Hurricane Dorian pushes into NC, spawning tornadoes at the coast

Hurricane Dorian raked the Carolina coast with howling, window-rattling winds and sideways rain Thursday into Friday morning., spinning off tornadoes and knocking out power to more than 200,000 homes and businesses as it pushed northward toward the dangerously exposed Outer Banks.

Two deaths in North Carolina have been blamed on Hurricane Dorian. Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday that an 85-year-old Columbus County man was the first storm-related death in North Carolina. Cooper said the man fell from a ladder as he was preparing his home for the storm. On Thursday, Pamlico County Sheriff Chris Davis said a man pulling his boat out of the water in Oriental had a heart attack and died. His identity was not released.

As of 1 a.m. Friday, Dorian had weakened to a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph, a far cry from the Category 5 that mauled the Bahamas, but still dangerous. The eye of the storm was located less than 50 miles east of Wilmington.

More than 1 million people were warned to leave in the Carolinas, and a round of evacuations was ordered in coastal Virginia as the storm drew closer.

The storm was picking up speed -- a good sign -- and moving northeast at 15 mph, up 5 mph from two hours earlier.

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