The Latest: Hurricane Dorian keeps pounding north Bahamas

The Latest on Hurricane Dorian (all times local):

2:10 a.m.

Hurricane Dorian has weakened slightly as it batters the northern Bahamas but the National Hurricane Center in Miami says the Category 5 storm still remains “extremely dangerous.”

As of 2 a.m. Monday, the storm had top sustained winds of 175 mph (280 kph) and was moving westward at 5 mph (7 kph). The storm is currently pounding the Bahamas‘ northernmost island, Grand Bahama, and is centered about 40 miles (65 kilometers) east of the island’s largest city, Freeport, and 125 miles (200 kilometers) east of West Palm Beach, Florida.

The hurricane is expected to continue battering Grand Bahama through Monday, before moving “dangerously close” to the Florida coast Monday night through Wednesday evening.

The hurricane center forecasts further weakening at a slow pace, but the hurricane is expected to remain “powerful” over the next few days.

———

1:25 a.m.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says catastrophic storm-surge flooding is likely occurring on the Bahamas’ northernmost island, Grand Bahama.

The 1 a.m. Monday update continued to characterize the situation created by the Category 5 Hurricane Dorian as “life-threatening.”

The hurricane’s westward movement has slightly slowed down to 5 mph (7 kph). The center of the storm remains around 45 miles (70 kilometers) east of Freeport on Grand Bahama and around 130 miles (210 kilometers) east of West Palm Beach, Florida.

Residents of the Abacos and Grand Bahama islands are still advised to remain in their shelters. Hazards of wind gusts at 200 mph (320 kph) and storm surge 18 to 23 feet (5.5 to 7 meters) above normal tide levels are forecast to “cause extreme destruction” and continue for several hours.

12:05 a.m.

Destructive winds from Hurricane Dorian are spreading across the Bahamas’ northernmost island.

The National Hurricane Center characterized the situation as “life-threatening” in a midnight Sunday statement. Residents of Grand Bahama, where the hurricane has made landfall, are encouraged not to leave their shelters when the eye of the hurricane passes over.

Residents of the Abacos, where Dorian first hit, are advised to remain in their shelters until conditions subside later Monday.

The statement warns of wind gusts at 200 mph (320 kph) and storm surge 18 to 23 feet (5.5 to 7 meters) above normal tide levels that “will cause extreme destruction.”

The center of the storm is around 45 miles (70 kilometers) east of Freeport on Grand Bahama and around 130 miles (210 kilometers) east of West Palm Beach, Florida.

———

12 a.m.

In a slow, relentless advance, a catastrophic Hurricane Dorian keeps pounding at the northern Bahamas, as one of the strongest Atlantic storms ever recorded leaves wrecked homes, shredded roofs, tumbled cars and toppled power poles in its wake.

The storm’s top sustained winds have decreased slightly to 180 mph (285 kph) while it spun along Grand Bahama island early Monday in what forecasters say will be a daylong assault. Earlier, Dorian churned over Abaco island with battering winds and surf during Sunday.

There is little information from the affected islands, though officials expect many residents to be left homeless. Most people went to shelters as the storm approached, with tourist hotels shutting down and residents boarded up their homes.

———

For AP’s complete coverage of the hurricane: https://apnews.com/Hurricanes