Hurricane Dorian Obliterates Bahamas; Slightly Weaker Heads to US Coast

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Hurricane Dorian, which slammed into The Abacos and Grand Bahama Islands pulverizing the archipelagos for more than 24 hours with Category 5 force winds leaving the Caribbean nation unrecognizable, has begun its slow crawl toward the eastern seaboard.

With limited on the ground reporting, flyovers of the atolls are showing unprecedented devastation with debris fields reminiscent of F5 tornadoes, obliterated homes ripped from their foundations, power poles and trees snapped like matchsticks, vehicles battered, flipped, and ripped apart, and much of the islands, including the airports and landing strips, underwater.


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Rescuers spent much of Post Dorian Day 1, using helicopters to ferry the injured to Nassau, Bahamas, the nation’s capital, which miraculously escape a full hit. Those who have seen The Abacos from the air are numbed by the catastrophic, widespread and shocking annihilation of the islands.

“Though Hurricane Dorian has weakened, it continues to cause destruction to Grand Bahama Island and has left a devastating impact on The Abacos,” said Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation Director General Joy Jibrilu. “Our thoughts and prayers are with our fellow Bahamians and residents in these two northern islands, especially those who have lost loved ones. We are overwhelmed by the amount of inquiries about relief efforts, and encourage everyone to go to www.bahamas.com/relief for verified ways to help,” Minister Jibrilu said in a press release.

The Bahamian Ministry of Tourism said all transportation ports on the island of Nassau are open including the Lynden Pindling International Airport. All commercial flights have been cancelled or disrupted until further notice and travelers should check with local carriers. The airport remains open and active for international aid organizations delivering much needed supplies.

Hurricane Dorian expended much of its strength with the unrelenting pounding of the Bahamas, resulting in a dramatic weakening of its power.

Leaving the Bahamas still packing Category 5 winds, the storm fell nearly immediately to a Category 2 and is not expected to pause and regain its shape and strength, or regenerate, in the warm Caribbean and coastal waters before it moves along the east coast.


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Governors of states along the east coast bracing for the potential of impact of Hurricane Dorian have issued mandatory evacuation orders including Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and in newest trajectories of the unpredictable storm a closer and possible direct hit on the North Carolina coast with the closest brush with land will be Wilmington, North Carolina before it hits the Outer Banks.


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Tropical force winds extend 175 miles from the eye of the storm and Hurricane force winds 90 miles from the center of the storm.

Residents along the eastern seaboard should expect battering, punishing pounding waves, and a storm surge of a predicted 7 foot and as high as 15 foot.

The cone of probability, although still uncertain until it actually begins to move up the coast, has Dorian sustaining Category 2 hurricane force winds as it travels up the coast.

Residents, who are not under mandatory evacuation and plan to shelter in place should be prepared for up to a week, seven days of supplies, including medicines, fresh water, cooking needs, (sternos/charcoal/outdoor supplies) food, and personal items. Expect widespread power outages.

With high tides expected to fall with the passing of the storm residents should expect a 15 foot storm surge, as well as up to 15 inches of rainfall. DO NOT drive into standing water. Expect flash floods.


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Hurricane Dorian remains a developing story. As with any hurricane, trajectories are based on computer models and depending on weather conditions, the storm could change course or strength. Take all precaution.

Bahama Status Info Update and Information*

AIRPORTS

Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) in Nassau remains open. There have been flight cancellations and travelers should contact their airlines directly for any schedule changes.

Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO) is closed.

Leonard Thompson International Airport (MHH) in Marsh Harbour, Abaco is closed.

HOTELS

Hotels in Nassau and Paradise Island remain open.

Hotels in The Abacos and Grand Bahama Island assisted in evacuation procedures prior to Hurricane Dorian's arrival.

Reservation holders should contact properties directly for complete information.

FERRY, CRUISE AND PORTS

Nassau ports are open and operating on their normal schedule, although cruise line schedules may be altered.

Bahamas Ferries have cancelled all sailings until further notice. Passengers seeking further information should call 242-323-2166.

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s Grand Celebration remains closed and has cancelled September 3 and September 5 sailings.

Grand Bahama Island’s Freeport Harbour is closed.

Each Bahamas Tourist Office (BTO) throughout the islands is equipped with a satellite phone to keep in touch with the command center in New Providence. The Ministry continues to monitor Hurricane Dorian and will provide updates at www.bahamas.com/storms. To track Hurricane Dorian, visit www.nhc.noaa.gov.

For information on Bahamas Hurricane Dorian relief efforts, please visit www.bahamas.com/relief.

*Bahama status report courtesy of The Island of the Bahamas website.

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