Seven people have been killed and the death toll is expected to rise as about 45% of the homes on Grand Bahama and Abaco are believed to have been severely damaged or destroyed.
Weather warnings can become a little boring, but Hurricane Dorian has totally destroyed large swathes of the Bahamas.
Hurricane Dorian, which was a catastrophic category 5 when it hit Great Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands in the Bahamas, is now a strong category 2 as it has turned north-northwest towards the US mainland.
Dangerous winds, torrential rain, and coastal flooding are forecast to spread north through North and South Carolina with Hurricane Dorian already lashing the coast of Florida. Hurricane Dorian has grown in size. Tropical-storm conditions, with sustained winds of more than 39 mph, are lashing the Treasure Coast, and are expected to head north over the Space Coast Tuesday night (local time) and farther north toward Jacksonville on Wednesday.
Hurricane conditions, with sustained winds of at least 74 mph, are possible if the storm shifts westward, The Washington Post reported.
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But it’s the heart-wrenching devastation that Hurricane Dorian impacted on Great Abaco that reveals the anger of the storm.
“It’s total devastation. It’s decimated. Apocalyptic. It looks like a bomb went off,” said Lia Head-Rigby, who helps run a local hurricane relief organisation, the New York Times reports. “It’s not rebuilding something that was there; we have to start again.”
Seven people have been killed and the death toll is expected to rise. Red Cross spokesman Matthew Cochrane said more than 13,000 houses – about 45% of the homes on Grand Bahama and Abaco, were believed to have been severely damaged or destroyed. UN officials said more than 60,000 people on the hard-hit islands will need food, and the Red Cross said some 62,000 will need clean drinking water.
“What we are hearing lends credence to the fact that this has been a catastrophic storm and a catastrophic impact,” Cochrane said.
Freeport in the Grand Bahama Islands was badly hit. For 12 minutes, David Mackey, of The Bahamas Weekly, live-streamed the storm on Facebook as it hit Freeport, and has not posted an update since.
The Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said more dead are likely to be found, Nassau Guardian reported.
“It’s certainly a concern for us,” he said. “This was a crisis of epic proportions. We want to be responsible; we want to be caring.”