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Hurricane Dorian fast facts
- Hurricane Dorian has regained strength, becoming a Category 3 storm again with 115 mph sustained winds.
- Hurricane conditions are expected along parts of the South Carolina coast Thursday morning and along the North Carolina coast later in the day.
- As of 2 a.m. Thursday, the storm’s core was about 105 miles south-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina and 220 miles south-southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina.
- The National Hurricane Center says “life-threatening” storm surges and damaging winds are possible over the next two days “along a large portion of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic coasts.”
- The hurricane decimated parts of the Bahamas for 48 hours, leaving at least 20 people dead. Intense rescue and relief efforts were underway .
Hurricane Dorian regained strength late Wednesday, again becoming a Category 3 storm as it moved slowly up the U.S. Southeast coast and approached North and South Carolina. It brought strong wind gusts and heavy rain to Florida Wednesday after leaving at least 20 dead in the Bahamas and parts of that nation of low-lying islands in ruins.
Although Florida dodged the brunt of the storm, North and South Carolina were bracing for its impact. Dorian still has the potential to make landfall Thursday or Friday, the National Hurricane Center said.
“Life-threatening” storm surges and damaging winds are possible over the next two days “along a large portion of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic coasts,” the center said.
Forecasters issued a hurricane warning Wednesday for northern Georgia up through southern Virginia. Millions were told to evacuate.
As of 2 a.m. EDT Thursday, Dorian had maximum sustained winds of 115 mph, the hurricane center said. Its core was approximately 105 miles south-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina, and 220 miles south-southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina and it was moving north at 7 mph.
Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 60 miles from the center and tropical storm-force winds extended outward up to 195 miles.
Follow live coverage of the storm below.
Sustained tropical storm-force winds occurring along Georgia and South Carolina coast
A NOAA weather station on the north end of Folly Island, South Carolina, reported a sustained wind of 51 mph and a gust of 62 mph was recorded, the National Hurricane Center said. At Shutes Folly in Charleston Harbor, a sustained wind of 41 mph and gust of 55 mph were recorded.
Florida man parks electric car in kitchen
A Florida man was concerned his beloved smart car would get blown away in Dorian this week, so he moved it to a very safe place. The inside of his house.
Jacksonville native Patrick Eldridge told CBS News he put his smart car inside his house on Tuesday morning, adding that his “wife was impressed that I was right about it being able to fit into the kitchen.”
His wife, Jessica, posted hilarious images of the small car inside the Florida home to Facebook on Tuesday morning. “My husband was afraid his car might blow away,” she wrote. “And my car is in the garage.”
The photos quickly went viral, garnering over 65,000 shares and 22,000 reactions. “We are still in shock that this madness wave has occurred on the internet since the posting first emerged,” Eldridge said.
The couple moved the vehicle out of their home after the storm weakened and moved away from Florida. While his car didn’t need protecting after all, the man said he did learn valuable information from the experience. “We now know that we have one additional parking spot available though!” he joked.
— Danielle Garrand
Dorian regains strength and becomes a Category 3
Dorian has regained strength and is once again a Category 3 storm as of 11 p.m. Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 115 mph.
Its core was located 105 miles south of Charleston, South Carolina, and 225 miles south-southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina.
Dorian was moving north at 7 mph. Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 60 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles.
All of the watches and warnings for the east coast of Florida south of the mouth of St. Mary’s River have been discontinued.
U.S. Northern Command to provide help to Bahamas
The U.S. Northern Command, which oversees homeland defense for the Department of Defense, said Wednesday that it will be providing assistance to the Bahamas.
In addition, four U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Ospreys transported an Air Force assessment team to the Bahamas.
The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), the lead federal agency for foreign disaster response, has requested Defense Department to facilitate the movement of aid throughout the Bahamas.
More than 1,500 in South Carolina shelters
American Red Cross officials say that more than 1,500 people have sought refuge from Hurricane Dorian in a total of 28 shelters in the central and eastern portions of South Carolina.
In Charleston, South Carolina, meanwhile, steady rain began falling Wednesday evening as Dorian approached the Carolinas and winds began picking up. Thunder could be heard frequently and only a few cars seemed to be plying the roads connecting the western edge of downtown Charleston with areas of the city just across a river.
— The Associated Press
Survivors describe the horrors of facing Dorian
Survivors in the Bahamas described the horrors of facing Dorian. Robert and Phyllis Cornea have lived in Abaco Islands for more than 50 years. They’ve been homeless since Sunday.
“All the main buildings, gone. It’s gone. Everything is gone,” Robert Cornea told “CBS Evening News.”
“Take a picture of me because it’s all I have left, what you see me in,” Phyllis Cornea said. “I’ve been in this four days.”
Adrian Farrington told CBS News he lost his son. “I still can see my son getting dragged across the roof reaching up,” he said.
Farrington said he thought he lifted his 5-year-old son to safety on the roof of his house, only to see him washed away by the surging flood waters.
“If he be rescued, praise the lord. But for the search, what I saw, when I lose him, anything could happen. You had sharks swimming in the water. Anything can happen,” he said.
Nancy Albert waited all day for a flight out, but it didn’t happen. She described how her home was destroyed. “We opened the door to the bathroom, there was nothing left. It was gone. The house was gone,” she said.
— Norah O’Donnell, David Begnaud and Nikki Battiste
Coast Guard rescues dozens in the Bahamas
“CBS Evening News” flew with the U.S. Coast Guard’s Seventh District over the islands hit hardest by the hurricane. Aboard the HC-144 cargo plane, the devastation is clear.
The Coast Guard has rescued a total of 114 people and six pets from a devastated string of islands. They’ll keep flying into the hardest hit parts of the Bahamas for as long as they are needed.
“Our primary mission is search and rescue. We can suffer some casualty to the plane to save a life but our primary mission is to save a life,” Lieutenant Julianna White said.
The Coast Guard Air Station Miami is no stranger to these missions. In 2005, they rescued nearly 800 people following Hurricane Katrina. Lieutenant Jillian Harner said even one rescue makes all the hard work worth it.
“It’s definitely an honor. You have one case of rescues, it’s the best feeling. It makes the training you’ve done worth it,” Harner said.
— Norah O’Donnell
Death toll climbs to 20 in Bahamas
The death toll in the Bahamas jumped to 20 on Wednesday evening, a spokesperson for the Princess Margaret Hospital in Nassau told CBS News. The hospital is currently treating 35 patients, the spokesperson said.
— Nikki Battiste reports
Watches and warnings in effect
A summary of watches and warnings in effect, via the National Hurricane Center.
- Storm surge warning: From the Flagler-Volusia county line in Florida to Poquoson, Virginia; the Pamlico and Albemarle sounds; the Neuse and Pamlico rivers; Hampton Roads, Virginia
- Hurricane warning: North of the Savannah River to the North Carolina-Virginia border; the Pamlico and Albemarle sounds
- Hurricane watch: North of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, to the Savannah River
- Tropical storm warning: From the Flagler-Volusia county line in Florida to the Savannah River; from the North Carolina-Virginia border to Chincoteague, Virginia; Chesapeake Bay from Smith Point southward
- Tropical storm watch: North of Chincoteague, Virginia, to Fenwick Island, Delaware; Chesapeake Bay from Smith Point to Drum Point; tidal Potomac south of Cobb Island
A hurricane warning means hurricane conditions were expected. A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions were possible.
A tropical storm warning means tropical storm conditions were expected within 36 hours. A tropical storm watch means tropical storm conditions were possible within 48 hours.
A storm surge warning means there was a danger of life-threatening rising water moving inland within 36 hours. A storm surge watch means there was a possibility of life-threatening rising water within 48 hours.
Dorian’s destruction stretches for miles in Bahamas
The extent of Dorian’s destruction across the northern Bahamas was immense. On Abaco Island, the damage stretches for miles.
Entire neighborhoods were flattened. Homes were shredded.
Shipping containers and boats were hurled inland. Some airports looked like lakes.
“We are in the midst of one of the greatest national crisis in our country’s history,” Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said. Dorian ravaged Abaco Island and Grand Bahama for two days with 30 inches of rain.
The Red Cross said more than 13,000 homes — nearly half the number on those two islands — were damaged or destroyed. Video from inside one home during the storm showed waves crashing against a second-story window as more water poured in from below, pounding against the stairs.
— David Begnaud
Floridians pitch in to help Bahamas residents
Spared from the wrath of Hurricane Dorian, people in South Florida are donating water, food and household supplies in a relief effort spearheaded by descendants of some of Miami’s earliest settlers from the Bahamas.
Floridians showed up in droves Tuesday to give cans of food, bottles of water and boxes of diapers to members of two historically black churches who were sorting them before they were to be flown to the devastated islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama.
“We have to channel all that anxiety into something positive,” relief coordinator Jonathan Archer said. Archer is the former head of a parish in Long Island, Bahamas, and current rector of the Christ Episcopal Church in Miami’s historic Coconut Grove neighborhood, some of whose first settlers hailed from the Bahamas.
Some of the volunteers were frantically trying to text cousins, uncles, aunts and nieces who braved the powerful storm in their island homes. Few had any luck Tuesday.
— The Associated Press
Thousands without power in Florida
There were more than 10,000 customers without power in Florida as of 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, according to the state’s Division of Emergency Management. More than 6,000 of the outages were customers of Florida Power & Light, the state’s largest utility.
With more than 4,000 customers without power, Volusia County, located along Florida’s east coast, had the most outages of any of the state’s 67 counties. For the complete list of outages across Florida from Dorian, click here.
Hurricane chaser tweets “Yep, I’m alive” after days of silence
Hurricane chaser Josh Mogerman tweeted Tuesday “yep, I’m alive” after going going silent on social media since September 1, when Dorian made landfall in the Bahamas. Morgerman tweeted the storm is “by far the most intense cyclone I’ve witnessed in 28 years of chasing.”
Morgerman tweeted that he “thought I’d play it safe by riding it out in a solid-concrete school on a hill in Marsh Harbour. Thought wrong.” He described the wind as pounding “the building with the force of a thousand sledgehammers.” When he went outside during the calm in the ey of the storm, he saw a school completely destroyed.
He wrote that during the calm of the eye of the storm, he relocated to a government building. “The calm eye saved lives–gave victims chance to relocate,” he wrote.
In his final tweet, Morgerman wrote that “whole neighborhoods were swept by mighty surge higher than anything in memory. Areas above water had catastrophic wind damage. Many deaths reported from drowning, flying debris, & collapsing houses. Medical clinic overwhelmed. An absolute catastrophe. SEND HELP TO ABACO ISLANDS.”
In his last tweet before going silent on September 1, Morgerman wrote “11:40 am. Pounding. CRASHING. Boards prying off windows. We’re moving children to a safe space, wrapping them in blankets.” He told The Weather Channel on Tuesday that the school he was in was largely destroyed. He told The Weather Channel he survived two shelters and living in his car before making it to Nassau.
Trump approves North Carolina emergency declaration
President Trump on Tuesday night approved North Carolina’s request for federal disaster declaration, the White House said. The declaration authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts.
Mr. Trump tweeted earlier that he would be getting the emergency declaration “completed and signed” Tuesday night. “Hope they won’t need it!” he added.
Anxious relatives trying to reach loved ones in the Bahamas
Around South Florida, anxious relatives told CBS Miami they are frustrated and fearful after being unable to reach loved ones in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian struck.
A Broward woman hopes a special Facebook page that she had created before the storm will help people connect with each other.
Relatives say they are horrified after seeing the images of devastation and flooding and were particularly sickened after seeing one photo of a shark swimming inside one victim’s home in the Bahamas.
“I can’t reach anyone,” Isabela Rivers told CBS Miami as she sat inside the Bahamian Pot Restaurant. “I have not been able to reach my close friends in the Bahamas. I’m looking at the news and I see so much water and I hope God has spared their lives. I am here at this restaurant to see if I can help provide food and shelter for anyone who needs it.”
Search for survivors underway in Bahamas
The U.S. Coast Guard has been launching rescue trips to Abaco and surrounding islands after Dorian hit the Bahamas with 48 hours of hurricane force winds, 30 inches of rain and a storm surge of as much as 23 feet.
The Red Cross said nearly half the homes in Abaco and Grand Bahama were damaged or destroyed, and U.N. officials said 62,000 people were without drinking water.
“My grandson’s dead. I’d just seen my grandson about two days ago. My grandson just tell me he loves me,” Ingrid McIntosh told CBS News.
Much of the islands now resemble a wasteland. Homes torn inside out, cars destroyed, trees stripped and toppled, residential streets now rushing rivers. Major infrastructure has been rendered useless. The Grand Bahama International Airport, for example, is under water. That’s just one of the challenges rescuers face in the midst of such destruction.
— Norah O’Donnell and Nikki Battiste contributed reporting
More than 2,400 reports of price gouging in Florida
Florida’s attorney general, Ashley Moody, has received more than 2,400 reports of price gouging. One gas station was selling 24-packs of Nestle’s Pure Life water for $9, more than twice its normal retail cost, and other stations hiked prices at the pump by $1 more than advertised price.
While some may argue that rising prices merely reflect the difficulty of transporting goods during a storm, many states — including Florida — prohibit retailers from jacking up the cost of essentials like water and gas during a state of emergency, which Governor Ron DeSantis declared on August 28.
— Aimee Picchi
Intense hurricanes like Dorian cause 1,000 times more damage
With peak winds of 185 mph, Hurricane Dorian was tied for the second strongest hurricane on record in the Atlantic basin, in terms of wind speed. Pictures from the Bahamas reveal the scale of devastation, consistent with the catastrophic damage expected in a Category 5 hurricane.
Naturally we expect that a stronger storm produces more damage. But the damage does not go up in a linear fashion as the winds increase. Instead, the growth is exponential.
At peak intensity, Hurricane Dorian’s winds clocked in at 185 mph, about two and a half times faster than the 75 mph winds of a low-end Category 1 hurricane. Yet the potential damage caused by a storm like Dorian is not 2.5 times more, or even 25 times more — it’s more than 1,000 times greater. That’s because the damage increases by the eighth power, according to research by Nobel Prize-winning economist William D. Nordhaus.
So, a storm with winds of 150 mph can be expected to produce not double but approximately 256 times the damage of a storm with winds of 75 mph. For a storm like Dorian, with winds of 185 mph, the damage potential — resulting from a combination of winds, storm surge, rain and tornadoes — increases by 1,371 times.
That would explain why the strongest of hurricanes — Category 3, 4 and 5 storms — produce 85% of all hurricane damage, even though they only make up one-quarter of landfalling storms.
2 die in Florida ahead of Dorian’s possible impact
A 55-year-old man died Monday evening after falling from a tree he was trying to trim in anticipation of Hurricane Dorian’s arrival, according to authorities in Ocoee, Florida.
CBS Orlando affiliate WKMG-TV reports Ocoee Battalion Fire Chief Edwin Youman said the man fell after climbing about 15 feet into the tree with a chain saw and attempting to position himself to cut branches. He wasn’t using a ladder, Youman said.
And a 68-year-old Indialantic man who was putting plywood on the windows of a beachside condominium in preparation for Hurricane Dorian Sunday afternoon apparently fell three stories and died, reports WKMG partner Florida Today.
He was identified by Indialantic police as David Bradley. Police said he was standing on a ladder in a screened-in balcony facing the sea when he fell. Police added that Bradley may have had a cardiac episode during the incident.
“He was putting up the plywood and lost his balance and fell through the screen,” said Indialantic Police Chief Mike Connor.
Bradley fell onto the ground behind the condo, which faces the shoreline, police said.
Dorian tossed boats around like toys in Bahamas
The U.S. Coast Guard released new images Tuesday of the destruction left by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. In a release, the Coast Guard said helicopter crews have been helping search-and-rescue efforts by conducting medical evaluations.
Rescues were being led by the Bahamian National Emergency Management Agency and Royal Bahamian Defense Force. The Coast Guard, which is assisting the two agencies, said anyone in a life-threatening situation and in need of help should call 911 or 919.
How to help those affected by Hurricane Dorian
The International Red Cross believes as many as 13,000 homes have been severely damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Dorian. Because it’s hard to get in touch with people on the ground, those numbers are just estimates.
The storm, which was stationary over Grand Bahama Island late Monday afternoon, has torn roofs off of buildings, flooded streets and knocked out power.
The situation is dire.
Once the storm passes, the Bahamas will need help, as will other communities in Dorian’s path. Here are two ways to help:
City of Miami BAHAMASTRONG
The City of Miami has created 16 drop-off locations to collect donations, fire stations and some churches. The city’s commissioner is hoping a near-miss so far in Miami will mean people donate what they bought in preparation for Dorian.
They’re asking for water, canned goods and baby formulas. The supplies will make it to the Bahamas on Wednesday, if weather allows.
World Central Kitchen
World-renowned chef José Andrés is on the ground in the Bahamas getting ready to feed the people of there. He hopes to be able to be in the impacted areas by tonight. If kitchens are destroyed, his World Central Kitchen will build a makeshift one and cook in big paella pans.
World Central Kitchen has provided relief efforts for past storms, including in Puerto Rico for Hurricane Maria. Andrés and others collectively helped feed 3.6 million people.
For a list of even more organizations helping communities affected by Hurricane Dorian, visit CBSNews.com/DorianHelp.
What supplies do you need to prepare?
The National Weather Service is encouraging anyone in the path of the storm that it’s “never too early” to start preparing a hurricane kit. CBS News has rounded up some emergency preparedness tips for people and pets, as well as a checklist of supplies to have on hand before a big storm arrives.
Ahead of potentially devastating storms this hurricane season, the Red Cross recommends having several supplies including, a flashlight, batteries, first aid kit, medications, a multi-purpose tool and an emergency blanket.