Many Americans are holding their breath as Hurricane Dorian approaches the south-east, but some are already experiencing it as it hits the U.S. Virgin Islands. The storm is passing over the Bahamas this weekend, battering the achipelagos there before making continental landfall.
Videos from the Virgin Islands and other tropical getaways are starting to surface, giving people a preview of the devastation to come. As predicted, Hurricane Dorian comes with incredible winds and torrential rain, posing a problem for island and mainland communities alike.
In the Virgin Islands, a few harrowing videos were taken. The storm passed there as a Category 1 hurricane, with wind speeds around 80 miles per hour. This footage was terrifying on its own.
According to a report by CBS News, authorities in the nearby Bahamas began evacuating remaining residents on Saturday, just before the storm was set to hit. Stranded tourists were sent to shelters and churches on high ground, as well as schools and other public buildings secured against diasters. Prime Minister Hubert Minnis advised people not to take the storm lightly.
"Do not be foolish and try to brave out this hurricane," Minnis said at a news conference. "The price you may pay for not evacuating is your life."
As if that was not enough, the storm is far stronger now. Dorian is a Category 4 hurricane, with sustained wind speeds of 140 miles per hour and even faster gusts. Some experts say it could remain this strong until it makes landfall, and a few even fear it could get stronger, ratcheting up to a Category 5.
Some models, however, predict that Dorian will taper off as it approaches land. Rather than remaining on a direct collision course with Florida, CBS News reports that it may well swerve to the north, clipping the coast on its way to land in Georgia, South Carolina or even North Carolina. Along the way, it may drop to a Category 3 or even a Category 2.
Still, experts warn that under no circumstances should this storm be taken lightly, and the Virgin Islands are the proof. Even a relatively small storm can have devastating effects, and this one is not small by any measure.0comments
"If it bumps just a little west, then you're looking at really, really significant impacts," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned, in a statement to reporters. "Don't make any assumptions, remain vigilant, and be prepared. You don't want to overread these tracks. You're still looking at really significant storm surge in the east coast of Florida. You're looking at major flooding events in different parts of the state."
Stay tuned for updates on Hurricane Dorian.