Published: Wed, September 04, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

'Total devastation': Hurricane slams parts of the Bahamas

'Total devastation': Hurricane slams parts of the Bahamas

The hurricane said Dorian is expected to drift westward or west-northwestward for the next 24 hours, drawing out the effects of devastating winds and storm surge over Grand Bahama Island.

Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the Bahamas yesterday as a Category 5 major hurricane, with sustained winds of 185 miles per hour and gusts over 220 miles per hour, making it a "catastrophic" storm with "devastating winds", according to the National Hurricane Center.

Monster storm Dorian stalked across the Bahamas on Monday as surging seawater and ferocious winds sowed chaos in low-lying island communities, claiming at least one life and spurring mass evacuations on the USA east coast.

"Although gradual weakening is forecast, Dorian is expected to remain a powerful hurricane during the next couple of days", the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in a 2 p.m. EST update.

As a result, storm surge and hurricane warnings have now been extended into SC, and a hurricane watch has been issued for parts of North Carolina's coast.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp ordered evacuations in six coastal counties, including all of Savannah 150,000 residents, also effective at noon on Monday, Kemp's office said on Twitter.

Dorian is expected to remain a hurricane for the next five days and move northwest along or near the USA east coast, forecasters said.

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President Donald Trump is being briefed hourly, White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said. More than 830,000 people were under evacuation orders in Charleston and other coastal communities in SC, emergency management officials announced. He said crews were trying to airlift five to seven kidney failure patients from Abaco who had not received dialysis since Friday.

"We may not get hit as hard as other islands and the saddest part is that after the hurricane leave the Bahamas, some islands will take a long time to recover". As global warming heats up the ocean surface temperature, storms gather more energy, which can lead to greater rainfall and stronger winds as they make landfall. The first footage from overnight shows hugely powerful winds pounding the area as the eye of Dorain was still 40 miles to the east.

Ken Graham, director of the hurricane center, urged people not to bet on safety just because the forecast track had the storm a bit offshore.

Latrae Rahming, a former aide to ex-PM Perry Christie, told the BBC it was as though a tornado had swept through Marsh Harbour on the Abacos, with a surge as high as a two-storey building bringing intense flooding.

"What we are hearing lends credence to the fact that this has been a catastrophic storm and a catastrophic impact", Cochrane said. In Georgia, around 300,000 people living east of Interstate 95 have been told to evacuate. State Emergency Response Team logistics chief Eugene Buerkle said in a morning briefing that teams are continuing to move supplies and resources like generators from non-impacted western counties in the Panhandle like Leon and Liberty.

In some parts of Abaco, "you can not tell the difference as to the beginning of the street versus where the ocean begins", Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said. That equaled the Labor Day hurricane of 1935, before storms were named.

The Orlando International Airport has stated it would lift its original plans to close on Monday, September 2nd and will be continuing commercial flights until further notice.

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