After slamming The Bahamas, resulting in at least 30 fatalities and destroying thousands of homes, Hurricane Dorian has officially made landfall in the United States. On Friday, the storm made landfall in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina as a Category 1 storm with sustained winds of 90 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. This is the first landfall Dorian has made in the U.S.
Initially popping up on radars as a tropical storm, the exact course that Dorian would take remained largely unknown. It had been projected early on to take a northward turn, though when and where it would make that turn left the fates of several states along the east coast in limbo.
"A slow westward to west-northwestward motion is forecast during the next day or so, followed by a gradual turn toward the northwest and north," the National Hurricane Center said in a Labor Day update. "The hurricane will then move dangerously close to the Florida east coast late tonight through Wednesday evening and then move dangerously close to the Georgia and South Carolina coasts on Wednesday night and Thursday."
In anticipation of the storm, several counties across three states had enacted both mandatory and voluntary evacuations. Hundreds of flights had also been cancelled and hundreds of businesses had shuttered their doors.
The precaution came after photos and videos showing the devastation in the Bahamas began to arise online. Slamming the islands as a Category 5 storm with sustained winds of 185 mph and gusts reaching 220 mph, Dorian first made landfall at Great Abaco Island on Sunday, where it remained mostly "stationary" for roughly a day.
Along with destroying an estimated 13,000 homes, Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis confirmed on Monday that at least five people had died, including a young boy.
"There have so far been no reported deaths on the island of Abaco, which is currently being impacted by Hurricane Dorian, other than the recent fatality in Sandy Point, Abaco," the Bahamas' Ministry of Health issued a short statement to The Bahamas Press.
At the time, the outlet also reported that Abaco was a "disaster, no business is operable and bodies are floating around Big Cat."
"The concern is nobody knows how many people died, and they feel when the water subsides some bodies will be washed out to sea," the outlet added.
Second only to Hurricane Allen at the peak of its strength, Hurricane Dorian was among the strongest storms ever observed in the Atlantic Ocean. At the time it made landfall in the Bahamas, it was the strongest storm in recorded history to ever hit the islands.
As it made its approach towards the eastern coast of the United States, the storm was downgraded to a Category 4 storm and later a Category 3 then Category 2, though it was still said to be "extremely dangerous."