Hurricane Dorian is growing more and more powerful and has Florida in her sights as well as the Carolinas. But right now, the Bahamas is taking the first damage from the “catastrophic” Category 5 hurricane.
Deep warm water in the Caribbean has fueled Dorian into being a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Dorian is an “extremely dangerous” storm that has maximum sustained winds of 185 mph and wind gusts over 220 mph. The National Weather Service called Dorian a “30 mile-wide EF4 tornado.”
Dorian and its devastating winds made landfall on Elbow Cay in the Abacos Islands located in the northwestern area of the Bahamas, the National Weather Service said Sunday afternoon. Dorian is now the strongest hurricane on record in the Bahamas. Photos and videos show the tiny Caribbean island being pummeled by the deadly storm. Houses have been destroyed, roofs ripped off and cars destroyed.
In one heartbreaking video, a mother with a 4-month-old baby pleads for everyone to “please pray for us, pray for Abacos. Please, I’m begging y’all, my baby is only 4 months old.”
One home was obliterated by the hurricane.
The Category 5 hurricane didn’t stop one person from going kayaking.
“Life-threatening storm surge and very heavy rainfall also expected… Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion,” the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory on Sunday.
Forecasters are predicting a storm surge of as much as 23 feet were possible, and 25 inches of rain could fall before the storm passes over the Bahamas.
Hurricane-force winds extend 45 miles outward from the eye of the storm and tropical storm-force winds as far as 140 miles outward.
Only one hurricane as strong as Dorian has made landfall in the continental United States, the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 with 185 mph winds. Dorian now has the strongest winds for a hurricane this far north in the Atlantic east of Florida on record.
Dorian is only the 35th Category 5 hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. Hurricane Dorian is the second-strongest Atlantic Ocean hurricane since 1950, only Hurricane Allen in 1980 was more powerful with maximum winds of 190 mph. Dorian’s 185 mph winds are the second strongest, tied with Gilbert in 1988 and Wilma in 2005.
Here is what Hurricane Dorian looks like from a storm-chasing airplane and from the International Space Station (ISS).
Hurricane Dorian is expected to continue traveling northwest and ravage Grand Bahama Island later on Sunday. Hurricane Dorian has slowed down and is only moving northwest at a pace between 3 and 5 mph.
The National Hurricane Center’s latest briefing on Dorian said the storm is expected to arrive in Florida by late Monday or Tuesday.
The hurricane will bring a “life-threatening storm surge” that “will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.” There are predictions that once Dorian hits Florida it could bring waves up to 60-feet high.
Experts believe that by Tuesday Dorian will weaken to a Category 4, with winds around 140 mph near the eye. Current forecasts show the center of the hurricane staying approximately 40-50 miles off the Florida shore, probably between West Palm Beach and Port St Lucie.
The storm will travel north up the East Coast and hit Georgia, South Carolina on Thursday and North Carolina on Friday.
President Trump sent prayers to the people in the Bahamas and issued warnings for states in Dorian’s path.