Hurricane Dorian: Category 5 Storm Pounds Bahamas, First Death Reported
By Staff, Agencies
Hurricane Dorian slammed into the northern Bahamas as a monster Category 5 storm on Sunday, pummeling the low-lying island chain with torrential rains and winds of a violence unprecedented in its history.
Dorian made landfall twice in the Bahamas' Abaco Islands, equaling the most powerful landfall ever recorded in the Atlantic with gusts of wind reaching over 200 miles per hour, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center reported.
Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis broke down in tears as he addressed a news conference, saying "we're facing a hurricane that we've never seen in the history of the Bahamas."
The Abaco Islands were reported to be under water as forecasters warned it was facing a towering 18 to 23 feet storm surge.
Local radio reported that people were calling for help after winds blew the roof off the Island Breezes Hotel.
Many Abacos residents opted to ride out the hurricane rather than heed government warnings to evacuate.
Describing "catastrophic" conditions in the Abacos Islands, the NHC said the storm was "heading with all its fury towards Grand Bahama" where it was expected Sunday night into Monday.
Relatedly, the first death was reported from the hurricane by Eyewitness News in the Bahamas, which spoke with a woman who said she had learned her eight-year-old grandson had died, likely drowned, and her granddaughter was missing. Both children were in the Abaco Islands.