Powerful Hurricane Dorian is unleashing its full array of hazards on the Carolinas just days after causing a humanitarian crisis in the northwestern Bahamas and then zagging around the Florida Peninsula.
The Category 3 storm has already flooded parts of downtown Charleston, S.C., with a combination of storm surge and rainfall runoff, prompting a flash-flood warning through midmorning there, in addition to a storm-surge warning.
If it makes landfall in North Carolina, it would be the first Category 3 to do so since Fran in 1996. While intensifying, its wind field has expanded, with tropical-storm and hurricane-force winds covering more territory. Even the Virginia Tidewater and southern Delmarva Peninsula could endure tropical storm conditions by Friday, after which the storm is expected to finally zoom away to the northeast.
The storm is likely to buffet the entire coastline of South Carolina throughout the day and lash North Carolina through the first half of Friday. Its impacts will also be felt northward into coastal Virginia Thursday night and Friday, where low-lying communities such as Hampton Roads could see a storm surge of two to four feet, according to the National Hurricane Center….
The effort in the Bahama’s….
A massive search-and-rescue operation scoured the islands of Great Abaco and Grand Bahama amid a growing awareness that Hurricane Dorian unleashed a catastrophe unlike anything seen in this part of the world.
The death toll late Wednesday was 20, according to Minister of Health Duane Sands, and it is likely to rise further as emergency responders work their way through the debris and rubble and the drowned neighborhoods. Rescue workers are racing through flooded terrain looking for survivors and the bodies of victims.
The U.S. Coast Guard has dispatched nine cutters from Key West and has been deploying helicopters, pre-staged in the Bahamas as Dorian approached, to transport the injured to medical facilities in Nassau — the capital, on the island of New Providence — south of the devastation. The British Royal Navy, numerous aid groups, and first responders from Fairfax County, Va., and Los Angeles have joined, or are in the process of joining, the Bahamians’ rescue and relief efforts….