Hurricane Dorian pounded Grand Bahama Island for about a day, killing at least five people. Dorian has grown in size and picked up speed, and is now forecast to come “dangerously close” to Florida’s coast.
The exact toll of the devastation in the Bahamas will not be clear until the storm passes and rescue crews can get on the ground. The storm lashed the islands for almost 24 hours, and the death toll was likely to rise, said Iram Lewis, a member of Parliament, in an interview with CNN. As many as 13,000 homes in the Bahamas may have been destroyed or severely damaged, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said.
Dorian is expected to churn toward Florida by day’s end, before bringing its powerful winds and dangerous surf along the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina by late Thursday. More than a million people have been ordered evacuated.
Dorian is one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes on record. It is tied with Gilbert (1988), Wilma (2005) and the 1935 Labor Day hurricane for the second-strongest Atlantic hurricane on record, based on maximum sustained winds. Allen in 1980 was the most powerful, with 190-mile (306-kph) winds, the NHC said.