At 23:00 local time on Friday (03:00 GMT Saturday) Dorian was 200 miles (325km) south of Nantucket, Massachusetts, moving south-east at a speed of 25mph (41 km/h).
Dorian weakened into a Category 1 hurricane Friday, after generating tornadoes and flooding roads in North and South Carolina.
“We know we’re in for a long night and we’ll be eager to see the sunshine in the morning,” North Carolina’s Governor Roy Cooper told the Atlanta, Georgia-based cable news network, CNN.
he storm surge inundated the Outer Banks’ Ocracoke Island, cutting off power and submerging many homes and buildings, North Carolina Governor Ray Cooper told reporters.
Floodwaters came halfway up to kitchen countertops and battered fences and boardwalks, according to images on social media.
One island resident uploaded a video on social media showing people driving a speedboat down a flooded street.
“We estimate about 800 people remained on the island during the storm and have heard reports from residents who say the flooding there was catastrophic,” Cooper said.
“We’re thankful not to have reports of serious injury or death since the storm arrived.”
Dorian is expected to bring tropical storm winds to Nantucket Island and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts early on Saturday.
But it will likely spare much of the East Coast the worst of its rain and wind before making landfall in Canada’s Nova Scotia that night, the hurricane center said.
The damage was far less severe than in the Bahamas, where at least 70,000 people were in need of immediate humanitarian relief after Dorian became the most damaging storm ever to hit the island nation.
Of at least four storm-related deaths reported in the United States, three were in Orange County, Florida, during storm preparations or evacuation, the mayor’s office said.
Dorian is moving with maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers per hour.
The National Hurricane Center said early Friday “the center of Dorian will move near or over the coast of North Carolina during the next several hours.” NHC added, “The center should move to the southeast of extreme southeastern New England tonight and Saturday morning, and then across Nova Scotia late Saturday or Saturday night.
The Canadian Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane watch for all of Nova Scotia.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Dorian was moving towards Nova Scotia “in a hurry”.
“On the forecast track, the centre of Dorian should pass to the southeast of extreme southeastern New England Saturday morning, and then across Nova Scotia late Saturday,” the NHC said.
Forecasters said 10in (25 cm) of rain had fallen between Charleston in South Carolina and Wilmington, 170 miles away in North Carolina.
What is the damage to the Bahamas?
Dorian hit the Bahamas as a category five hurricane with winds reaching 185mph (298km/h). It matched the highest ever wind speed recorded at landfall, and stayed over affected areas for two days.
Officials say hundreds, possibly thousands, are still missing and the final death toll could be “staggering.”
The International Red Cross fears 45% of homes on Grand Bahama and the Abacos – some 13,000 properties – were severely damaged or destroyed.
Parts of the Bahamas received up to 35in (89cm) of rain, leaving vast areas flooded.
The island of Great Abaco is virtually uninhabitable, with bodies piled up, no water, power or food, and militias formed to prevent looting, local media report.
Aerial images over the Abacos showed mile upon mile of destruction, with roofs torn off, scattered debris, overturned cars, shipping containers and boats, and high water levels.