In Pictures: Aerial photographs show devastation over Bahama islands as Hurricane Dorian soaks the Carolinas
Aerial photographs have shown the extensive damage from Hurricane Dorian over the Abaco and Grand Bahama islands.
The howling west flank of Hurricane Dorian soaked the Carolinas on Thursday, flooding coastal towns, whipping up tornadoes and cutting power to hundreds of thousands of people a couple of days after it reduced parts of the Bahamas to rubble.
Photographs show massive damage to private properties across the area, as well as public streets blocked to both vehicles and pedestrians with trees and debris.
The latest photographs are released after the Royal Navy helicopter rescued three children and a British person trapped beneath rubble for several days after Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas.
The Wildcat helicopter, operating from Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Mounts Bay, was flying over Great Abaco Island to assess the damage when its crew were called to rescue a casualty from Elbow Cay, the Royal Navy said.
The crew pulled the person from the rubble and took them back to Mounts Bay to be given emergency medication before being airlifted to the capital Nassau, it added.
The Royal Navy said that the Wildcat also rescued a woman, her two children and a baby to Nassau.
Medical officer Surgeon Lieutenant Rebecca Miles said: "The children were in a poorly condition and required immediate medical care.
"It was hugely rewarding to use my training and skills to provide essential and immediate life-saving care to this family."
Along the U.S. coast, floodwaters rose to a foot (30 cm) or more in low-lying parts of the historic South Carolina city of Charleston, where more than 7 inches (18 cm) of rain fell in some areas, officials said, with another half-inch or more expected overnight.
Among the few people in the streets as one of the largest Atlantic hurricanes ever recorded drew closer, were John Rivers, 74, and his three children. They cleared drains of branches, leaves and debris, using a shovel, a rake and bare hands.
"We're giving the water somewhere to go," Rivers said, sheltering from the driving rain and gusts of wind under a covered walkway, while his daughter Caroline, 12, pulled off her rubber boots, pouring a stream of water from each.
"I see this as a good life lesson for my kids," Rivers said.
More than 260,000 homes and businesses were without power in South Carolina and Georgia on Thursday night, the tracking site power outage.us showed.
Dorian's eye was about 35 miles (60 km) southeast of Wilmington in North Carolina, with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph (160 kph), the Miami-based U.S. National Hurricane Center said in its 8 p.m. advisory.
The center of the hurricane was forecast to move near or over the North Carolina coast on Thursday night and Friday, it said, adding that life-threatening storm surges and dangerous winds remained a threat for much of the area and Virginia.
Governors in the region declared states of emergency, shut schools, opened shelters, readied national guard troops and urged residents to heed warnings, as media circulated fresh images of the storm's devastation in the Bahamas this week.
At least 70,000 Bahamians needed immediate humanitarian relief after Dorian became the most damaging storm ever to hit the island nation.
In the Carolinas alone, more than 900,000 people had been ordered to evacuate their homes. It was unclear how many did so.
In Kill Devil Hills, in North Carolina's Outer Banks, Mark Jennings decided to ignore the order, lining his garage door with sandbags and boarding up his home with plywood.
The retired firefighter planned to stay put with his wife and two dogs, saying, "We are ready to go. If something happens, we can still get out of here."
Dorian whipped up at least three tornadoes in the region, officials said. One in North Carolina damaged scores of trailers at a campground in Emerald Isle, but no one was injured, the News & Observer said.
Of at least four storm-related deaths reported in the United States, three were in Orange County, Florida, during storm preparations or evacuation, the mayor's office said.
In North Carolina, an 85-year-old man fell off a ladder while barricading his home for Dorian, the governor said.
"Strike teams" of ex-military volunteers at British disaster response charity Team Rubicon UK are expected to arrive on Saturday to begin to distribute essential aid where it is needed most.
The charity said it expects its volunteer "greyshirts" will be in the Bahamas for eight weeks working in Grand Bahama and Abaco.
Afghanistan veteran and operations response manager Paul Taylor said he and his fellow volunteers will do all they can to help the most vulnerable.
He said: "We know that tens of thousands of people were affected by this devastating hurricane and are now in dire need of humanitarian relief."