JACKSONVILLE, Sep. 1 (Reuters / EP) –
The authorities of the Bahamas have made a last-minute appeal to residents and tourists who are in the country to seek refuge before the arrival of the powerful hurricane Dorian.
“Hurricane Dorian is a devastating and dangerous storm that is approaching our islands,” Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said in a press conference that has been televised nationwide.
With maximum winds of 240 kilometers per hour, the category 4 storm will arrive in Bahamas on Sunday, according to the United States National Hurricane Center (NHC).
“A prolonged period of storms, devastating hurricane winds and torrential rains is expected to cause sudden floods that endanger the lives of people on the Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands from Sunday through Monday,” said the NHC.
Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis has asked Abaco and Grand Bahamas residents to head to the main island to escape the “devastating and dangerous” hurricane.
“I want you to remember: houses, structures can be replaced. Lives cannot,” Minnis warned at a press conference, indicating that 73,000 people and 21,000 homes are in danger.
For their part, North Carolina authorities have warned residents that 'Dorian' is heading towards this state, while their counterparts in Florida have asked their city authorities to remain alert.
“Although obviously it is a better forecast for us, we cannot assume that there will be no dangerous weather,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.
On Tybee Island in Georgia, authorities have put sand in a local park so residents could collect sacks to protect against potential flooding. “Our biggest concern is the storm surge because the tides are really high right now,” said the manager of a local restaurant.
Further north, Dorchester County, in South Carolina, has increased its alert level to ensure that public safety infrastructure and equipment are ready for the hurricane to pass in an area near the historic city of Charleston.