Hurricane Dorian

The National Weather Service upgraded Hurricane Dorian to a powerful Category 5-level storm Sunday, but it also reported that Alabama will be spared from any serious weather threats as Dorian works its way along the East Coast.

That’s the good news for Alabama.

The bad news is, for those still in its path, Hurricane Dorian quickly is becoming one of the most powerful storms on record.

Alabama Emergency Management Director Brian Hastings was among those sharing awe over the storm’s power Sunday with this Tweet:

“180 mph winds with gusts up to 220 mph? This is a Historic monster CAT 5 Hurricane with a tremendous amount of energy that has not been seen in the modern era.”

The Birmingham-based office of the weather service issued a bulletin Sunday morning:

“Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian will be felt across Alabama. The system will remain too far east.”

Dorian struck the northern Bahamas on Sunday as a catastrophic Category 5 storm, its 185 mph winds ripping off roofs and tearing down power lines as hundreds hunkered in schools, churches and other shelters, the Associated Press reported on Sunday afternoon.

The second-strongest Atlantic hurricane since 1950, Dorian hit land in Elbow Cay in the Abaco Islands after authorities made last-minute pleas for those in low-lying areas to evacuate, the AP said. But officials recognized there were not many structures on higher ground on the largely flat archipelago southeast of Florida.

Costal Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas face the most immediate danger, and emergency preparedness officials are urging residents all up and down the East Coast to take precautions and prepare for the worst.

This story will update throughout the day.

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Troy Turner is editor of the Opelika-Auburn News. He previously served as the news editor in New York for the nation's second largest newspaper company, and as the senior editor at several other news entities around the nation. He is an Auburn alum.

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