PENSACOLA, Fla., July 10 (UPI) -- Powerful Hurricane Dennis gained strength overnight and is on course to cause major devastation along the U.S. Gulf Coast Sunday.
At 6 a.m. EDT, the National Weather Service reported the Category 4 hurricane had maximum sustained winds of 145 mph and was moving north-northwest near 15 mph.
The eye was about 245 miles southeast of Biloxi, Miss. and Dennis was expected to hit the Mississippi coast between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. CNN reported.
Nearly 1.4 million people were ordered to evacuate ahead of Dennis' landfall. The federal government estimated 10 million people could be in the path of the storm which will cause major flooding well inland.
Dennis caused death and destruction during its pass through the Caribbean and minor damage when it bypassed Key West, Fla., Saturday, flooding streets and knocking out power to more than 200,000 homes and businesses in Southern Florida.
The storm caused tornadoes in the Tampa Bay area and more are expected Sunday.
Dennis is following a path similar to Hurricane Ivan, which killed 29 people in the Florida Panhandle in September.