Picture: Ramon Espinosa/AP/African News Agency (ANA)
Picture: Ramon Espinosa/AP/African News Agency (ANA)

LOOK: Hurricane Dorian pummels Bahamas

By By Gabriella Borter Time of article published Sep 2, 2019

Share this article:

Titusville, Florida - Hurricane Dorian, the

second strongest Atlantic storm on record, pounded the Bahamian

islands of Great Abaco and Grand Bahama on Sunday night and was

forecast to move dangerously close to Florida in the next two

days, US forecasters said.

Hazards for the Abaco Islands included storm surges 18 to 23

feet (5.5 to 7 metres) above normal tide levels with higher

destructive waves, the Miami-based U.S. National Hurricane

Center (NHC) said.

At 8pm (0000) GMT, the hurricane was about 150 miles (240

km) from the Florida coast, parts of which were evacuating.

Farther north, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster ordered

mandatory evacuations for parts of eight coastal counties

effective at noon (1600 GMT) on Monday.

Even a glancing blow from one of the strongest storms ever

to menace Florida could bring torrential rains and damaging

winds, the NHC said.

"On this track, the core of extremely dangerous Hurricane

Dorian will continue to pound Great Abaco and Grand Bahama

islands tonight and Monday," the NHC said. "The hurricane will

move dangerously close to the Florida east coast late Monday

through Tuesday night."

%%%twitter https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bahamas?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bahamas. The surge from #HurricaneDorian is putting the whole town of New Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay, Abaco underwater 😳 video by Chamon McIntosh #dorian #hirricane #Dorian2019 pic.twitter.com/jHBDNPK5ny

— James Wieland (@SurfnWeatherman)

%%%twitter https://twitter.com/hashtag/Dorian2019?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Dorian2019 pic.twitter.com/SikTxCXpV7

— Nature is Scary (@NatureisScary)

%%%twitter https://twitter.com/hashtag/HurricaneDorian?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HurricaneDoriandestruction in the #Bahamas(via Latrae Rahming) #Dorian #AbacoIslands #Abaco #Dorian #Hurricane #Dorian2019 pic.twitter.com/EUae98rpex

— Josh Benson (@WFLAJosh)

Dorian is forecast to remain a hurricane for the next five

days, the NHC said. Dorian made landfall on Elbow Cay in the

Abaco Islands with maximum sustained winds of 185 miles per hour

(295 kph) and gusts of more than 220 mph (354 kph). Dorian was

the strongest hurricane on record to hit the northwestern

Bahamas as a life-threatening Category 5 storm on the five-step

Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale.

Dorian was tied with Gilbert (1988), Wilma (2005) and the

1935 Labor Day hurricane for the second strongest Atlantic

hurricane on record based on maximum sustained winds. Allen in

1980 was the most powerful, with 190-mph (306-kph) winds, the

NHC said.

Julia Eaddy, 70, in Titusville, Florida, said she and her

husband had ridden out several hurricanes before and were not

fazed by the forecast. "I think it will be more of the same,"

she said.

Several gasoline stations around Titusville were closed.

Many grocery stores were open but boarded up. Inside, shelves

emptied out fast.

Like many officials in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis warned

residents against becoming complacent after forecasts began

saying on Saturday that the state might escape a direct hit.

"This storm at this magnitude could really cause massive

destruction. Do not put your life in jeopardy by staying behind

when you have a chance to get out," DeSantis said, urging people

to heed evacuation orders from county officials.

A baby sleeps inside a church that was opened up as a shelter for residents who will wait out Hurricane Dorian in Freeport on Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Sunday. Picture: Ramon Espinosa/African News Agency (ANA)

Dozens of Floridians who live in boats in marinas in Brevard

County were rushing to secure their vessels, strapping them to

docks and removing canvas coverings from decks, but some boat

residents said they wanted to ride out Dorian.

"I will not get off this boat during the hurricane for any

reason at all, save a human life," said Ned Keahey, 56. "It's

home."

Residents on Abaco posted video on social media showing

floodwaters halfway up the sides of single-family homes with

parts of the roofs torn off. Car alarms blared across the

island, which was littered with twisted metal and splintered

wood.

Forecasters predicted up to 30 inches (76 cm) of rain. The

storm was moving at just 5 mph (7 kph), on Sunday night,

prolonging a pummeling expected to last for hours, the NHC said.

Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said in a nationally

televised news conference that a "deadly storm and a monster

storm" was battering the islands. Homes there are built to

withstand winds of at least 150 mph (241 kph), but the expected

storm surge is higher than the average roof.

"This will put us to a test that we've never confronted

before," Minnis said. "This is probably the most sad and worst

day of my life to address the Bahamian people."

%%%twitter https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bahamas?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bahamas. The surge from #HurricaneDorian is putting the whole town of New Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay, Abaco underwater 😳 video by Chamon McIntosh #dorian #hirricane #Dorian2019 pic.twitter.com/jHBDNPK5ny

— James Wieland (@SurfnWeatherman)

Palm Beach County, the third most-populated county and home

to President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, was among those

with partial mandatory evacuations. Other counties announced

voluntary evacuations.

"This looks like it could be larger than all of them," Trump

said during a briefing with the Federal Emergency Management

Agency (Fema).

Fema is moving food, water and generators into the

Southeastern United States, said acting Administrator Peter

Gaynor.

Also on Sunday, a new tropical storm formed southwest of

Mexico and is expected to become a hurricane on Monday, the NHC

said. Tropical Storm Juliette was 455 miles (735 km) from

Manzanillo, Mexico, with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95

kph), the NHC said.

Reuters

Share this article: