US

Hurricane Dorian Moves North, Claims First Death in North Carolina

By Web Staff

Forecasters say the eye of Hurricane Dorian is moving off the Georgia coast.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Dorian was centered at 6 p.m. Wednesday about 150 miles south of Charleston, South Carolina. It has top sustained winds of 110 mph. It’s moving to the north-northwest at 8 mph.

Forecasters say a tropical storm warning has been issued from North Carolina and the Virginia border to Chincoteague, Virginia, and for Chesapeake Bay from Smith Point southward.

North Carolina emergency officials reported the first death in the state related to Dorian.

Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday that an 85-year-old man from Columbus County died from injuries when he fell off a ladder as he was trying to prepare his home for the approaching storm. This is the first death related to Dorian reported in North Carolina.

The state emergency operations center didn’t have the man’s name, but a spokesman said he died Monday at a hospital in nearby Fayetteville.

Cooper warned the public at a news conference about the threat of flash flooding, storm surge and more than a foot of rainfall as Dorian arrives Thursday along the southeastern coast. The governor already has ordered evacuations on the state’s fragile barrier islands.

Recovery Begins

Homes torn to timbers and vehicles tossed like toys littered whole neighborhoods as rescue teams on Wednesday continued to fight flooding and the waning outer bands of Hurricane Dorian to try to save those still stranded in the northeastern Bahamas.

Already seven people, including an 8-year-old boy, had been confirmed killed as the strongest storm ever to make landfall in the island nation moved toward the southeastern U.S. coast.

But that toll and the tally of catastrophic devastation are only just starting to come into view three days after Dorian slammed ashore in the Bahamas as a Category 5 monster.

“We can expect more deaths to be recorded,” Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said Tuesday. “Our priority is search, rescue, and recovery.”

Dorian, now a Category 2 storm crawling at 8 mph along Florida’s east coast, stalled for days over the northern Bahamas, battering the same devastated areas.

Volunteers walk under the wind and rain from Hurricane Dorian
Volunteers walk under the wind and rain from Hurricane Dorian through a flooded road as they work to rescue families near the Causarina bridge in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, on Sept. 3, 2019. (Ramon Espinosa/AP Photo)

Track the Storm

On Great Abaco Island, residents emerged late Tuesday to gasp at the incredible devastation. Huge piles of rubble stood where businesses and homes once had been, aerial video showed.

Even new homes built under more stringent building codes had been destroyed, Brandon Clement told CNN from a helicopter over the island. One older neighborhood is gone, he said.

“You can’t tell that there are any homes there, he said. “It looks like a bunch of building materials were put in a big grinder and thrown on the ground.”

Hurricane-Dorian
An aerial view shows devastation after hurricane Dorian hit the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas on Sept. 3, 2019. (Michelle Cove/Trans Island Airways/via Reuters)

Parts of the Abaco Islands are decimated, Minnis said, estimating that 60 percent of homes in the town of Marsh Harbor sustained damage.

Freeport resident Harold Williams and his son went out on a Jet Ski to get stranded relatives who waded out to them in chest-deep waters, he said.

“I don’t think we’ve seen anything like this in our lifetime: total destruction,” Williams said.

Meanwhile, the Grand Bahama International Airport in Freeport was under water, and helicopters were sent to rescue at least 30 people stranded in floodwaters, Minnis said.

More police and security forces are expected Wednesday morning on the Abaco Islands to prevent violence or looting, Minnis said. And some 60,000 people on the hard-hit Grand Bahama and Abaco islands may now need food relief, a World Food Program analysis shows, a spokesman said.

“We have been attacked by a vicious, devastating storm,” the prime minister told CNN.

Strong winds from Hurricane Dorian
Strong winds from Hurricane Dorian blow the tops of trees and brush, seen from the balcony of a hotel in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, on Sept. 2, 2019. (Ramon Espinosa/AP Photo)

Dorian’s Victims and Its Survivors

An 8-year-old boy who’s believed to have drowned in rising water is among the storm’s victims, his grandmother, Ingrid McIntosh, told local news outlets. The child’s mother, 31, found his body, McIntosh said, adding that her granddaughter is missing.

Freeport resident Howard Armstrong’s wife drowned in front of him after storm surge swamped their home, leaving only their heads above water, he said. The couple waited for hours to be rescued before Armstrong’s wife succumbed to hypothermia and slipped beneath the surface.

“She was gone so quickly,” Armstrong said as he waited for his wife’s body to be recovered.

Minnis asked people not to share images of those who perished out of compassion.

Even as Dorian raged on Grand Bahama Island, flooding streets and submerging cars, neighbors rushed to help one another, according to a CNN crew that watched rescued Bahamians find refuge on a partially submerged bridge that was used as a staging point.

Some of those rescued were exhausted after spending all night clinging to their roofs or stuck in their attics.

Epoch Times reporter Jack Phillips and The Associated Press contributed to this article.