Hurricane Dorian, after wreaking havoc over the Bahamas for nearly 45 hours, was picking up speed Tuesday and forecasters said the deadly storm will soon move “dangerously close” to Florida, forecasters said.
Dorian, now a Category 2, is expected to approach the eastern coastline of Florida Tuesday night through Wednesday evening, before targeting Georgia and the Carolinas.
Over the Bahamas for a day and a half, Hurricane Dorian pounded away at the islands in a watery onslaught that devastated thousands of homes, trapped people in attics and crippled hospitals. At least five deaths were reported, with the full extent of the damage far from clear.
The United Nations and the International Red Cross began mobilizing to deal with the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the wake of the most powerful hurricane on record ever to hit the Bahamas.
Dorian’s punishing winds and torrential rain battered the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama, which have a combined population of about 70,000 and are known for their marinas, golf courses and all-inclusive resorts. The Grand Bahama airport was under 6 feet (2 meters) of water.
Bahamian officials received a “tremendous” number of calls from people in flooded homes, and desperate callers trying to find loved ones left messages with local radio stations.