Parts of Florida are currently being evacuated, while Georgia and the Carolinas are bracing for wind and flooding. The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Dorian made landfall on Elbow Cay in the Abaco Islands as a Category 5 storm on Sunday with maximum sustained winds of 185 miles per hour (295 km per hour) and gusts of more than 220 mph (354 kph).
NOAA said in a statement: “This is a life-threatening situation.
“Residents in the Abacos should stay in their shelter.
“Do not venture into the eye if it passes over your location.
It made a second landfall on Great Abaco Island near Marsh Harbor.
Hurricane Dorian is currently a Category 5 hurricane (Image: GETTY)
Huge waves build in the Bahamas as the storm makes landfall (Image: GETTY)
Millions of people from Florida to North Carolina were bracing to see whether Dorian avoids a US landfall and instead heads north into the Atlantic Ocean.
The storm could bring torrential rains and damaging winds, and "a Florida landfall is still a distinct possibility," the Miami-based NHC warned.
Residents on Abaco posted video on social media showing flood waters halfway up the sides of single-family homes with parts of the roofs torn off.
Car alarms blared across the island, which was littered with twisted metal and splintered wood.
READ MORE: Hurricane Dorian NOAA 2pm update: Dorian heads towards Grand Bahama
A satellite image shows the eye of the storm seen from space (Image: NASA)
Forecasters predicted up to 30 inches (76 cm) of rain and 23-foot (7-meter) storm surges from the category 5 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale.
The pummeling was expected to last for hours as the hurricane may slow to just 1 mph, "prolonging its catastrophic effects," the NHC said.