Bahamas battered by 'monster' storm; 1 death reported; 13,000 homes destroyed or damaged
The most powerful storm to hit the Bahamas since records began has torn roofs from buildings and caused severe flooding. Slow moving Category 5 Hurricane Dorian still hammering Bahamas
Although the Government of the Bahamas has not made any official reports of deaths, the Bahamas Press and Eyewitness News have confirmed there has been at least one death, a 7-year-old boy, Achino McIntosh, who reportedly died after flood waters rushed into a home where his family stayed on Abaco Island.
The boy’s grandmother, Ingrid McIntosh, told Eyewitness News in the Bahamas that her grandson died on Abaco Island.
McIntosh said her daughter told her that she found the body of her son, who she believed drowned in the rising waters. McIntosh added that her granddaughter is also missing.
“All I can say is that my daughter called from Abaco and said that her son -- my grandson -- is dead. That’s it. I don’t know what really happened. I think she said he drowned,” McIntosh said.
“A wall of the missing is being collected at shelters all across Abaco as families are now frantic about not being able to contact their loved ones. Many are missing and are feared dead following the passage of Killer Hurricane Dorian which landed Sunday morning, packing winds of 185mph,” the Bahamas Press reported early Monday, September 2, 2019.
Dorian nearly at a standstill over Bahamas
The slow-moving, category five Dorian - the second-strongest Atlantic hurricane on record - is now packing sustained winds of up to 175mph (280km/h) and travelling west through Grand Bahama at no more than 5mph (7km/h).
Grand Bahama, with a population of about 50,000, is only 100km (60 miles) east of West Palm Beach in Florida.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the hurricane would "continue to pound Grand Bahama Island" through much of the day and evening on Monday.
13,000 homes destroyed or damaged
There was little information overnight from the affected Bahamas islands amid power cuts and limited internet access.
However, some images of the damages on Abaco Island, home to about 17,000 people, reached the internet.
Images showed cars flipped and battered, roofs torn off, and flooding.
As many as 13,000 homes have been severely damaged or destroyed, according to a statement from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and extensive flooding has created an "urgent need" for clean water as wells become contaminated with saltwater.
Meanwhile, the British Royal Navy auxiliary ship, RFA Mounts Bay, is due to arrive in the Bahamas today, according to the British Ministry of Defence.
The ship was deployed to the region in June in anticipation of hurricane season and was redirected to the Bahamas when news of Hurricane Dorian broke, according to a Ministry of Defence spokesperson.
The ship carries aid, building materials, a helicopter, specialist transport equipment, and surveying equipment, said the spokesperson.
The ship will be on standby “ready” to help as soon as an official request is made by authorities.
See previous article published September 1, 2019
Dorian now a Cat 5 hurricane; Begins assault on Bahamas
Dorian has begun an assault on the northwest Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane, with catastrophic winds of 180 miles per hour (mph) and gusts of more than 200 mph possible.
A life-threatening storm surge of up to 20 feet is possible there.
Dorian was upgraded to Category 5 status Sunday morning, September 1, 2019 after an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter mission confirmed winds had increased above 157 mph.
According to the Weather Channel, at around 11:00am, Dorian's eye was only about 20 miles east of Great Abaco Island in the northwest Bahamas, moving west at 5 to 10 mph. Based on current forecasts, Dorian will still be hammering the northwest Bahamas on Monday as it crawls slowly.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to 180 mph, putting Dorian in a tie for the third-highest sustained wind speed among all Atlantic hurricanes. It's also the strongest hurricane in modern records for the northwest Bahamas.
According to the Weather Channel, after the Category 5 upgrade, a dropsonde deployed from a Hurricane Hunter aircraft measured a wind gust of 202 mph in Dorian's eyewall.