As coastal areas of the southeastern U.S. readied for Hurricane Dorian, rescues of people began in the Bahamas yesterday (September 3rd) when the powerful storm finally began to move away after stalling over the Caribbean nation and devastating its islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama with winds of up to 185 miles per hour and a storm surge that had waves lapping at second-story windows and roofs. The U.S. Coast Guard, Britain's Navy and aid groups were trying to get food and medicine to Bahamians and bring those in the most desperate conditions to safety. The death toll rose to seven, and it's expected that number will likely rise higher, and a Red Cross spokesman said that about 45 percent of the homes on Grand Bahama and Abaco were believed to be severely damaged or destroyed. Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said at a news conference that rebuilding would require a, quote, "massive, coordinated effort." However, the most populous island in the Bahamas, New Providence, where the capital city of Nassau is, had little damage.
As Dorian moved over open water towards Florida, it was down to a Category 2 storm. Forecasts say landfall on Florida is now unlikely, but the hurricane will move close to the coast, hugging up along Georgia and South Carolina and may hit North Carolina later in the week. It still will bring storm surge, strong winds and rain, however, as it travels off the coast, and over two million people in Florida, Georgia and North and South Carolina were warned to evacuate.