. coast hasn't abated.

Dorian is currently 55 miles (89 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina, and 30 miles (48 kilometers) south-southwest of Cape Lookout, North Carolina, and moving northeast at 15 mph (24 kph). The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says that general motion is expected to continue, with an increase in speed through Saturday.

The center of the storm will move near or over the coast of North Carolina over the next several hours, before moving to the "southeast of extreme southeastern New England" on Friday night and Saturday morning and then across Nova Scotia.

A storm surge warning has been discontinued south of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, but flooding remains possible in parts of North Carolina depending on the tide and the storm's distance from the coast.

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1:40 a.m.

After triggering tornadoes in South Carolina, Hurricane Dorian is closing in for a possible direct hit Friday on North Carolina's Outer Banks, a string of low-lying islands.

On Ocracoke Island, near the southern end of the 200-mile-long (322-kilometer-long) string of barrier islands and spits, about half of the 1,000 residents have stuck around to face the storm.

Further north, Virginia was also in harm's way.

Overnight winds are expected to cause trees and branches to fall on power lines, and debris could block repair crews from accessing damaged line.

As of early Friday, Dorian was centered about 40 miles (64 kilometers) east-northeast of Wilmington, North Carolina and had weakened to a Category 1 storm. With maximum sustained winds of 90 mph (145 kph), Dorian was moving northeast at 15 mph (24 kph).

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