Abaco and Grand Bahama islands, with a combined population of about 70,000, are two of the largest islands in the country.
Dorian appeared likely to get dangerously near Charleston, which is particularly vulnerable since it is located on a peninsula.
A family walks on a road after being rescued from the flood waters of Hurricane Dorian, near Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Tuesday Sept. 3, 2019.
Tracking from the National Hurricane Center placed Dorian's heart off the coast of Jacksonville, picking up speed as it moves northwest. More than 400 people were in state-operated shelters statewide, and more were expected.
A storm surge warning is in effect north of Port Canaveral to the North Carolina/Virginia border. The Outer Banks were particularly vulnerable.
"We are very anxious, especially about the barrier islands getting cut off if we have these storm surges at the same time as. the high tides", Kemp said.
But as the deadly storm was bearing down on the Bahamas, projections changed to better represent its current path: take a sharp northern turn to skirt up the eastern coastline of Florida, Georgia and The Carolinas and will eventually weaken, possibly allowing states to avoid a direct hit by the eye, where winds are the strongest.
The storm stalled over the Bahamas for two days, but is picking up speed and had a forward speed of 9 miles per hour on Wednesday.
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Dorian is now a Category 2 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of about 105 miles per hour.
Dorian is expected to produce about 3 to 6 inches of rainfall, as well.
With the threat to Florida easing and the danger shifting northward, Orlando, Florida's global airport reopened, as did Walt Disney World and Universal.
"Hurricane Dorian continues to move away from Central Florida this afternoon and the sun is breaking out from behind the clouds".
While the storm has weakened, experts warn Dorian is still expected to cause unsafe flash floods as it travels up the coast.
Rescuers trying to reach drenched and stunned victims of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas fanned out across a blasted landscape of smashed and flooded homes Wednesday, while disaster relief organizations rushed to bring in food and medicine.
Dorian has largely spared Florida the worst of its wrath, but it is forecast to make a much closer approach to the US coastline between late Wednesday and Thursday, with Georgia and the Carolinas in its path. "But we have more waves emerging off the coast of Africa". The U.S. government also dispatched urban search-and-rescue teams.
Coto reported from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Weissenstein from Nassau, Bahamas.