Hurricane Dorian spun away from North Carolina’s Outer Banks on Friday as one of the longest-lasting named storms and the most powerful on record to hit the Bahamas, and it wasn’t finished yet—a hurricane warning had been posted for Nova Scotia, Canada.
Compared to the path of devastation Dorian left across the northern Bahamas, the U.S. coast had largely been spared.
Dorian had struck the northern Bahamas‘ Great Abaco and Grand Bahama islands as one of the strongest Category 5 storms on record in the Atlantic, making landfall on Sept. 1 with 185 mile-per-hour winds and even higher gusts. It stalled there for more than 36 hours, its wind, rain and storm surge overwhelming the two low-lying islands and damaging or destroying more than 13,000 houses, nearly half the islands’ dwellings, according to the American Red Cross.
With no electricity or running water in many areas after the storm, many island residents were trying to get out, and the deaths were only beginning to be counted as the water subsided.
“What has happened in the Bahamas is like nothing I have ever seen in my career, and I have been doing this for more than 30 years,” said Rob Young, a professor of geosciences and natural resources and director of the Western Carolina University Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines.
Stephen P. Leatherman, a professor in the Florida International University Department of Earth and Environment, and an expert on hurricanes, likened the destruction to a bombing. “The sheer devastation in the northern Bahamas is pretty much unprecedented,” he said.