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Friday 20 September 2019

Bahamas residents prepare to feel full force of Hurricane Dorian

The island archipelago is in the path of the storm.

Hurricane Dorian (NOAA/AP)
Hurricane Dorian (NOAA/AP)

By Tim Aylen, Associated Press

Residents of the Bahamas were taking precautions as Hurricane Dorian approached the shores of the archipelago.

Properties were being boarded up and shops were selling supplies as residents braced themselves for the arrival of Dorian, which threatened to turn into a powerful Category Four storm.

The storm is expected to approach the northwest Bahamas on Saturday and then move over or near that region on Sunday.

“I’m really worried,” said Kevin Adderley, a 48-year-old business owner who was securing his mechanic shop in the city of Freeport on Grand Bahama Island.

“I’m going to bunker down home with my kids.”

Dorian was located 480 miles east of the northwest Bahamas and about 660 miles east of West Palm Beach in Florida at 11am on Friday, US East Coast time.

It had maximum sustained winds of 110mph and was moving northwest at 10mph.

A hurricane watch was in effect for northwestern Bahamas, where long lines formed at gas stations and grocery stores on Friday.

In Grand Bahama Island, supplies like canned food and bottled water were quickly disappearing.

“The food store is very packed,” said 47-year-old Gina Davis as she pushed her grocery cart through the aisle.

“I’m very concerned because it’s going to be a Category Four storm. … We pray to God that it don’t do us bad.”

Government officials said prime minister Hubert Minnis was scheduled to address Bahamians at noon and urge people to take necessary precautions.

Stephen Russell, director of the island’s National Emergency Management Agency, said major storms have hit the Bahamas for three consecutive years: Hurricane Joaquin in 2015, Matthew in 2016 and Irma in 2017, causing an estimated 80 million US dollars in damage.

“We are a resilient nation,” he said in a statement.

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