Hurricane Dorian, which has hovered above and now just north of Grand Bahama island in the Bahamas, is expected to move closer to the Florida coastline late Tuesday. The storm pounded Grand Bahama and the neighboring Abaco Islands, making landfall on Sunday as a Category 5 hurricane. The storm stayed over Grand Bahama on Monday, drenching the island with heavy rains and high winds and tearing neighborhoods to the ground. At least five people have been killed in the Abaco Islands, where entire towns have been leveled by violent winds and surging seawater.
The storm was downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane on Tuesday as it slowly moved northwest from Grand Bahama at about three miles per hour. Rescue efforts on the Abaco Islands, which are home to many Haitian immigrants, are underway but have been hindered by flooding and continued severe weather. Rescue teams and emergency personnel have received more than 200 phone calls from residents stranded on roofs, inside flooding homes, or otherwise in peril and needing urgent assistance.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Dorian doesn’t look to be done with its path of rampant destruction. By 10:00 PM Tuesday evening, Grand Bahama is expected to be relieved of the worst of the pummeling, with the storm shifting northward toward the US. As the storm slowly moves away from Grand Bahama, residents of Florida’s eastern coast are bracing for high winds and other destructive weather patterns including driving storm surges. Palm Beach County, north of Miami, was hit with tropical-storm-level winds on Tuesday morning, with local authorities urging people to stay inside. Further north, in Jacksonville, response teams have been assembled to respond to flooding and other emergencies while in Georgia and South Carolina evacuations have been ordered as the storm path moves closer to the United States mainland.
You can donate to hurricane relief efforts in the Bahamas through various organizations, including the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, and World Central Kitchen — an organization created by Chef José Andres that serves food to hurricane-affected areas and is currently on the ground in the Bahamas.