Watch deadly hurricane in Abaco Islands as it heads for US

Cheryl Sanders
September 4, 2019

The National Hurricane Center put out a series of warnings about catastrophic wind conditions and life-threatening storm surges on Grand Bahama Island overnight and into September 2.

"It cannot be stressed enough that only a small deviation to the left of the NHC forecast could bring the core of the extremely unsafe hurricane onshore of the Florida east coast within the hurricane warning area", forecasters said Monday.

On Sunday, Dorian's maximum sustained winds reached 185 miles per hour (297 kph), with gusts up to 220 miles per hour (354 kph), tying the record for the most powerful Atlantic hurricane ever to make landfall.

Earlier, Dorian churned over Great Abaco Island with battering winds and surf during Sunday.

The storm will raise water levels by as much as 5.5 to 7 metres above normal in areas of Grand Bahama and be accompanied by large and destructive waves, the NHC said.

Some coastal areas are under a mandatory evacuation since the path of the storm is still uncertain. 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.

Dorian is the most powerful storm to hit the Bahamas since records began and will later move "dangerously close" to the USA east coast.

The governors of SC and Georgia ordered mandatory evacuations Monday along their states coastlines, and Florida authorities have ordered evacuations in vulnerable coastal areas.

In the USA hundreds of thousands of people are being evacuated from their homes in Florida, Georgia and SC amid warnings of a "life-threatening storm surge and hurricane force winds". Many have been reported missing and there has been videos circulating showing huge damage to buildings, cars and property. Parts of the northern Bahamas are in the "midst of a historic tragedy", Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said in a post on Twitter. Many beaches will be closed the next few days.

On nearby Abaco Island, Parliament member Renward Wells said he received reports of casualties but officials had not been able to confirm them.

It was grinding its way westward at a speed of one mile per hour (about 2 kph), whipping the Caribbean island with sustained winds of 240 kph (150 mph).

There were gusts of up to 225mph and up to 30 inches of rain were expected in the Bahamas where a seven-year-old boy is believed to have drowned.

Both the Abacos Islands and Grand Bahama are in the north of the Bahamas archipelago.

Dorian, though weaker, is a top-end Category 4 hurricane and will remain intense as it tracks ever closer to Florida, where hurricane warnings continue.

The US National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch for Florida's East Coast from Deerfield Beach north to the Georgia state line. Category 5 winds begin at 157 miles per hour.

A turn toward the north is forecast by late Tuesday, with a northeastward motion forecast to begin by Wednesday night, according to NOAA. The storm surge watch has been extended northward along the Georgia coast to the Savannah River. Lake Okeechobee was under a tropical storm watch.

"We don't know where it's going to hit but we have an idea, probably a little bit different than the original course", Trump said.

Other reports by iNewsToday