Sci-tech

Bahamas pummeled by Hurricane Dorian’s 185-mph winds

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Sunday that maximum sustained winds have increased to 175 miles per hour (280 kph) from 160 miles per hour (260 kph) as it approaches Great Abaco Island.

As Dorian's forecasted path shifted to the north and west, states of emergencies have been declared in South and North Carolina as well as Georgia.

"A prolonged period of life-threatening storm surge, devastating hurricane-force winds, and heavy rains capable of producing life-threatening flash floods are expected on the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama through Monday", said Richard Pasch, a senior hurricane specialist at the center. As the Hurricane Center writes: "Residents in these areas should continue to monitor the progress of Dorian".

In low-lying Marsh Harbour, the largest town in Abaco, witnesses observed the start of Dorian-related storm surges, with sea sprays increasing.

The NHC said Dorian had become "the strongest hurricane in modern records for the northwestern Bahamas".

The storm made landfall on the southern end of Elbow Cay, which runs along the east coast of Great Abaco, early Sunday afternoon.

The Hurricane Center said in its 11 a.m. EDT advisory that Dorian was strafing the Abacos Islands with life-threatening storm surge, destructive waves, and extremely powerful winds.

Women sit on cots inside a church now serving as a shelter for residents who will wait out Hurricane Dorian in Freeport on Grand Bahama, Bahamas, September 1, 2019.

The NHC latest advisory said: "Dorian is a extremely risky category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale".

At 11am local time the NHC reported "catastrophic conditions" in the Abaco islands in the northern Bahamas.

Residents of the Sunshine State have already begun stockpiling supplies and boarding up buildings, while at least one county has issued an evacuation order.

Hurricane-force winds extend 45 miles from the center of the storm while tropical-storm force winds extend 140 miles out, according to the National Hurricane Center.

"We have been for the last few days asking all tourists to leave the island in anticipation of the hurricane", said Minister of State Kwasi Thompson for Grand Bahama.

The storm is moving slowly toward Florida and the Southeastern United States, but its exact track remains somewhat uncertain, with computer models forecasting a move slightly closer to the coast early Sunday.

Millions of people from Florida to North Carolina were bracing to see whether Dorian avoids a US landfall and veers north into the Atlantic Ocean.

After hitting the Bahamas, it was expected to move up the USA coast, grazing Florida, which had expected a direct hit but appeared to have been spared the worst by a change in the storm's path.

Dorian is moving toward the west near seven miles per hour and a slower westward motion should continue for the next day or two, followed by a gradual turn toward the northwest.

Over two or three days, the hurricane could dump as much as 4 feet (1 meter) of rain, in addition to the winds and storm surge, said private meteorologist Ryan Maue.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued a state of emergency Friday that waives certain transportation restrictions to help farmers and support relief efforts in advance of the storm.

"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.

In the northern stretches of the Bahamas archipelago, hotels closed, residents boarded up homes and officials hired boats to move people to bigger islands as Dorian approached.



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