As Floridians begin mandatory evacuations, Hurricane Dorian continues to ravage the Bahamas and has already claimed five lives.
The strongest storm ever to hit the Bahamas continues to devastate the area, destroying homes and leaving residents homeless, reports CNN.
Power has been wiped out on the country’s most populous island, Nassau, and the rest of New Providence, said a representative of Bahamas Power and Light, CNN reports.
“We are in the midst of a historic tragedy in parts of our northern Bahamas,” Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said at a news conference in Nassau, according to CNN.
He added that “the devastation is unprecedented and extensive.”
While there isn’t a lot of information provided about the five people killed, it was reported that they were in the Abaco Islands, and one woman told reporters that her 8-year-old grandson drowned.
“I just saw my grandson about two days ago,” Ingrid McIntosh told CNN. “He told me he loved me. He was going back to Abaco, he turned around and said, ‘Grandma, I love you.’”
According to McIntosh, her granddaughter is also missing.
Coast Guard crews have been working tirelessly to rescue residents in Abaco, where the five individuals reportedly died due to the hurricane.
But the “absolutely catastrophic conditions” have prevented crews from getting to Grand Bahama Island on Monday, according to Coast Guard Rear Admiral Eric Jones, CNN reported.
Before Dorian departs from the Bahamas sometime Monday night, it’s expected to continue dumping rain, totaling 24 to 30 inches, in some parts of northwestern Bahamas.
Millions of Americans are preparing for Dorian with some parts of Florida under mandatory evacuation ahead of the hurricane’s arrival sometime Tuesday (September 3).
In fact, hurricane warnings and watches span across the Florida coastline, which should feel the impact by Tuesday evening, all the way northward to Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.
“The images and videos we are seeing are heartbreaking,” Minnis said. “Many homes, businesses and other buildings have been completely or partially destroyed.”
(Photo: Eyewitness News)