Weakening after passing through the Bahamas but still with dangerous winds of 150 kilometers per hour, Dorian produced floods and floods after arriving early Friday at the area of Cape Hatteras, at the southern end of a long barrier island known as Outer Banks "We are very worried, because there are hundreds of people trapped on the island of Ocracoke," southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said at a press conference. "The storm is very intense there. I don't think rescue teams can arrive right now, but they are prepared to act as soon as they can." Cooper estimated that some 800 people may have been trapped on that island of almost 25 square kilometers, and recommended that people climb to the highest point of their homes to avoid being dragged into possible floods.
In just two hours, the waves of the Atlantic Ocean exceeded two meters high and flooded routes and homes on the island. "This is an absolute disaster," said Peter Vankevich, the director of the main newspaper in the area, the Ocracoke Observer. "It is impossible to exaggerate the impact that the storm has had here, and I have heard that in Hatteras things are even worse," Vankevich added to The Washington Post.
In North Carolina, more than 200,000 people were left without power due to the fall of trees and electric poles and another 5,000 were evacuated to shelters after leaving their homes, while some 80 routes and highways remain flooded, according to state authorities.
By noon on Friday, the storm was heading towards Chesapeake Bay, an estuary that divides the states of Virginia and Maryland.
"It is expected that dangerous winds and storm surge on the coast of North Carolina, southeastern Virginia and southern Chesapeake Bay will continue over the next few hours," the National Hurricane Center (CNH) said in its latest newsletter . And he insisted that "the storm is expected to continue with life-threatening and dangerous winds over part of the coast of North Carolina, part of southeastern Virginia and southern Chesapeake Bay." Also alert for possible floods in water levels before the arrival of strong winds. He also notes that there are swells that will continue throughout eastern Carolinas and southeastern Virginia. He insists that this phenomenon is "dangerous for life."
Dorian, which is moving at a speed of 34 kilometers per hour, is scheduled to rub between Friday night and Saturday morning in southeastern New England in Massachusetts. It is also estimated that it will land in Nova Scotia and the rest of the maritime provinces of Canada, late on Saturday, although the CNH considered that, by then, it may have become a post-tropical cyclone.
Despite the floods, the North Carolina authorities were relieved by the absence, for now, of deaths and comparisons with Cyclone Florence, which a year ago left more than thirty deaths between that state, South Carolina and Virginia. Dorian's impact on the United States was weaker compared to its catastrophic consequences in the Bahamas, where authorities are still looking for survivors and have already counted at least 30 dead. The total magnitude of the damage is still unknown since the island is still underwater.
Funeral and refrigeration personnel to store bodies were sent to the region to help the authorities, Health Minister Duane Sands reported to local media. On the number of fatalities, he said: "Let me say that I think the number will be shocking." The Great Abaco Island shows scenes of catastrophic damage, hundreds of houses destroyed to the ground, cars overturned, entire fields of debris and widespread flooding. Thousands have been left homeless and the United Nations said 70,000 need immediate help.
The extent of the damage in northern Bahamas began to be known on Thursday, as relief teams managed to tour the area to rescue survivors and bring help to the victims.
American and British helicopters carried out medical evacuations, aerial evaluations to help coordinate relief efforts and reconnaissance flights to know the damage. The United States Coast Guard said it had rescued 201 people in the Bahamas until Thursday. The UN World Food Program said it had eight tons of ready meals to reach the Bahamas.