Hurricane Dorian has regained strength and is now lashing the coast of Georgia and the Carolinas as a Category 3 storm. The National Hurricane Center said Wednesday night that the storm, which is slowly moving north, had been upgraded, with wind speeds of around 115mph, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Forecasters expect Dorian to weaken to a Category 2 storm again before possibly making landfall in North Carolina Thursday. The NOAA says "life-threatening storm surge and dangerous winds" are expected along the coasts of the Carolinas, as well as southeast Virginia and parts of the Chesapeake Bay. Heavy rain could also cause flash flooding inland. More:
- Florida "largely unscathed." Florida was largely unscathed as the storm moved away from the state Wednesday night, though storm surges caused more than 150,000 power outages statewide, the Miami Herald reports. Early predictions warned that the state could suffer a direct hit. "Thankfully, obviously, the news out of Florida is positive," Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz told reporters. "But that came at the expense of the folks in the Bahamas."
- Flooding in Charleston. Charleston County Emergency Management told CNN early Thursday that the vulnerable South Carolina city was already experiencing flooding with Dorian still 80 miles southeast. Charleston mayor John Tecklenburg told residents he wants the city to be a "ghost town" today. "Just stay put for another six or eight hours until this passes, and then we're going to clean up and get back to normal quickly," he said.
- Fears of NC storm surge. A storm surge of up to 8 feet around the North Carolina-South Carolina border combined with a high tide is expected to cause flooding, potentially affecting areas still recovering from being hit by Hurricane Florence last year, the AP reports.
- First death reported in the Carolinas. The death of an 85-year-old North Carolina man who fell off his ladder while preparing for the storm is believed to be the first storm-related death in the Carolinas, the Weather Channel reports. At least three people died during storm preparations in Florida.
- Fluctuating strength. The National Hurricane Center says hurricane conditions can be expected along the coast of the Carolinas Thursday, CBS reports. The NHC says the storm is expected to fluctuate in strength as it moves near or over the coast, "followed by slow weakening through Saturday."
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