Hurricane Dorian: How to find information about loved ones in the Bahamas

Many were desperately seeking word from family and friends in the path of Hurricane Dorian on Monday as the devastating storm continued to pummel the Bahamas with destructive rain and wind.

While communication appeared limited in many parts of the archipelago Monday, information appeared scattered and was being disseminated on social media based on geographic location.

Some Facebook groups began appearing with users posting regular updates about the storm and information regarding the whereabouts and safety of local residents. One group, called Abaco Search | Hurricane Dorian, is solely dedicated to the search for family and friends in the Abaco Islands, located in the northern Bahamas.

Abaco Buzz, a local travel website, has also been posting updates on the search for family and friends on its Facebook page.

Other fire and rescue agencies have been updating worried loved ones on social media, including Hope Town Volunteer Fire & Rescue.

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The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Monday that the maximum sustained wind speed was most recently clocked at 155 mph, down from 165 mph. But Dorian remained a dangerous Category 4 storm, the center said.

The storm was crawling slowly west at 1 mph, with its center 30 miles east-northeast of Freeport, Grand Bahama Island and 110 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida.

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On Sunday, Dorian's maximum sustained winds reached 185 mph, with gusts up to 220 mph, tying the record for the most powerful Atlantic hurricane to ever make landfall with the 1935 Labor Day hurricane.

According to a Monday morning advisory from the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami, the storm was virtually parked over Grand Bahama island, which was in for a "prolonged period of catastrophic winds and storm surge" though the night. It also said Florida's east-central coast may see a brief tornado sometime between Monday afternoon and Monday night.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Dorian is forecast to be 40 to 50 miles off Florida, with hurricane-force wind speeds extending about 35 miles to the west.

This story was reported from Cincinnati. The Associated Press contributed.