50 Dead In Hurricane Dorian, 90 Per Cent Infrastructure Damaged In Bahamas

"Communities such as The Mudd and Pigeon Pea, where 70 percent of informal housing in Abaco existed, and where an overwhelming majority of Haitian migrants resided, has been decimated," it said in a statement.

"The Mudd is gone," said IOM's Brian Kelly, who is leading the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination team in the area.

The Haitians migrants "are in a very tough situation, just as many of the Bahamians," he said.

Some 90 percent of housing and infrastructure is damaged or destroyed on Abaco, the World Food Programme (WFP) said in a statement, reporting thousands of houses leveled, telecommunications towers down and roads blocked.

Approximately 76,000 people were affected by Dorian, the IOM said, citing official reports. Of these, thousands have been evacuated and about 860 are in emergency shelters in the capital city of Nassau.

"The rest of the people remain in the affected areas," said Vynliz Dailey, IOM assessment mission officer.

An estimated 5,000 people had been evacuated by the Bahamas, the WFP said, citing data provided by the government.

The organization said it had distributed 1,000 tarpaulin coats to serve as temporary roofs for destroyed homes in Marsh Harbour while the World Food Programme said it had passed out more than 1,500 ready-to-eat meals, after offloading 13,800 at Marsh Harbour.

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43 Dead, Search For More Bodies Continue In Hurricane-Ravaged Bahamas

MARSH HARBOUR, Bahamas: Rescue workers wearing white hazard suits continued their grim search for bodies and survivors in the hurricane-ravaged Bahamas on Monday, as relief agencies worked to deliver food and supplies over flooded roads and piles of debris.

At least 43 people died when Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas on Sept. 1, flattening homes and tossing cars and planes around like toys.

Dorian was one of the most powerful Caribbean storms on record, a Category 5 hurricane with winds of 200 miles per hour (320 kph). It rampaged over the Bahamas for nearly two days, becoming the worst disaster in the nation's history.

Large swaths of Greater Abaco Island were destroyed. Reuters journalists saw search crews using geotagging technology to mark the locations of bodies in the hard-hit Mudd section of Marsh Harbour on that island.

Thousands of people poured into the capital, Nassau, where a week after the storm shelters were straining to house evacuees from worse-hit areas. Hundreds more have fled to the United States in search of safety and resources.

The National Emergency Management Agency said late Sunday that 2,500 people had been evacuated from the archipelago's several islands, most of them from Abaco.

Shelters are housing about 1,100 people, the agency said; more are staying with friends and relatives. The agency late Sunday was asking residents whose homes were intact to open them up to people displaced by the storm.

Some 90% of the homes, buildings and infrastructure in Marsh Harbour were damaged, the World Food Programme said. Thousands of people were living in a government building, a medical center and an Anglican church that survived the storms, it said, but had little or no access to water, power and sanitary facilities.

Some 70,000 people were in need of food and shelter, the WFP estimated. Private forecasters estimated that some $3 billion in insured property was destroyed or damaged in the Caribbean.

The risk of outbreaks of diarrhea and waterborne diseases was high as drinking water may be tainted with sewage, according to the Pan American Health Organization.

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Hurricane Dorian makes landfall in North Carolina's Outer Banks with strong winds, rain and storm surges

Wilmington, North Carolina (CNN)Hurricane Dorian is causing serious flooding in North Carolina's Outer Banks, officials say, on a morning when the Category 1 storm made landfall over some of those barrier islands.

The storm made landfall at 8:35 a.m. Friday over Cape Hatteras with maximum sustained winds near 90 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
 
Flooding is at "historic levels" on nearby Ocracoke Island, and the water is expected to rise rapidly in Hatteras Friday morning, the Dare County emergency management office said.
 
Friday should be the last day Dorian inflicts serious damage in the United States, after it devastated the northern Bahamas and pounded parts of the US southeast coast.
 
 
It should move off the US coast as it travels northeast, eventually delivering rain and tropical-storm-force winds in the mid-Atlantic states Friday and extreme southeastern Massachusetts late Friday or early Saturday, the hurricane center said.
 
Since Thursday, Dorian has flooded parts of the Carolinas and spawned a number of tornadoes, as well as lashed Virginia with winds and rain. More than 415,000 people were without electricity service Friday morning in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, according to poweroutage.us.
 
Parts of North Carolina may receive up to 8 more inches of rain Friday, for two-day totals up to 15 inches, forecasters said.
 

'We don't need people leaving their homes'

Earlier in the week, Dorian flattened homes and wiped out neighborhoods in the Bahamas, leaving at least 30 people dead. It then closed in on the southeastern coast of the United States, where five deaths have been blamed on the storm so far.

Dorian makes landfall over Cape Hatteras on Friday morning.
 
 
"Dorian has North Carolina in its sights," Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday. "We need people to hunker down and stay safe. We don't need people leaving their homes."
 
Waves pound the Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier in Emerald Isle, N.C.,as Hurricane Dorian moves north off the coast.

A series of watches and warnings

The storm surge began late Thursday night along the North Carolina and southeast Virginia coasts.

A hurricane warning is in effect from Surf City, North Carolina, to the North Carolina/Virginia state line.
 
Thursday, nearly two dozen tornadoes were reported from the outer bands of Dorian. They toppled mobile homes and left debris strewn for acres.
 
Emerald Isle town employees work to clear the road after a tornado hit Emerald Isle N.C.
Tornadoes are common in the thunderstorm bands of hurricanes and tropical storms.
 

Tornadoes along the coast

North Carolina resident Byron Cox was in his mobile home in Emerald Isle when the tornado approached Thursday. His home was still standing, but his father's was destroyed, he saidy.

"I remember hearing a loud noise. The next thing I know, the trailer started shaking. ... It shook probably 10-15 seconds, real hard," Cox, 37, said Thursday.
"All of a sudden I didn't feel it (any) more. I looked outside, and the tornado ... (was) going through the back. ... Debris flying everywhere. Never saw anything like this in my entire life."
 
The tornadoes extended into South Carolina, where firefighters say one damaged an unspecified number of vehicles and buildings in North Myrtle Beach.
 
Wayne White captured video of the funnel cloud there. He said he was checking on some properties he manages when he saw it.
 
"I saw the circular clouds and was going to take a little video, and the funnel came out of nowhere," he tweeted.
 

South Carolina turns to recovery

Charleston's mayor says that efforts to recover begin Friday.

Dorian brings flooding to Charleston.
"Yes, today was Dorian Day in Charleston, and I am happy to bid him farewell," Mayor John Tecklenburg said Thursday. "To the hundreds of officials, and the outstanding citizens of Charleston, thank you. Tomorrow, we all unite as Team Charleston to recover."
 
Authorities in Charleston are working to address power outages, downed trees and flooded roadways.
 
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Hurricane Dorian whips Charleston and spawns tornadoes in the Carolinas

CNN)Hurricane Dorian's eyewall was just off South Carolina's coast late Thursday morning as the storm flooded Charleston's streets, spawned tornadoes in two states and threatened a whole day of fierce weather along the Carolinas' shores.

Dorian, a high-end Category 2 storm with sustained winds up to 110 mph, was centered over the ocean some 45 miles off Charleston by noon ET Thursday, looking like it would move along the coast.
 
The eyewall -- containing the storm's strongest winds -- is expected to move somewhere over the Carolinas' coast later Thursday, even if the storm's center doesn't technically make landfall.
 
Rain was pummeling coastal areas including Charleston on Thursday morning, flooding streets around the city. Up to 15 inches of rain could fall in Charleston, forecasters say, and storm surge could send 5 to 8 feet of water ashore, especially during the afternoon's high tide.
"Water's starting to rise and it's actually coming up to some houses in the area," storm chaser Aaron Jayjack told CNN from Charleston in the morning.
Karen Moran also said in a video she recorded from an elevated floor that the water was rising.
More than 241,000 homes and businesses were reported without power late Thursday morning in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

Streets of Charleston were flooding on Thursday morning.Streets of Charleston were flooding on Thursday morning.

Tornadoes reported along the Carolinas' coast

Several tornadoes or possible tornadoes were being reported in parts of the Carolinas Thursday morning, including a twister that the National Weather Service says left a trail of destruction in Emerald Isle, North Carolina.

Pictures shared by the weather service show mobile homes toppled, some torn apart, with debris strewn around the area.
Tornadoes are common in the thunderstorm bands of hurricanes and tropical storms, especially in the right-front quadrant of the system. The tornadoes tend to be short-lived and may come with little, if any, warning.
North of Wilmington, a tornado passed a fire station Thursday in video tweeted by the National Weather Service.
About 40 miles southwest of Wilmington, parts of several homes' roofs and siding were ripped off Thursday morning, the winds scattering debris across lawns, photos shared by the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office showed.
It wasn't immediately clear whether a tornado caused that damage, located in the The Farm housing development near the town of Carolina Shores.
 
https://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190905101325-the-farm-housing-development-damage-carolina-shores-north-carolina-exlarge-169.jpg
Pieces of roofs and siding were torn off homes Thursday morning in Carolina Shores, North Carolina, about 40 miles southwest of Wilmington.
 
In South Carolina, firefighters say an apparent tornado damaged an unspecified number of vehicles and buildings in North Myrtle Beach.
Wayne White captured video of the funnel cloud there. He said he was checking on some properties he manages when he saw it.
"I saw the circular clouds and was going to take a little video, and the funnel came out of nowhere," he tweeted.
 

'Just stay put ... until this passes,' mayor says

More than 1 million people in parts of South Carolina and North Carolina are under mandatory evacuation orders, forecasters said.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency, and the hurricane center warned of "life-threatening storm surge and dangerous winds, regardless of the exact track of Dorian's center."
As conditions began to deteriorate in Charleston early Thursday, emergency management officials requested that people who remained shelter in place, the Charleston Police Department said on Twitter.
 
https://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190905070912-dorian-forecast-track-20190905-5a-exlarge-169.jpg
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said this week he wanted the city to be a "ghost town" during the storm.
"Just stay put for another six or eight hours until this passes, and then we're going to clean up and get back to normal quickly," Tecklenburg told CNN's John Berman.

Hurricane warning extends to Carolina-Virginia border

A hurricane warning is in effect from north of the Savannah River up to the North Carolina-Virginia border -- meaning people in those areas are expected to experience hurricane conditions (with winds of at least 74 mph) at some point.

Dorian's approach to the US comes days after it devastated parts of the northwestern Bahamas.

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Hurricane Dorian latest: 7 killed in Bahamas, 1 dead in North Carolina as storm moves north

Hurricane Dorian has killed at least seven in the Bahamas, as well as an elderly man in North Carolina, as the storm looms over the Southeast coast.

Dorian, a Category 2, is churning next to northeast Florida and might make landfall as it inches closer to the Carolinas -- and South Carolina's governor is warning that "time to get out is running out."

Devastation in the Bahamas

Dorian first slammed into the Bahamas on Sunday afternoon as a Category 5, the strongest Atlantic hurricane landfall on record.

PHOTO: Photo taken from a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew in the Bahamas, Sept. 2, 2019.U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater / Photo taken from a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew in the Bahamas, Sept. 2, 2019.

At least seven people were killed on the Abaco Islands in the northern Bahamas, where the storm made landfall.

"We can expect more deaths to be recorded," Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis told reporters Tuesday. "Our priority at this time is search, rescue and recovery."

PHOTO: A family is escorted to a safe zone after they were rescued as Hurricane Dorian continues to rain in Freeport, Bahamas, Sept. 3, 2019.Ramon Espinosa / APA family is escorted to a safe zone after they were rescued as Hurricane Dorian continues to rain in Freeport, Bahamas, Sept. 3, 2019 more +

Volunteers rescue several families that arrived on small boats, from the rising waters of Hurricane Dorian, near the Causarina bridge in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. The storm’s punishing winds and muddy brown floodwaters The Associated Press / Volunteers rescue several families that arrived on small boats, from the rising waters of Hurricane Dorian, near the Causarina bridge in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. The storm’s punishing winds and muddy brown floodwaters more +

The storm hovered over the archipelago's northern islands for nearly two days, leveling dozens of buildings, flooding roads and submerging an airport.

Theo Neilly, the Bahamas consul general to the United States, said the greatest need is for water, non-perishable food, generators, tents and tarp poles.

"We're receiving supplies and we're looking for people who can assist with shipping," Neilly told ABC News on Tuesday.

This aerial photo provided by Medic Corps, shows the destruction brought by Hurricane Dorian on Man-o-War Cay, Bahamas, Tuesday, Sept.3, 2019. Relief officials reported scenes of utter ruin in parts of the Bahamas and rushed to deal with an unfoldingThe Associated Press / This aerial photo provided by Medic Corps, shows the destruction brought by Hurricane Dorian on Man-o-War Cay, Bahamas, Tuesday, Sept.3, 2019. Relief officials reported scenes of utter ruin in parts of the Bahamas and rushed to deal with an unfolding more +

The British Royal Navy was expected to deliver food to the hard-hit Abaco Islands Tuesday night, according to the Bahamian prime minister. The U.S. Department of State said it's providing humanitarian assistance, and the U.S. Coast Guard said it's rescued 61 people.

'Time to get out is running out'

Dorian is now hovering just off the coast of Florida and southern Georgia, pummeling the Sunshine State to Savannah to South Carolina with rain.

A hurricane warning is in effect for the entire South Carolina and North Carolina coastline, where a dangerous storm surge of up to 8 feet is expected. A tropical storm watch even extends into southern Virginia.

One storm-related death already struck North Carolina. An 85-year-old man fell off a ladder while preparing his Columbus County home for Dorian, Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday.

As Dorian loomed, evacuations were ordered from Florida's east coast to North Carolina's Outer Banks.

PHOTO: Coreyanna Moore and Madison Moore of Charleston add Dorians name to their hurricane defenses ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Dorian in Charleston, S.C., Sept. 4, 2019.Randall Hill/Reuters / Coreyanna Moore and Madison Moore of Charleston add Dorian's name to their hurricane defenses ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Dorian in Charleston, S.C., Sept. 4, 2019.more +

Kevin McAleenan, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, told Univision that undocumented immigrants should not "worry about immigration enforcement during the storm -- worry about staying safe."

"There will be no routine immigration enforcement during this storm or in the immediate aftermath of this storm," McAleenan said.

Melbourne Beach, Florida, resident Nancy Whiting lives in an evacuation area, but she opted to ride out the storm in her home -- the same as she did for Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Hurricane Irma in 2017 -- to address leaks right as they hit.

"A lot of the neighbors stayed back. They tend to hunker down, just ride out the storm. They've been through a lot of these before," Whiting told ABC News. "This is what happens in Florida you stay and protect your property and help our your neighbors."

But officials are urging those in evacuation zones to flee the coast immediately.

"If you are still in an evacuation zone you still have time to get out -- but time to get out is running out," South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said Wednesday.

PHOTO: An ABC News weather map shows the radar and current wind gusts for Hurricane Dorian, Sept. 4, 2019.ABC News / An ABC News weather map shows the radar and current wind gusts for Hurricane Dorian, Sept. 4, 2019.

"It's the water that kills people," McMaster warned, "and it's clear that we're going to have a lot of water."

Storm surge will push the water inland into the marshes and the rivers, he said, and at the same time the rain could reach 15 inches, creating "a collision of water" along the coast.

Although for some, evacuating isn't an option. Frances Eason's husband, David, is spending the hurricane in a Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, hospital.

"We went through [Hurricane] Hugo in 1989 and we went through Florence last October and several in between," Frances Eason told ABC News. "We fared well through it all."

"I think we're safe here," she said.

For coastal residents who choose not to evacuate, Gov. McMaster recommends staying indoors in an interior room and away from windows and glass doors, closing the curtains and blinds, and securing important personal documents.

And even if there's a lull, don't go outside, McMaster warned -- because that could be the eye of the hurricane.

Dorian's path

PHOTO: A weather map from ABC News shows the forecast track for Hurricane Dorian.ABC News / A weather map from ABC News shows the forecast track for Hurricane Dorian.

Dorian is forecast to pass Savannah, Georgia, overnight Wednesday into Thursday, bringing powerful 92 mph wind gusts.

The storm will then come close to Charleston, South Carolina, Thursday morning.

Authorities in Charleston are urging the residents who chose not to evacuate to stay off the roads; authorities say during a storm last year, 40 people were rescues from flooded cars.

From Charleston, the storm will approach North Carolina's coast. Dorian could possibly make landfall in Wilmington Thursday night or make landfall on the state's barrier islands, the Outer Banks, early Friday morning as a Category 2 hurricane.

Dorian is expected to head out to sea by Friday evening.

 

 

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Storm Chaser's Harrowing Story As Hurricane Dorian Slams The Bahamas

Hurricane Dorian has claimed seven lives, but government officials expect the toll to rise much higher. It could define the Bahamas for decades.

Josh Morgerman recorded the storm's menacing progress by the minute.

At 8:17 on Sunday morning, he said the wind gusts were getting scary at the schoolhouse in Marsh Harbor on the Bahamas' Great Abaco Island, where he was hunkered down, waiting for one of the most destructive hurricanes in the islands' history to make landfall.

"I feel like a rocket is about to take off," he wrote to his 80,000 Twitter followers, amassed during his long career as a tempest chaser known for capturing harrowing eyewitness video.

"This is gonna get ugly."

As the potent storm known as Dorian closed in, Morgerman prepared to be cut off from the internet, from the rest of the world: "This is possibly the last you'll hear from me for a long while," he warned on his Twitter account, @iCyclone.

At 11:15 a.m., Morgerman reported that his building was near the hurricane's eyewall, its most destructive area where winds blow fastest. He said he and six others had barricaded themselves in a concrete room, pushing chairs against the door to keep it closed.

Twenty-five minutes later, he sent what would be his final tweet from the middle of the storm.

"Pounding. CRASHING. Boards prying off windows," he wrote. "We're moving children to a safe space, wrapping them in blankets."

Then, nothing.

Morgerman's account was dark for the next day, and then the next day after that.

Online, people wished him luck and implored him to stay safe.

On the ground, Abaco was at the time one of the most unlucky, unsafe places in the hemisphere.

For nearly two days - from a few hours after Morgerman's final tweet until Tuesday afternoon - Dorian ceaselessly slammed the Bahamas with a catastrophic combination: winds that whipped at 185 mph, in a storm that crept along, maximizing its devastation.

And the school where Morgerman took refuge was in one of the country's hardest-hit regions.

For a short while this week, no one heard from him, even as his friends and fellow pursuers posted updates of their own. The storm passed, but rumors swirled. He was feared dead.

Then, at 5:52 Tuesday evening, the Weather Channel's Twitter account published a photo of Morgerman, brows raised and eyes sunken. "We are in contact with Hurricane Chaser Josh Morgerman," the post read. "He is safe."

The Washington Post could not reach Morgerman that night.

But some 15 minutes later, he began tweeting again. He had made it out of the storm and into Nassau, the Bahamian capital. But he brought with him a terrifying story.

"Yep, I'm alive," he began in a series of posts, 54 hours after going dark. "By far the most intense cyclone I've witnessed in 28 years of chasing. Thought I was playing it safe by riding it out in a solid-concrete school on a hill in Marsh Harbour. Thought wrong."

"Winds pounded the building with the force of a thousand sledgehammers," he added.

In an interview with the Weather Channel from Nassau, Morgerman recounted the most ferocious moments.

"Everything turned white," he said. "It was just solid white and a roaring sound. . . . It was like we were in a washing machine during the maximum winds - and that's what I really remember about this hurricane, just this unbelievable blizzard-like whiteout."

After that, the school was mostly destroyed, and there was more storm to come. Without shelter, Dorian could be deadly. But Morgerman and others inside the building had caught one break: They were, at that moment, in the eye of the hurricane - a tranquil but fleeting respite from a ferocious vortex.

They took their chance to flee, driving to a government building that was filled with new refugees.

"The calm eye saved lives - gave victims chance to relocate," Morgerman wrote.

It's also why he chose that locale. Morgerman said he wanted to get as close to the eye as he could, a front-row seat for the archipelago's most brutal show.

His and other stories that began to emerge from the island nation as the storm moved north serve as the first accounts of a historic event. Dorian flattened buildings, perhaps leveling entire towns. It has claimed seven lives, but government officials expect the toll to rise much higher. It could define the Bahamas for decades.

"Whole neighborhoods were swept by mighty surge higher than anything in memory," Morgerman wrote in a final plea Tuesday. "Areas above water had catastrophic wind damage. Many deaths reported from drowning, flying debris, & collapsing houses. Medical clinic overwhelmed. An absolute catastrophe. SEND HELP TO ABACO ISLANDS."

In aerial footage taken after the storm passed, the cameramen narrate the island's desolation, pointing out landmarks no longer visible beneath torrents of floodwater.

"Gone, Jesus... gone, underwater... the fire station, gone... Jesus."

 
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Hurricane Dorian Inches Closer To Florida After Pounding Bahamas

Hurricane Dorian is beginning a much-advertised turn to the north-northwest, away from the Bahamas but toward the U.S. mainland, where it is expected to bring significant impacts.

As of Tuesday morning, the storm was moving northwest at 1 mph just to the north of Grand Bahama Island and was continuing its historic onslaught in the northwestern Bahamas.

Dorian, which has weakened some to a still-formidable Category 3 storm, slammed into the northwestern Bahamas over the weekend with the historic full fury of its 185-mile-per-hour winds and 23-foot storm surge. Video and images emerging from the Bahamas show a toll of absolute devastation on Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands, two locations where the eye of the storm made landfall.

Grand Bahama Island has suffered an onslaught from this storm that few places on Earth have experienced, remaining in the eyewall of a major Category 4 or 5 storm for 24 hours or more. The eyewall is the region of the storm surrounding its center that contains its strongest winds and generates the most destructive storm-surge flooding.

This is a storm that may have reshaped the northwestern Bahamas, particularly Abaco and Grand Bahama Island, for decades.

On Tuesday, attention turns to U.S. mainland impacts, with hurricane warnings and watches hoisted from the Florida coastline northward to South Carolina. Hurricane conditions, with sustained winds of greater than 74 mph, are forecast to move into the warning area of Florida on Tuesday evening and affect areas farther north beginning Wednesday.

v1t2b45gA man driving a stalled car is pushed by a truck through a flooded street after the effects of Hurricane Dorian arrived in Nassau, Bahamas

In the Southeast, the impacts from Hurricane Dorian do not look nearly as dire as what the Bahamas experienced, with computer models in agreement on keeping the most destructive core of the storm offshore, parallel to the coastline. However, it would not take much of a deviation to bring the highest winds and flooding ashore, and the storm will be capable of inflicting significant damage, depending on its exact track.

"Although the official forecast does not show Dorian making landfall along the Florida east coast, users are reminded not to [focus] on the exact forecast track," the Hurricane Center stated on Tuesday morning. "A relatively small deviation to the left of this track could bring the core of the hurricane near or over the coastline."

As of 8 a.m. on Tuesday, the storm was 40 miles northeast of Freeport on Grand Bahama Island and moving northwest at 1 mph. The storm's peak sustained winds were 120 mph, making it a Category 3 storm. Dorian is expected to maintain its current intensity through much of the day on Tuesday.

Radar from South Florida showed Dorian's outermost rain bands pivoting inland producing gusty showers. Around 5 a.m., Juno Beach pier, just north of West Palm Beach, recorded a wind gust to 61 mph as tropical storm conditions continue to spread into Florida.

The storm has grown larger over time, and hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles. The latest forecast from the Hurricane Center calls for Dorian to remain a Category 3 storm until Tuesday night before slowly weakening, but remaining a formidable hurricane, as it makes its closest pass to Florida (around a Category 3) and northward to the Carolinas (around a Category 1 or 2).

The forecast track keeps the storm's most dangerous winds and highest levels of storm-surge flooding from coming ashore in the Sunshine State, but brings the storm close enough to bring heavy rains, damaging winds and storm surge flooding to the east coast of Florida.

However, hurricanes do not always behave as forecast. Despite being Earth's most massive and powerful storms, they're remarkably sensitive to internal and external hiccups. These storms can wobble east or west as they move generally north, for example, like a spinning top on a table.

It wouldn't take much of a wobble to bring the core of the storm ashore over Florida, especially along the Space Coast, where land featuring expensive infrastructure juts out a few more miles to the east of the rest of the Peninsula.

Hurricane warnings are in effect from Jupiter Inlet to Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida, while hurricane watches extent northward to South Santee River, South Carolina.

The National Hurricane Center is warning that "life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds are expected along portions of the Florida east coast and the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina, regardless of the exact track of Dorian's center." In addition, water levels along the coast are forecast to rise "well in advance of the arrival of strong winds."

Areas that are especially vulnerable to storm-surge flooding, such as Jacksonville, Florida, could once again see significant flooding depending on the exact track and timing of the storm.

According to the Weather Service office in Jacksonville, if the storm tracks close enough to northeastern Florida, the result could be particularly severe. Among the possible effects, it listed: "Large areas of deep inundation with storm surge flooding accentuated by battering waves. Structural damage to buildings, with several washing away. Damage compounded by floating debris. Locations may be uninhabitable for an extended period."

The latest storm-surge forecast shows that if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide, the area from Lantana (just south of West Palm Beach) to the Charleston area of South Carolina could see four to seven feet of water above ground, while the region from Deerfield Beach to Lantana could experience two to four feet.

Conditions are expected to deteriorate Tuesday night in coastal Georgia, and by Wednesday in South Carolina and by Thursday in North Carolina. Where and whether Dorian makes landfall will depend on the exact trajectory of its turn relative to the coast as it turns north and then starts to bend northeastward.

The National Hurricane Center is warning that "life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds are expected along portions of the Florida east coast and the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina, regardless of the exact track of Dorian's center." In addition, water levels along the coast are forecast to rise "well in advance of the arrival of strong winds."

Areas that are especially vulnerable to storm-surge flooding, such as Jacksonville, Florida, could once again see significant flooding depending on the exact track and timing of the storm.

According to the Weather Service office in Jacksonville, if the storm tracks close enough to northeastern Florida, the result could be particularly severe. Among the possible effects, it listed: "Large areas of deep inundation with storm surge flooding accentuated by battering waves. Structural damage to buildings, with several washing away. Damage compounded by floating debris. Locations may be uninhabitable for an extended period."

The latest storm-surge forecast shows that if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide, the area from Lantana (just south of West Palm Beach) to the Charleston area of South Carolina could see four to seven feet of water above ground, while the region from Deerfield Beach to Lantana could experience two to four feet.

Conditions are expected to deteriorate Tuesday night in coastal Georgia, and by Wednesday in South Carolina and by Thursday in North Carolina. Where and whether Dorian makes landfall will depend on the exact trajectory of its turn relative to the coast as it turns north and then starts to bend northeastward.

https://c.ndtvimg.com/2019-09/gavo9648_hurricane-dorian-florida-reuters-650_625x300_03_September_19.jpg
Residents watch as watch the heavy surf during a mandatory evacuation as Hurricane Dorian inches closer to Florida

The Weather Service is urging residents to prepare for "life-threatening surge having possible extensive impacts across across the coastal counties of Southeast South Carolina and Southeast Georgia."

Scenarios involving a direct hit, a scrape and a graze are possible in Georgia and the Carolinas based on available forecasts. A direct hit is most likely in North Carolina because its coast sticks out into the ocean farthest east.

"There is an increasing likelihood of strong winds and dangerous storm surge along the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina later this week," the Hurricane Center wrote. "Residents in these areas should continue to monitor the progress of Dorian and listen to advice given by local emergency officials."

The Georgia and South Carolina coastlines are particularly vulnerable to storm surge flooding, even from a storm that does not make landfall, due to the shape of the land on and just offshore, as well as the effects of sea level rise and land subsidence over time.

Locations even farther north from Virginia Beach to the Delmarva and even up to Cape Cod could get brushed by the storm Friday and Saturday, with heavy rains and gusty, tropical storm force winds.

While computer model projections all show that Hurricane Dorian will remain just off the East Coast of the U.S., there is still uncertainty involved in that forecast, especially since the storm has yet to begin its northward trek.

The track is especially dependent on the intensity and orientation of a trough of low pressure, or dip in the jet stream that is helping to draw the storm northward and eventually shunt it northeast out into the North Atlantic. If that weather feature or any others currently on the map, such as a weakening high to the storm's east, do not evolve as anticipated, the storm could pull a wild card turn toward or further away from land.

In particular, the timing of its next two turns over the coming days becomes crucial. In order to avoid making landfall along the East Coast, the storm will need to turn to the north, and eventually northeast, at just the right moments.

Computer models are in agreement that the timing will work out, and there will be no landfall, but there is very little room for error, given that the track forecast is so close to the coast.

This is a formidable storm that coastal residents are eyeing especially warily, hoping that the forecasts are right. It's also a turning point in meteorology, in which the science has advanced to the point where local officials in southern Florida, who saw a buzzsaw of a hurricane moving west, directly at them, made the decision not to evacuate the coastline due to the forecast guidance that the storm would turn away.

As Dorian approached over the weekend, the Hurricane Center used dire language to describe the threat, including the word "catastrophic." Unfortunately, it appears that was the result, particularly in the Abaco Islands and on Grand Bahama Island.

On Grand Bahama, parts of the island were exposed to the full fury of the storm's eyewall for an unimaginable 20-plus hours. Typically such storms move fast enough to expose one spot to their full fury for a few hours or less. But in this case, the storm reached Grand Bahama and stopped moving, with Hurricane Hunter aircraft finding essentially no movement each time they got to the storm's center.

While grim news is emerging from Abaco, it may take longer to get a detailed picture of how Grand Bahama Island, where Freeport, a city of about 27,000, is located, fared in the storm. On Monday evening, the Hurricane Center released a statement saying it expected additional "extreme destruction" on the island overnight due to a combination of extreme winds and storm surge flooding.

The overwhelming majority of computer model forecasts keep the center of Dorian just to the east of the Florida coast, as well as Georgia and South Carolina, rather than bringing the eye of the storm ashore. However, it appears it will be a close call as to whether the storm makes landfall in eastern North Carolina on Friday.

The NWS is forecasting heavy rains to overspread areas from coastal Florida toward the Mid-Atlantic this week, with the potential for 15-inch amounts to occur in far eastern North Carolina in particular.

Dorian is tied for the second-strongest storm (as judged by its maximum sustained winds) ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, behind Hurricane Allen of 1980, and, after striking the northern Bahamas, tied with the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane for the title of the strongest Atlantic hurricane at landfall.

It is only the second Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the Bahamas since 1983, according to Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University. The only other is Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The international hurricane database goes back continuously only to 1983.

[Hurricane Dorian has smashed all sorts of intensity records in the Atlantic Ocean]

The storm's peak sustained winds rank as the strongest so far north in the Atlantic Ocean east of Florida on record. Its pressure, which bottomed out at 910 millibars, is significantly lower than Hurricane Andrew's when it made landfall in South Florida in 1992 (the lower the pressure, the stronger the storm).

With Dorian attaining Category 5 strength, this is the first time since the start of the satellite era (in the 1960s) that Category 5 storms have developed in the tropical Atlantic for four straight years, according to Capital Weather Gang tropical weather expert Brian McNoldy.

The unusual strength of Dorian and the rate at which it developed is consistent with the expectation of more intense hurricanes in a warming world. Some studies have shown increases in hurricane rapid intensification, and modeling studies project an uptick in the frequency of Category 4 and 5 storms.

Dorian may have also set a record for the longest period of Category 4 and 5 conditions to strike one location in the North Atlantic Basin since the dawn of the satellite era, but historical data is relatively sparse.

 
 
 
  • Published in World

London mayor slams Trump over golfing amid Hurricane Dorian

London, September 3 (RHC)-- London Mayor Sadiq Khan has lashed out at U.S. President Donald Trump over golfing amid Hurricane Dorian.  Khan made the comments in an interview with Politico, asserting that remaining silent towards Trump’s attitude amounts to “disservice to Londoners.”

“He’s clearly busy dealing with a hurricane out on the golf course,” Khan said, further censuring Trump’s support for white nationalism.

“These people have been inspired by mainstream politicians who subscribe to their point of view,” said the mayor, describing the U.S. president as a “guy who amplifies racist tweets; amplifies the tweets of fascists; says things that are deeply objectionable.”

“If I don’t stand up and call that out, I think I’m doing a disservice to Londoners who chose me as their mayor.”

The American president was away visiting his Trump National Golf Club in Virginia amid the heavy storms and flash flooding caused by the deadly hurricane.  Hurricane Dorian battered the Bahamas on Sunday as it churned on an uncertain path toward the US coast where hundreds of thousands were ordered to evacuate.

Trump has declared a state of emergency for the U.S. state of Georgia as Hurricane Dorian was on its course towards Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina after battering Bahamas.

At least five people have died so far in Bahamas, according to Prime Minister Hubert Minnis, who called the hurricane "unprecedented and extensive."  “We are in the midst of a historic tragedy,” he said as cited by the Associated Press.

                                                                                                                                                                               Edited by Ed Newman

  • Published in World
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