Thursday 19 September 2019

At least 30 dead and thousands still missing as Hurricane Dorian leaves destruction in its wake

A destroyed boat is seen at a marina after Hurricane Dorian hit the Abaco Islands in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas, September 5, 2019. REUTERS/Marco Bello
A destroyed boat is seen at a marina after Hurricane Dorian hit the Abaco Islands in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas, September 5, 2019. REUTERS/Marco Bello
Despair: Aliana Alexis stands on the concrete slab of what is left of her home after destruction from Hurricane Dorian in an area called ‘The Mud’ at Marsh Harbour in Great Abaco Island, Bahamas. Photo: Al Diaz/Miami Herald/AP
Destroyed: It is not clear how many were able to evacuate. Photo: REUTERS/Marco Bello
This Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019 aerial photo, shows extensive damage from Hurricane Dorian over the Island of Abaco, Bahamas. (Andrew West/The News-Press via AP)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Hurricane Dorian sideswiped the US Carolinas with shrieking winds, tornadoes and sideways rain on Thursday as it closed in for a possible direct hit on the dangerously exposed Outer Banks islands.

At least four deaths in the Southeast were blamed on the storm.

Twisters spun off by Dorian peeled away roofs and flipped trailers, and more than 250,000 homes and businesses were left without power as the hurricane pushed north along the coastline, its winds weakening after sunset to 100 mph (160 kph).

Trees and power lines littered flooded streets in Charleston's historic downtown.

Debris and damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian is seen in Hope Town, Elbow Cay, Abaco Islands, Bahamas September 3, 2019, in this still image obtained from social media video. Video taken September 3, 2019. LEA CHARLES /via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.
Debris and damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian is seen in Hope Town, Elbow Cay, Abaco Islands, Bahamas September 3, 2019, in this still image obtained from social media video. Video taken September 3, 2019. LEA CHARLES /via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.

Gusts had topped 80 mph (129 kph) in some areas.

North Carolina's Outer Banks, a thin line of islands that stick out from the US coast like a boxer's chin, braced for a hit late on Thursday or early on Friday.

To the north, Virginia was also in harm's way, and a round of evacuations was ordered there.

The damage from the same storm that mauled the Bahamas was mercifully light in many parts of South Carolina and Georgia as well, and by mid-afternoon many of the 1.5 million people who had been told to evacuate in three states were allowed to return.

Floodwaters swirl around a storm drain as heavy rain falls from Hurricane Dorian, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Jason Lee/The Sun News via AP)
Floodwaters swirl around a storm drain as heavy rain falls from Hurricane Dorian, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Jason Lee/The Sun News via AP)

But overnight winds will cause trees and branches to fall on power lines, and debris could block repair crews from accessing damaged lines, said Mike Burnette senior vice president of Electric Cooperatives, a North Carolina utility provider.

Customers should prepare for prolonged power outages, he said.

"We have a long night ahead of us. Everyone needs to stay in a safe place and off the roads until the storm passes," North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.

After leaving at least 30 people dead when it slammed the Bahamas with 185 mph (295 kph) winds, Dorian swept past Florida at a relatively safe distance, grazed Georgia, and then hugged the South Carolina-North Carolina coastline.

PA Media

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News