Crawling Hurricane Dorian lashes north Bahamas

The storm was moving west (275 degrees) at 8 miles per hour.

"Dorian's slowing forward motion will keep hurricane conditions over the islands for this prolonged period of time", Dean said. "If your head is hard and stubborn and you will not move, you will have to hunker down".

Hurricane Dorian is moving ever closer to the northern Bahamas.

Officials are concerned about storm surge from Dorian, especially due to the slow speed of the massive storm.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Dorian was packing maximum sustained winds of 160 miles per hour (260 km per hour) early on Sunday and was about 35 miles (55 km) east of Abaco.

Hurricane Dorian, a massive Category 5 storm on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, is seen on September 1, 2019 by the NOAA-20 weather satellite in this infrared view.

Hurricane Dorian is gaining intensity as now a possible Category 5 storm, and is barreling towards the Bahamas, along with Florida and the Southeast coast of the United States. Conditions are expected to grow only worse as Dorian stalls over the Bahamas, forecasters say. "The Bahamas are flat", DeSantis said Saturday. "We have no more time available".

Palm Beach County, the third most-populated county and home to President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, was among those with partial mandatory evacuations.

In some parts of Abaco, "you can not tell the difference as to the beginning of the street versus where the ocean begins", said Prime Minister Hubert Minnis. Only eight left on the last ferry out, he said.

As it begins to affect the northern part of the island chain of the Bahamas on Sunday, the winds are expected to increase further, reaching sustained speeds of 250km/h, just shy of a Category five.

Earlier Saturday, skiffs shuttled between outlying fishing villages and McLean's Town, a settlement of a few dozen homes at the eastern end of Grand Bahama island, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) from Florida's Atlantic coast. Most people came from Sweeting Cay, a fishing town of a few hundred people about 5 feet (1.5 meters) above sea level. Caitlin Brown said. She added that eight military helicopters are on standby.

But Jack Pittard, an American who has been traveling to the Bahamas for some 40 years, said he has made a decision to ride out the storm in The Abaco Islands.

A hurricane watch was issued for parts of Florida's east coast
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

"It's devastating", Joy Jibrilu, director general of the Bahamas' Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, said Sunday afternoon. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

Pittard said he battened up his house and is spending the storm in a nearby duplex behind a group of cottages that a friend owns. He noted the ocean is quite deep near where he was staying, and there is a cay that provides protection.

"I'm not afraid of dying here", said Pittard, who lives in Lexington, Kentucky.

- Hurricane Dorian is now officially the strongest hurricane in modern records to hit the northwestern Bahamas, as it moves west through the Atlantic as a catastrophic Category 5 storm.

Harris, the government spokesman, said Dorian could affect 73,000 residents and 21,000 homes.

The National Hurricane Center's rainfall estimates for the northwestern Bahamas were upped to 12in to 24in, with isolated incidents of 30in, while estimates for the coastal Carolinas were between 5in to 10in of rain, with isolated cases of 15in.

Jeffrey Allen, who lives in Freeport on Grand Bahama, told the Associated Press he had learned after several storms that sometimes predictions of damage don't materialize, but he still takes precautions.

"It's nearly as if you wait with anticipation, hoping that it's never as bad as they say it will be".

The archipelago is no stranger to hurricanes.

The biggest concern will be Dorian's slow motion when it is near Florida, placing some areas of the Sunshine State at an increasing risk of a prolonged, drawn-out event of strong winds, unsafe storm surge, and heavy rainfall.

The second-strongest Atlantic storm on record was forecast to keep pounding the archipelago through the day, then move towards the east U.S. coast - where authorities ordered more than a million people evacuated in Florida, South Carolina and Georgia.

Migrants jump off rescue boat to try to reach Italian island
Open Arms said on Monday that disembarking in Mallorca would add another three days what has been a trying situation. But a spokeswoman for the Spanish NGO, Laura Lanuza, said undertaking such a long voyage to Spain would be "crazy".

  • Sonia Alvarado