Dorian, which over the weekend had been one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes on record, inundated homes with floodwater in the Abaco Islands in the northern Bahamas ahead of its expected advance on the U.S. East Coast, where more than a million people had been ordered evacuated.
The hurricane weakened early on Tuesday to a Category 2 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale, packing maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour (175 km per hour) and moving northwest at 5 mph (8 kph), the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said. Still, the NHC warned that Dorian remained dangerous as it churned about 105 miles (170 km) east of Fort Pierce, Florida.
The exact toll of the devastation in the Bahamas will not be clear until the storm completely passes and rescue crews can get on the ground. Dorian lashed the islands, including Grand Bahama Island, for almost 24 hours.
“We have not been able to assess the damages on Grand Bahama Island just yet. We expect it to be very devastating and the damage to be extreme,” said Theo Neilly, the Bahamian consul general in Washington.
He added that the sea surge from the storm was high and people were still trapped in their homes and attics.
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