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WILMINGTON, N.C. — Hurricane-force winds are lashing the coast of North Carolina. 

Hurricane Dorian is now centered just south of Wilmington, North Carolina, and is pounding the coast with high winds, heavy rains, storm surge and tornadoes. 

Tropical storm conditions have been reported as far as 50 miles inland, and tornado watches are in effect for eastern North Carolina.  A storm surge warning is in effect from Cape Fear, North Carolina to the Virginia coast, and tropical storm warnings are in effect along the east coast as far north as Massachusetts.  

The eye of the hurricane could make landfall over North Carolina, possibly around Cape Lookout, this morning as Dorian brushes along the coast. 

Storm-surge flooding, damaging winds and flooding rain are predicted today in eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia, with some parts seeing up to eight inches of rain. 

The hurricane should start moving away from the coast later tonight as it heads north toward the New England coast, where Dorian could create strong winds and large waves on Saturday. 

Dorian was a Category 5 hurricane when it hit the Bahamas late last week.  At least 30 people are dead and about 200 are reported missing in the Bahamas in the aftermath.  The storm devastated the islands over the weekend, and health officials expect the death toll to rise as rescue efforts continue. 

Bahamas Prime Minister Huber Minnis says the U.S. Coast Guard has been conducting rescue operations, and that both President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have pledged assistance with relief efforts.  

(PHOTO: Screencap from radar)