(NBC News) Hurricane Dorian gained strength Wednesday night as it continued its slow crawl up the Atlantic Coast.

The Category 3 storm could make a second landfall in the Carolinas early Friday.

“North Carolina faces deadly storm surge and inland flooding. The greatest threats are to our coastal communities and their inland neighbors,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned.

At least 20 deaths are now being attributed to the storm in the Bahamas, where Dorian struck as an intensely powerful Category 5 hurricane, with sustained winds of 185 miles per hour.

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