Over 70,000 people have been left stranded and homeless, without food or water, after Hurricane Dorian ravaged the northern islands of the Bahamas and left nightmare conditions behind.
Government and volunteer rescue workers are moving as quickly as they can to distribute food and administer aide, while the search continues for people still missing in the high floodwaters and collapsed buildings.
The official death toll rose from 23 to 43, on Saturday, Sept. 7, and is still expected to increase dramatically. A door-to-door search for survivors is still underway, with the help of volunteers and search dogs. Large areas of the islands have become accessible by trucks only in the last 24 hours, as floodwaters have subsided.
Hundreds, or even thousands of people are reportedly still missing, and Bahamas Minister of Health Duane Sands warns that “unimaginable information about the death toll and the human suffering” is still to come.
Many of the storm’s survivors have been desperate to leave the islands. Many areas on Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands are now considered uninhabitable, lacking power, running water, or traversable roads.
One of the runways on the isles’ main airport in Grand Bahama is now functioning, and thousands of people have been lining up to evacuate the islands. Roughly 1,400 people were able to leave on a large cruise ship that landed in West Palm Beach, Saturday afternoon, with what few belongings they could gather.
The people still stranded on the islands have reportedly begun to complain of food shortages and spreading sickness. Bodies are still seen floating in pools of water.
The U.S. Coast Guard continues to run rescue missions by helicopter and reports to have recovered 239 people during the past few days.
Hurricane Dorian leaves behind severe damage in North Carolina as it now heads toward Canada
Hurricane Dorian stayed a distance off the coast of the United States, for the most part, as it traveled north during the week. The one exception is North Carolina, where the eye of the hurricane made landfall, early on Friday morning.
Winds of over 100 mph created strong storm surges that flooded lower-lying areas with water 4 feet to7 feet deep within minutes. A number of roads still remain submerged, leaving residents on the outer islands stranded for the time being.
Over 50,000 people remain without power, on Saturday, while over 135,000 people were reported to lose power when the storm first knocked down power lines, on Friday.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper reported that at least two people are known to have died in the state as a result of the storm.