On Friday, the storm was expected make landfall near the South Carolina-Georgia line after shifting north of Florida, with eastern North Carolina having a 10 percent chance of tropical-storm force winds, the Charlotte Observer reported Friday.
"It is a very, very powerful hurricane", the president explained to reporters on the White House lawn.
"We don't even know what's coming at us", Trump said in reference to Hurricane Dorian during a press conference at the FEMA headquarters in Washington D.C. on Sunday.
"This is the time that the Bahamas (is) really going to have do some significant soul searching, whether you want to protect your valuables or protect yourself because this will be a life-threatening storm in the Bahamas", CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers said. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the centre, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km). Videos from residents on Great Abaco showed wind bending trees and heavy rain washing out the horizon as thigh-high water flooded an apartment complex.
Still, a major hurricane hovering just off the coast could cause serious damage.
As of 2 p.m. ET, the storm was about 185 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida. It was traveling west at 8 miles per hour according to a 5 a.m. update on Sunday from the National Hurricane Center, but slowed to 7 miles per hour as of an 11 a.m. update.
St. Lucie County authorities said they have already received a report of an attempted burglary at a vacated home, and Sheriff Ken Mascara warned would-be looters, "We are watching for this kind of activity". Caitlin Brown said. She added that eight military helicopters are on standby.
Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center expect the center of the storm to be offshore, about 40 to 50 miles off the coast of Florida Tuesday and Wednesday, with hurricane-force winds extending about 35 miles to the west.
Dorian is also the strongest hurricane in modern records for the northwestern Bahamas.
Several highways will be suspending tolls to ease the evacuation efforts, the governor said.
According to NOAA's 8am EDT (1pm BST) update, Hurricane Dorian is now a catastrophic Category 5 hurricane, the strongest category a hurricane can be.