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Strong gusts of wind and bands of heavy rain hit the Jensen Beach Causeway Park in Jensen Beach, Florida on Tuesday. Photo: Adam DelGiudice/AFP/Getty Images

Hurricane Dorian is lashing Florida's northeast coast with tropical conditions, with dangerous winds and coastal flooding reported in the state as the deadly storm heads toward the U.S.

The big picture: Dorian was downgraded to a Category 2 storm on Tuesday, but the National Hurricane Center warns that it'll remain a powerful hurricane, and it's forecast to move near or over the Carolinas' coast Thursday through Friday morning. States of emergency have been declared in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. Mandatory evacuations had been taking place in the 5 states since the weekend, affecting millions of people, per ABC News

A work crew awaits a delivery of dirt to finish fixing a water main break as the outer bands of Hurricane Dorian hit Port St. Lucie Beach, Fla. Tuesday. Photo: Adam DelGiudice/AFP/Getty Images
A boat is tossed in large waves off the Jensen Beach Causeway Park in Jensen Beach, Fla. Photo: Adam DelGiudiceAFP/Getty Images
The effects of Hurricane Dorian begin to be felt in Cocoa Beach, Fla., on Monday. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
A Highland Beach, Fla., police officer checks drivers' IDs as he only allows residents to enter the Highland Beach area in preparation for Hurricane Dorian on Monday. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
A woman seeks cover from wind, blowing sand and rain whipped up by Hurricane Dorian as she walks on the beach on Cocoa Beach. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security begins opening emergency shelters in 6 counties on Monday. Photo: GEMA/HS/Twitter
People place shutters over the windows of a store in Riviera Beach, Fla., Sunday. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Sonya Temeloski gets caught in the rain and wind in Florida on Sunday, as Dorian crawls toward the state. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
The Humane Society of the Treasure Coast boards animals in Fort Pierce, Fla., whose owners are under evacuation. Photo: Adam DelGiudice/AFP/Getty Images
An empty Fort Lauderdale International Airport arrivals hall in Florida. Photo: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

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