Hurricane and storm surge warnings are well and truly in effect for large areas along Florida’s east coast, as the formidable Hurricane Dorian stampedes its way across the Bahamas and directly into the State's path.

The hurricane, which has now been labeled as a "Catastrophic Category 5 storm," has produced the strongest and most deadly wind speeds on modern record, and up to 1.5 million east coast residents could be facing an emergency evacuation in the next couple of days.

As well as the devastation that it's having on residents, the hurricane is also leaving hundreds of dogs abandoned and terrified. But one woman has been trying to change that by sheltering ninety-seven stray dogs in her home to protect them as the hurricane tears through the country.

 

Hurricane Dorian has become one of the modern world's most formidable storms.

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Dorian initially developed from a tropical wave in the Central Atlantic on August twenty-fourth last week. Since then, however, it has grown into an extremely powerful tropical cyclone and is currently causing widespread flooding and destruction to the Bahamas.

It has been categorized as a Category 5 hurricane.

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But what exactly is a Category 5 hurricane? Well, even our president doesn't quite know the answer to that. President Trump unbelievably revealed his confusion over the storm, despite 4 of them having threatened the U.S. during his presidency.

Trump announced his confusion at a briefing with officials at FEMA's headquarters in Washington, DC.

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"We don't even know what's coming at us. All we know is it's possibly the biggest. I have - I'm not sure that I've ever even heard of a Category 5. I knew it existed. And I've seen some Category 4's - you don't even see them that much. "But a Category 5 is something that - I don't know that I've ever even heard the term other than I know it's there. That's the ultimate, and that's what we have, unfortunately."

It turns out that a Category 5 hurricane is the deadliest of them all.

For your information, and the president's, the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale classifies hurricanes by the intensity of their sustained winds. Category 5 is the highest classification on the scale, and only storms of wind gusts of at least 156 mph can be classed in this category.

In just a week, Dorian has caused destruction on an unprecedented level.

Being a Category 5 hurricane, Dorian has gathered up wind gusts of up to 200 mph across the Carribean - more powerful than any other type of hurricane in existence.

The Bahamas has taken a true battering from the storm.

The storm first hit Abacos as a Category 2 storm but has gradually moved across the Bahamas, all while being bumped up to Category 4 by The National Hurricane Center in mere days. And the damage is staggering. Roofs have been ripped off, cars overturned, and power lines pulled from the ground as thousands of people sheltered in schools, churches, and hurricane shelters. It has now come to a standstill over Grand Bahama Island, but is expected to move onwards today.

And, now, the storm is threatening the United States.

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Quite worrying considering our president doesn't have a clue what it is, don't you think? Hurricane Dorian is stampeding right towards the path of Florida's peninsula, and we should soon know whether the state is dealt a powerful blow or a less intense scrape.

The storm is traveling directly into Florida's path.

via: Washington Post

“Although it remains uncertain just how close the eye of Dorian will get to the Florida east coast, the threat of damaging winds and life-threatening storm surge remains high," the National Weather Service office in Melbourne wrote. “There will be considerable impacts and damage to coastal areas, with at least some effects felt inland as well!"

Residents are bracing themselves.

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Serious storm effects are likely in coastal Georgia and the Carolinas in the middle and latter half of the week as Dorian picks up speed and heads north.

Florida is now in an official state of emergency.

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President Trump on Friday approved an emergency declaration for Florida and "ordered Federal assistance to supplement State, tribal, and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from Hurricane Dorian," the White House has said.

An evacuation is imminent.

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Roughly 540,000 people live on the state’s 100-mile coast. Areas that are facing evacuation include parts of Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Glynn, Liberty, and McIntosh counties. It is estimated that up to 1.5 million people could be ordered to flee the U.S. coastline in the next couple of days.

And Floridians have been told to prepare for 7 potential days without power.

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Gov. Ron DeSantis has urged residents to “make preparations" for a 7-day power outage after issuing a state of emergency for all sixty-seven counties.

DeSantis predicts that the storm could be catastrophic.

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“I think a lot of Floridians are heeding the advice because they see that the storm could be really powerful, potentially a major impact," DeSantis told Fox News. He also said that Florida has millions of gallons of water for distribution and FEMA is prepared to distribute water as well.

Preparations are well and truly underway.

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And big companies are working hard in order to prepare Flordia for the impact of the storm. “We’re also working with companies like Publix and Walmart to get those shelves restocked because we know that’s important," DeSantis said.

While residents can prepare, the same can't always be said for their pets.

Many dogs are left lost, abandoned, and terrified as the storm tears through the Bahamas.

But one Bahamas resident has stepped in...

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Chella Phillips has provided shelter to a staggering ninety-seven dogs in New Providence to protect them from the vicious storm.

She runs a non-profit named "The Voiceless Dogs of Nassau, Bahamas."

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Her organization, which she runs without any government funding, aims to send local dogs to adoption and rescue agencies in the United States.

Over the years, she's cared for a staggering number of dogs.

via: Facebook

Through her non-profit, she has cared for almost one-thousand homeless dogs on the island.

And with hurricane Dorian ripping through the Bahamas, Phillips has stepped in.

via: Facebook // Chella Phillips

So many dogs are heartbreakingly left behind during natural disasters, but with people like Chella Phillips, many of them have a second chance. Her home is now full to the brim with nearly one hundred homeless pooches.

Phillips has shared several photos and updates on the dogs in her home.

via: Facebook // Chella Phillips

In a viral Facebook post, the dog lover wrote: "97 dogs are inside my house and 79 of them are inside my master bedroom." "We have barricaded the refuge and nobody is outside, the music is playing in all directions of the house and the AC is blowing for them."

People have been donating crates for the stray dogs residing in Phillips' home.

via: Facebook // Chella Phillips

Many of the dogs that Phillips is housing have come to her terrified or ill, meaning crates are essential for their care. "I managed to bring some less fortunate ones and I really appreciate some of you donating for crates.. I really needed it for the scared ones and the sick ones. so Thank you! "We may not get hit as hard as other islands and the saddest part is that after the hurricane leave the Bahamas, some islands will take a long time to recover. Each island has an abundance of homeless dogs, my heart is so broken for the ones without a place to hide a CAT 5 monster and only God can protect them now."

Surprisingly, Phillips says that all the dogs get along.

via: Facebook // Chella Phillips

"For all the ones asking.. yes.. everyone here gets along and welcome the newcomers with tail wags cause they know they are their brothers and sisters in suffering on the streets," she wrote.

Sadly, the storm has started to sweep through Phillips' refuge.

Despite her best efforts, she can't keep the rainwater away from the refuge. "Not even 3 pumps could contain the rain from washing us inside and after an hour all 3 pumps reheated and burned down and we have been outside with buckets fighting a losing battle..." She also currently has no service which means "no more cartoons for the sick dogs" until she can purchase new ones.

But she assured everyone that, despite a "stressful" night, she and the dogs are okay.

via: Facebook // Chella Phillips

"I pray for the other islands who have unimaginable damages and I don't see how any dogs or any living being could have survived outside. My heart goes out to them." She continued: "Thank you for the outpouring support and heartfelt prayers from so many people that don't even know us, my post from yesterday went viral and total strangers are reaching out to us giving us the exposure that we need so bad..."

The Bahamas continue to struggle on.

But, with the ferocious winds and deadly floods, the death toll is heartbreakingly expected to rise and rise within the next week. We can only hope that Florida doesn’t face the same fate.