Hurricane Dorian lashes Bahamas, menaces east USA coast

Hurricane Dorian lashes Bahamas, menaces east USA coast

At the time of writing, Hurricane Dorian has already caused significant damage in the 24 hours or so since reaching Grand Bahama.

Hurricane Dorian grew in size and picked up speed on Tuesday, and was forecast to come "dangerously close" to Florida's coast after pounding Grand Bahama Island for about a day, killing at least five people.

Fellow NASA astronaut Christina Koch was another to turn her camera towards Dorian as the ISS flew over the top of the storm.

While these astronauts with their cameras 250 miles (408 km) above the storm have been able to capture some incredible imagery, satellites in orbit around the Earth offer another useful vantage point. Several large airports announced closures and many flights were cancelled for Monday and Tuesday.

Ahead of the storm, over 2 million people in Florida, Georgia and North and SC were warned to evacuate as Dorian closed in on the Sunshine State on a projected track expected to take it up the Southeast coast.

The threat of a direct hit on Florida had all but vanished, but the storm was expected to pass dangerously close to SC - and perhaps strike North Carolina - on Thursday or Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Officials said they received a "tremendous" number of calls from people in flooded homes.

Dorian was tied with Gilbert (1988), Wilma (2005) and the 1935 Labor Day hurricane for the second-strongest Atlantic hurricane on record, based on maximum sustained winds.

As many as 13,000 homes in the Bahamas may have been destroyed or severely damaged, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said.

The water reached roofs and the tops of palm trees.

More news: Hurricane Dorian weakens to Category 3 storm, continues to batter Bahamas
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Fear gripped residents of Freeport, as winds tore off shutters and water began entering homes, Yasmin Rigby said by text from the Grand Bahama island's main city.

Authorities in Florida ordered mandatory evacuations in some vulnerable coastal areas. "We're definitely in dire straits". Forecasters expected Dorian to stay off shore, but meteorologist Daniel Brown cautioned that "only a small deviation" could draw the storm's unsafe core toward land.

By 11 p.m. EDT Monday, the storm's top sustained winds had fallen to 130 miles per hour (220 kph), still within Category 4 range. It remained nearly stationary, centered just 30 miles (55 kilometers) north-northeast of Freeport - about the same distance from the city it had been at 9 a.m. Hurricane-force winds extended outward as far as 45 miles (75 kilometers) from the center.

A mandatory evacuation of entire SC coast took effect Monday covering about 830,000 people.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp ordered evacuations in six coastal counties, including all of Savannah's 150,000 residents, also effective at noon on Monday, Kemp's office said on Twitter.

FlightAware.com reported that that airlines had cancelled 1,361 flights within, into or out of the United States by Monday afternoon - vastly above an average day - with Fort Lauderdale International the most affected, and airlines had already cancelled 1,057 flights for Tuesday, many involving Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Miami airports.

(L-R) Langdon Bryant, Marcus McClain and Torrie Bryant, 5, hang plywood over a window as they protect the home just in case Hurricane Dorian hits the area on September 01, 2019 in Port Salerno, Florida.

Hurricane warnings and watches extend from Florida all the way up to South Santee River in SC. Lake Okeechobee was under a tropical storm watch.

A National Guard official, John Anderson, said many people were complying with the evacuation orders.

Further north, the streets of Sea Island, Georgia, were largely empty on Tuesday after many visitors heeded evacuation orders, said Kathryn Ross, owner of the Pelican Market grocery store.

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