UPDATE 9 p.m.: Dorian is a Category 4 hurricane with increasingly uncertain tracks. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center report Dorian is now moving west and will continue a slower westward motion into next week.
The National Weather Service Twitter account for Charleston, South Carolina, has asked the general public to send photos, videos and reports on Dorian. View the Twitter thread here for updates. Additionally, a live tracker can be viewed below.
UPDATE 5:15 p.m.: Dorian is now a Category 3 hurricane and forecasters expect it to continue intensifying. Twelve Georgia counties remain under a state of emergency as the storm approaches.
Hurricane Dorian is expected to turn north, though forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are not yet sure exactly when or where it will make that turn.
Hurricane Dorian is expected to make landfall as a possible Category 4 in Florida early Monday.
Ahead of the storm, facilities such as the campground at Atlanta Motor Speedway are opening for evacuees and Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency Thursday for 12 coastal counties: Brantley, Bryan, Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Pierce and Wayne.
The National Hurricane Center warns that the biggest concern will be Dorian's slow motion when it is near Florida. The storm's slowing places some areas of the state at an increasing risk of a prolonged, drawn-out event of strong winds, dangerous storm surge and heavy rainfall.
The Coast Guard Captain of the Port set port condition Whiskey for the Port of Savannah, Brunswick and all other terminals and facilities due to the expectation of sustained gale force winds generated by Hurricane Dorian. That means that though ports and facilities are currently open to all commercial traffic and all transfer operations may continue while Whiskey remains in effect, boats are encouraged to stay alert.
The Speedway, which is equipped to handle thousands of campers during its annual NASCAR weekend, will provide camping space free of charge for dry RV and tent campers in its Legends Campground. State parks will also be open for free.
Executive Vice President and General Manager Brandon Hutchison said the Speedway is uniquely suited for this type of situation and making space available for people seeking refuge from hurricanes and other natural disasters is simply the right thing to do.
"Our staff is maintaining an open line of communication with local emergency management officials to keep track of Dorian's projected path," he said. "We encourage anyone who chooses to stay at the Speedway to continue watching the storm's forecasted movement and have a plan of action should Dorian come this way."