Hurricane Dorian: Numerous Fatalities Reported in Bahamas, Locals Fear Bodies Will Float out to Sea

The Bahamanian government said that at least five people have died from Hurricane Dorian, and the storm's impact on the Bahamas has left locals fearing bodies will float out to sea. Dorian was a Category 5 at the time it slammed into the northern Bahamas on Sunday. It continues to hover over Grand Bahama Island, and has been downgraded to a Category 4 with maximum sustained winds reaching 145 mph.

According to the Associated Press, Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said at least five people died in the Abaco Islands.

"We are in the midst of a historic tragedy," Minnis said.

The first reported death caused by the storm in the Bahamas was Lachino McIntosh, a 7-year-old who drowned as his family tried to escape their damaged home on Abaco Island Sunday.

"I don't know what to feel, my grandson's dead. I just saw my grandson about two days ago and he told me he loved me," Lachino's grandmother, Ingrid McIntosh, told Eyewitness News. "He turned round and said 'Grandma I love you' and you know what I told my grandson? I said 'that feels so good because I haven't heard that in a long time from no one.'"

McIntosh also said her granddaughter went missing in the storm. Her daughter, Lachino's mother, found Lachino's remains at one of the emergency clinics.

The Bahamas Press also reported that Earnest Rahming, a former police officer, was killed in a car crash in Abaco hours after Dorian made landfall Sunday morning.

The Bahamas' Ministry of Health, issued a short statement to the Bahamas Press Sunday, reading, "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 Press reported Abaca 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 reported.

"Today I gave a live national briefing on the extremely dangerous #HurricaneDorian from NEMA Headquarters. This is probably the saddest and worst day for me to address the Bahamian people," Minnis tweeted Sunday night. "We are facing a hurricane that we have never seen in The Bahamas. Please pray for us."

According to the latest bulletin from the National Hurricane Center, the storm is only about 105 milies east of West Palm Beach, Florida and is moving stationary over the Bahamas today.

The NHC said the situation is still "life-threatening," even though Dorian's wind speeds have slowed.

"Residents on Grand Bahama Island should not leave their shelter when the eye passes over," the NHC added, reports NBC News.

One video from Abaco showed people trying to wait out the storm, huddled in an apartment.

"This is the only house left standing in the neighborhood and everyone is here," a woman in the video said. "This is the only safe place we can be right now."

Most of Florida's East Coast is under a Hurricane Warning now.

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"A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion," the NHC reports.

Photo credit: NOAA via Getty Images