Orlando International Airport (OIA) Halts Commercial Flights Monday at 2a

FIRST ALERT: Dorian is forecast to become a Cat 4 hurricane this weekend

Hurricane Dorian upgraded to category four storm as it slowly advances towards Florida

"The current forecast track indicates Dorian will stay out to sea, just off the coast of Florida, and may impact South Carolina", South Carolina Emergency Management Division Director Kim Stenson said.

"Looking like our great SC could get hit MUCH harder than first thought".

Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state emergency for SC at midday Saturday in anticipation of Hurricane Dorian hitting the state.

The National Hurricane Center said Friday evening that Hurricane Dorian has reached 130 miles per hour of sustained winds and is now classified as a unsafe Category 4 storm.

Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis warned that Dorian is a "dangerous storm", saying that people "who do not evacuate are placing themselves in extreme danger and can expect a catastrophic effect".

Other Category 5 storms to hit the US caused billions of dollars in damages.

The fierce winds aren't the only thing that residents and vacationers in the Bahamas, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas may have to contend with.

By Saturday afternoon, Hurricane Dorian's threat loomed large as it slowly approached from the east.

Add the unsafe storm surge, flooding rains measured in feet, tornadoes, rip-currents and devastating coastal beach erosion, Florida is under siege.

"And higher winds than Matthew. Lives can not be replaced", Minnis told a news conference, adding that 73,000 people and 21,000 homes were at risk to storm surges of up to 15 feet (4.6 meters).

Weather forecasters say predictions that powerful Hurricane Dorian will slow to a crawl over the Bahamas complicates their outlook for the United States.

The storm still holds the record for the lowest barometric pressure to hit the USA from the Atlantic Ocean.

Hurricane Dorian has strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane. Seven of those 14 storms struck Florida. "The previous decision to cease flights was made after careful consideration and out of an abundance of caution for the safety and security of the traveling public and airport employees".

"Even if there isn't a center of the storm over mainland Tuesday night ... the effects of the storm near landfall (are) still very unsafe", CNN Meteorologist Robert Shackelford said.

On Tybee Island, a Georgia coastal barrier island, authorities put out sand for sandbags to protect against possible flooding in the marshy area.

This map shows the latest forecast track of Hurricane Dorian, as of 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31.

The northwestern Bahamas also could get 10 to 25 inches of rain, the hurricane center said.

As it spins northwestward, west of the Bahamas, it is expected to get stronger, with winds possibly pushing 150 miles per hour - not far off Category 5 strength, with its wind-speed range starting at 157 miles per hour.

Horry County Council declared a state of emergency at 5 p.m. Sunday as Hurricane Dorian continues to near the East Coast, according to a news release.

Prime Minister of The Bahamas Hubert Minnis warned in a nationally televised briefing that "Hurricane Dorian is a devastating, unsafe storm approaching our islands".

Both Grand Bahama and Abaco are hubs of the Bahamas tourist industry, which plays a vital part in the island chain's economy.

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