Dorian howled over North Carolina's Outer Banks on Friday, lashing the low-lying barrier islands as a weakened Category 1 hurricane. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association weather station at Cape Lookout, located inside the western eyewall of Dorian, reported sustained hurricane-force winds of 74mph, the National Hurricane Center reported early Friday. The agency said large and destructive waves could reach nearly to the ceilings of one-story structures along the narrow strip of land, where many year-round residents were determined to ride out the storm, the AP reports. The hurricane center said at 5am EDT that Dorian's center was expected to move near or over North Carolina's outer coast within the next several hours. Further north, Virginia was also in harm's way, and a round of evacuations was ordered there.
The hurricane hammered the Bahamas with 185mph winds, killing at least 30 people, but swept past Florida at a relatively safe distance, grazed Georgia, and then hugged the South Carolina-North Carolina coastline, leaving more than 250,000 homes and businesses without power. Dorian's winds weakened after sunset Thursday to 100mph before falling further early Friday to 90mph making it a Category 1 storm. As of early Friday, Dorian was centered about 55 miles southwest of Cape Hatteras and moving northeast at 14mph. It's expected to remain a hurricane as it sweeps up the Eastern Seaboard on Saturday, lashing the New England shore with heavy surf. At least four deaths in the Southeast have been blamed on the storm. All of them involved men who died in falls or by electrocution while trimming trees, putting up storm shutters, or otherwise getting ready for the hurricane.
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