Hurricane Dorian: Bahamas Smashed by ‘Life-Threatening’ Storm as U.S. State Evacuations Begin

Strong winds move the palms of the palm trees at the first moment of the arrival of Hurricane Dorian in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Sunday Sept. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Hurricane Dorian smashed parts of the Bahamas overnight with devastating 165 mph maximum sustained winds — down from 185 mph earlier — leaving a path of destruction in its wake, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Storm surges in some places were raising water levels more than 20 feet above normal with overall conditions described as “life-threatening.” The following warning has been issued by the NHC:

The slow-moving, category five Dorian – the second-strongest Atlantic hurricane on record – is packing sustained winds of up to 165mph and may cause a storm surge of up to 23ft. Some locals have posted video to social media to indicate the scale of the weather system that has engulfed them:

There is no official word on casualties but the Red Cross fears some 13,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed.

The hurricane is moving slowly west, with the eastern U.S. coast now seen as an “at risk” area of concern.

The U.S. states of Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina have all declared states of emergency with evacuations underway as more updates become available:

Early Monday there was a hurricane warning in effect for Grand Bahama and the Abacos Islands in the northwestern Bahamas and also in Florida, from the Jupiter Inlet to the Brevard and Volusia county line.

Hurricane watches were in effect in Florida north of Deerfield Beach all the way to Jupiter Inlet as well as from the Brevard and Volusia county line to the mouth of the St. Mary’s River on the border with Georgia.

Heavy rains and life-threatening floods are expected in parts of the southeast and lower mid-Atlantic U.S. later this week. The storm will eventually dump up to six inches of rain in Florida through Georgia.

A coastal flood advisory was issued early Monday for South Carolina and Georgia by the National Weather Service, which warned of a high rip current. And the hurricane center warned of an “increasing likelihood” of strong winds and dangerous storm surge along the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina later this week.

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