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Hurricane Dorian batters Bahamas, coming closer to U.S.

Christian Fernsby |
Hurricane Dorian pounded the Bahamas on Monday while creeping toward the U.S. coast.

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The Bahamas Press reported on Twitter that a boy had drowned in the northern Bahamas, the first recorded fatality of one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes on record. There were no other confirmed reports of deaths or casualties.

As many as 13,000 homes in the Bahamas may have been destroyed or severely damaged, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said.

The hurricane, which was downgraded late Monday morning to Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale, was last over Grand Bahama, packing maximum sustained winds of 150 miles per hour (240 kph) and moving at 1 mph, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in an update at 2 p.m. (1800 GMT).

Dorian is expected to remain over Grand Bahama for much of the day and night.

Strong gusts and high surf were already being reported along Florida’s east coast as the hurricane was about 105 miles from West Palm Beach, the center said, adding that Dorian would come dangerously close to the state Monday night through Wednesday evening.

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