Though Hurricane Dorian has dropped in strength to a Category 3 storm and has stalled over the Bahamas, airports along the US East Coast remain on alert as forecasters say the hurricane could still change direction.

Dorian was the second-strongest hurricane in the Atlantic on record and sustained winds of up to 175mph as it battered the north-western Bahamas on Sunday and Monday. Reports say there is widespread damage to properties on the islands along with severe flooding, with at least five people reported dead in the Abaco Islands.

The storm is currently stalled over the northern Bahamas, but forecasters warn it could still turn north, meaning Dorian could still rake the US East Coast.

As of last night, at least seven airports in the Bahamas and Florida remained closed, and travellers due to fly to eastern parts US have been warned of possible disruption throughout this week.

Several carriers – including Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines – have cancelled flights, while American Airlines and United Airlines say they will update passengers on the status of services from airports in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina in due course.

Travellers are advised to continue to monitor the situation and check the status of their flights with their airlines. They should also follow any evacuation orders and other advice issued by local governments in affected areas.

Last year, the US East Coast was battered by two huge storms – Hurricane Florence in September and Hurricane Michael in October – while in 2017 the area was affected by Hurricane Irma, which devastated parts of the Caribbean before reaching the US. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued travel advice with links to specific advisories for each state.

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