Health Care

"Catastrophic Conditions" As Hurricane Dorian Hits Northwest Bahamas

Hurricane Dorian was set to slam the Bahamas on Sunday as a risky category 4 storm, pounding the islands with up to two days of torrential rain, high waves and damaging winds before taking aim at the USA mainland.

Over two or three days, the slow-moving hurricane could dump as much as 4 feet (1 meter) of rain, unleash devastating winds and whip up a unsafe storm surge, said private meteorologist Ryan Maue, seconding some of the most reliable computer models.

On Saturday, small skiffs shuttled between outlying fishing communities and McLean's Town, a settlement of a few dozen homes at the eastern end of Grand Bahama, about 150 miles from Florida.

And while the Bahamas has Dorian at its front door, the question of when (or if) the storm will hit the U.S. mainland remains.

But the good news is the latest track from the National Hurricane Center has Dorian eventually making a turn to the north Monday afternoon about a hundred miles off the east coast of Florida. A storm surge watch has also been issued from north of Deerfield Beach to the Volusia/Brevard County Line.

With wind and rain still possible without direct landfall, many Florida residents are still preparing.

Palm Beach County issued the evacuation order beginning 1 p.m. Sunday after the county that includes West Palm Beach was placed under a tropical storm warning. "Residents in these areas should continue to monitor the progress of Dorian". Although the official National Hurricane Center (NHC) track keeps the center of Dorian right off the coast as of now, the impacts will still be greatly felt. The GFS shows Dorian tracking a little more west of the Bahamas before going north, which would increase the wind speeds and bring potential hurricane watches to Sebastian.

Still, a major hurricane hovering just off the coast could cause serious damage.

"Hurricane Dorian is a devastating, unsafe storm approaching our islands", Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis mentioned in a nationally televised information convention.

Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham says that would be catastrophic for the island chain.

Dorian's wind speeds put the storm among the most unsafe in recent history.

The storm surge could be as high as 15ft (4.6m), officials warned.

Graham says the storm stalling also complicates the USA forecast.

Authorities in the Bahamas made a last-minute plea to residents and tourists on Saturday (Aug 31) to seek shelter as time ran out before powerful Hurricane Dorian hits, warning those that refused to move that their lives were at risk.

Central Florida leaders are expected to provide updates throughout the day Sunday as now-Category 5 Hurricane Dorian continues its trek toward Florida. "Therefore, a very slow weakening is anticipated to commence after 12 hours or so", according to the National Hurricane Center. The hurricane is still moving west at 8 miles per hour (13 kph), with maximum sustained winds of 150 miles per hour (240 kph).

It is hard to predict what to expect in the southeastern United but isolated rain of up to 15 inches could be possible with tropical storm force winds and life-threatening surf and rip currents.

Hurricane Dorian churning over the Atlantic Ocean.



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