As Dorian Lashes the Carolinas, the Bahamas Grapple With ‘Unimaginable’ Losses
The storm, downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane Friday morning, was located 25 miles east of Cape Lookout, North Carolina at 5 a.m., according to the National Hurricane Center. Its eye could touch the Outer Banks of North Carolina Friday morning. But while Dorian knocked out power for nearly 200,000 people in South Carolina, as well as 9,000 in North Carolina and 7,000 in Georgia, as The New York Times reported, overall its impacts on the Eastern U.S. have not been as devastating as feared.
"This is not going to be one of those storms that goes down in our history or in our record books," Thomas Bell, the spokesman for the emergency management agency in Horry County, South Carolina, told The Washington Post. "This was not a disaster or a catastrophe — especially compared to some of the storms we've seen recently, like Florence last year."
This video speaks for itself, but please STAY INDOORS and OFF THE ROAD during #HurricaneDorian.💨😱 #HorryReady… https://t.co/HNsYHkD2AX— Horry County PD (@Horry County PD)1567695141.0
The same could not be said for the Bahamas, where officials and residents are still taking stock of the devastation. Officials ordered more body bags, morticians and coolers to the impacted islands as hundreds to thousands of people remain missing.
"The public needs to prepare for unimaginable information about the death toll and the human suffering," Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands said, as CNN reported.
The hurricane may have damaged or destroyed 45 percent of homes on Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands, BBC News reported. Thirty-five inches of rain caused widespread flooding, and Grand Bahama's only international airport was severely damaged.
These satellite images show Grand Bahama before and after Hurricane Dorian's wrath https://t.co/VumnBGWnZw https://t.co/4wDsAMbagE— CNN (@CNN)1567522817.0
Great Abaco is "virtually uninhabitable," BBC News said. There is no water, power or food on the island. Over all, the UN estimates that around 70,000 people in the Bahamas will need some form of disaster aid, The Guardian reported.
"I have nothing left. Absolutely nothing. Only the clothes that I have on my body right now," Great Abaco resident Kathlyn Russell, who was evacuated to Nassau Wednesday, told The Guardian.
Dorian's passage up the Carolina Coast was far less damaging, but still dramatic. Two tornadoes touched down in North Myrtle Beach and Little River, South Carolina and several in North Carolina, The New York Times reported. One, in Carolina Shores, North Carolina, caused property damage, but no injuries.
A scene of destruction after a tornado touched down in the Carolina Shores neighborhood The Farm at Brunswick in NC… https://t.co/rzQjKn13hO— Jason Lee (@Jason Lee)1567703990.0
The storm also flooded streets in Charleston, South Carolina and Wilmington, North Carolina. Wilmington International Airport recorded 8.93 inches of rain Thursday. Messages on an electronic street sign in one Wilmington neighborhood alternated between "Be safe!" and "Not even your mom loves you, Dorian!"
Dorian hit the Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane, the strongest storm to ever impact the island chain. Hurricanes are becoming more extreme and destructive because of the climate crisis. BBC Weather's Tomasz Schafernaker explained. Schafernaker gave two reasons:
An increase in sea surface temperatures strengthens the wind speeds within storms and also raises the amount of precipitation a hurricane will dump
Sea levels are expected to increase by one to four feet over the next century, bringing the potential of far worse damage from sea surges and coastal flooding during storms
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By Tara Lohan
In 1999 a cheering crowd watched as a backhoe breached a hydroelectric dam on Maine's Kennebec River. The effort to help restore native fish populations and the river's health was hailed as a success and ignited a nationwide movement that spurred 1,200 dam removals in two decades.
Transmission lines from the Churchill Falls generating station in Labrador. Douglas Spott / CC BY-NC 2.0
Atlantic sturgeon were brought to the brink of extension in the 20th century and are now are listed as an endangered species. NOAA
Near Happy Valley-Goose Bay on the Churchill (Grand) River downstream from Muskrat Falls. Douglas Sprott / CC BY-NC 2.0
Construction of the Site C dam in British Columbia in 2017. Jason Woodhead / CC BY 2.0
The Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island is the first U.S. offshore wind farm. Dennis Schroeder / NREL / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
The excess carbon dioxide emitted by human activity since the start of the industrial revolution has already raised the Earth's temperature by more than one degree Celsius, increased the risk of extreme hurricanes and wildfires and killed off more than half of the corals in the Great Barrier Reef. But geologic history shows that the impacts of greenhouse gases could be much worse.
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