Officials warned of likely devastation in the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama from 180mph sustained winds and storm surge of up to 20ft. In a special mid-morning bulletin, the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) reported wind gusts above 200mph and warned that “extreme winds and storm surge will continue for several hours”.
The NHC said Dorian was the strongest hurricane to hit the Bahamas in modern times. In the islands, government officials urged residents to take immediate steps to protect life and property.
“Once the winds get to a certain strength we’re not going to to be able to respond,” Don Cornish, head of the national emergency management agency, warned in a pre-storm briefing. “We may not have the resources to come after persons who are in harm’s way.”
Reporters in the Bahamas said hundreds of residents of lower-lying islands, including Grand Cay and Sweeting Cay, had ignored mandatory evacuation orders.
“It is unfortunate that a lot of persons on these Cays did not heed these warnings for whatever reason and a lot of them are left,” Theo Sealy of