Hurricane Dorian Lashes Florida After Wreaking Havoc on Bahamas




 

(Bloomberg) -- Hurricane Dorian menaced the U.S. East Coast with devastating flooding and winds, lashing Florida after laying waste to the Bahamas in a brutal two-day battering.

The Category 2 hurricane was passing 90 miles east of Cape Canaveral, picking up speed as it tracks north-northwest on a path forecast to take it parallel to the coast over the rest of the week, according to the National Hurricane Center. While its wind speed has fallen, it's growing in size, with hurricane-force winds extending some 60 miles from the eye.

As U.S. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency in North Carolina, a storm-surge watch was extended northward into Virginia, meaning there could be life-threatening flooding from rising water levels in the next 48 hours. The storm is gradually turning northwards and remains on track to pass "dangerously close" to Florida and Georgia through Wednesday, before moving near or even over the coast of the Carolinas through Friday, according to the Hurricane Center.

"Florida will likely dodge the worst impacts, although coastal areas will have long stretches of tropical-storm force winds later today and tomorrow," said Todd Crawford, lead meteorologist at The Weather Co., an IBM business. The storm, though, could still make landfall north of Florida, he said.

In the Bahamas, Dorian has left many of the nation's islands devastated and killed at least seven people, a death toll Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said he expects to rise. Parts of Abaco islands "are decimated" and there is "severe flooding, there is severe damage to homes, businesses and other buildings and infrastructure," he said at a press conference.

"I don't think there has been a populated area in the entire Atlantic basin in the climatological record that has experienced the severity and the intensity of impacts that Grand Bahama Island and Abaco have experienced in the past two days," said Ryan Truchelut, president of Weather Tiger in Tallahassee, Florida.

On Tuesday, the Bahamas government delivered an "urgent plea" for owners of boats and jet skis to help out with post-hurricane rescue operations for residents stranded by flood waters.

Dorian's maximum sustained winds remain at about 110 mph, with hurricane conditions expected to hit Florida later on Wednesday. Coastal regions as far as North Carolina are in danger of life-threatening inundation over the next 36 hours and up to Poquoson in Virginia over the next 48 hours, according to the latest advisory.

In preparing for the storm to come near their shores, local and state governments in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas have ordered coastline residents and businesses to begin evacuations.

"We know that these evacuations are inconvenient, difficult and sometimes costly," North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said in a statement. "But we must realize the potential deadly cost of refusing to evacuate when told."

Dorian is weakening in part because it has exhausted its supply of warm ocean water by sitting over the same spot for days, Truchelut said. He doesn't see the storm -- pulled along by a low pressure system -- moving much farther west, but he said the eastern North and South Carolina are still very much at risk.

"The story of Dorian will be written in two parts," The Weather Co.'s Crawford said. "First, the utter devastation and humanitarian crisis in parts of the Bahamas and, second, the surprise major impacts in the Southeast and Northeast U.S." Winds that occur in the coastal areas of the Carolinas, mid-Atlantic, and even Cape Cod, may end up being stronger than what Florida will get, he said.

Dare County, North Carolina, which includes much of the tourist-friendly Outer Banks, issued a mandatory evacuation for visitors starting Tuesday and for residents beginning Wednesday. President Donald Trump declared an emergency for North Carolina retroactive to Sunday, clearing the way for his administration to coordinate disaster relief efforts as needed, according to a White House statement.

Other parts of the state's coastline were also bracing for the storm. Ocean-going commercial vessels and barges greater than 500 gross tons should make plans for departing North Carolina ports, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement early Tuesday local time.

NextEra Energy Inc.'s Florida Power & Light utility has restored electricity service to roughly 60,000 customers as Dorian neared the coast, chief communications officer Dave Reuter told a Monday morning press conference. Much of the damage, he said, had come from vegetation or wind-borne debris hitting power lines. "We are still not in the clear," Reuter said.

The FPL website showed 3,330 customers without power as of 11:17 a.m. Tuesday.

To map assets in Hurricane Dorian's path, click here.

(Updates Bahamas deaths in fifth paragraph.)

--With assistance from Sharon Cho, David R. Baker, Will Wade, Todd Shields, Josh Wingrove, Alyza Sebenius, Michael Riley, Bill Lehane, Sheela Tobben, Jonathan Levin and Andrew Janes.

To contact the reporters on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at bsullivan10@bloomberg.net;Matthew Bristow in Bogota at mbristow5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tina Davis at tinadavis@bloomberg.net, Serene Cheong, Alexander Kwiatkowski

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

COMMENTS

More Related News

China accuses US of
China accuses US of 'outright bullying' over TikTok

China accused the United States on Tuesday of "bullying" over popular video app TikTok, after President Donald Trump ramped up pressure for its US operations to be sold to an American company. In the latest diplomatic spat between the world's two biggest economies, Beijing hit back after Trump gave TikTok six weeks to arrange a sale of its US operations -- and said that his government wanted a financial benefit from the deal. "This goes against the principles of the market economy and the (World Trade Organization's) principles of openness, transparency and non-discrimination," said foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin.

U.S. congressional primaries in five states feature polar political opposites
U.S. congressional primaries in five states feature polar political opposites
  • US
  • 2020-08-04 10:30:10Z

Kansas arch-conservative Kris Kobach and prominent Michigan progressive Rashida Tlaib - candidates from the outer edges of the Republican and Democratic parties - are on the ballot Tuesday when five U.S. states hold primary elections for Congress. The outcomes in Kansas, Michigan, Arizona, Missouri and Washington state will set the stage for Nov. 3 elections to the House of Representatives and Senate that will determine the balance of power in Washington.

Isaias, again a tropical storm, spawns wild inland weather
Isaias, again a tropical storm, spawns wild inland weather
  • World
  • 2020-08-04 10:25:53Z

Tropical Storm Isaias spawned tornadoes and dumped rain during an inland march up the U.S. East Coast on Tuesday after making landfall as a hurricane near Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. The hurricane's eye moved over land just after 11 p.m. on Monday with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (136 km/h), and its top winds dropped to 70 miles per hour (117 km/h) by early Tuesday. "We don't think there is going to be a whole lot of weakening, we still think there's going to be very strong and gusty winds that will affect much of the mid-atlantic and the Northeast over the next day or two," Robbie Berg, a hurricane specialist with the National Hurricane Center, told The Associated Press.

Trump threatens lawsuit to block mail-in voting in Nevada
Trump threatens lawsuit to block mail-in voting in Nevada

State lawmakers have approved a bill to automatically send mail-in ballots to voters.

Microsoft to continue talks to buy TikTok from ByteDance
Microsoft to continue talks to buy TikTok from ByteDance

The company made the statement following a conversation between is CEO Satya Nadella and U.S. President Donald Trump. It said it would ensure that all private data of TikTok's American users is transferred to and remains in the United States.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Economy