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Nightmare in Paradise: Grand Bahamas under attack by Hurricane Dorian for 12 more hours

Bahamas is taken a hit by Hurricane Dorian

Grand Bahama Island will be under attack by Hurricane Dorian for another 12 hours till midday Tuesday. The storm was downgraded from a  category 4 to a category 3 storm, what really doesn’t mean much for the people stuck in this situation in Grand Bahama. 120 mph winds remain to be life-threatening with the roughest ocean and storm surges ever seen in that part of the Bahamas.

Communication is almost impossible, and people are mostly without electricity and no phone service. Grand Bahama has turned from a beautiful tourist paradise into a pure nightmare. People hiding in shelters cannot wait for daylight, but this is hours away.

It appears Florida may be spared, except for a violent tropical storm expected. The situation may be worse for the Coastal areas of Georgia and South Carolina.

The latest official version of the situation:

The Storm Surge Warning has been extended northward from Altamaha

Sound, GA to the Savannah River.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…

* Lantana FL to Savannah River

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…

* North of Deerfield Beach FL to south of Lantana FL

* Savannah River to South Santee River SC

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…

* Grand Bahama and the Abacos Islands in the northwestern Bahamas

* Jupiter Inlet FL to Ponte Vedra Beach FL

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…

* North of Deerfield Beach FL to Jupiter Inlet FL

* North of Ponte Vedra Beach FL to South Santee River SC

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…

* North of Deerfield Beach FL to Jupiter Inlet FL

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…

* North of Golden Beach FL to Deerfield Beach FL

* Lake Okeechobee

At 1100 PM EDT (0300 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Dorian was located near latitude 26.9 North, longitude 78.5 West.  Dorian is stationary just north of Grand Bahama Island.  A slow northwestward motion is expected to occur early Tuesday.  A turn toward the north is forecast by late Tuesday, with a northeastward motion forecast to begin by Wednesday night.  On this track, the core of extremely dangerous Hurricane Dorian will continue to pound Grand Bahama Island into Tuesday morning.  The hurricane will then move dangerously close to the Florida east coast late Tuesday through Wednesday evening, very near the Georgia and South Carolina coasts Wednesday night and Thursday, and near or over the North Carolina coast late Thursday and Friday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 130 mph (215 km/h) with higher gusts.  Dorian is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  Although gradual weakening is forecast, Dorian is expected to remain a powerful hurricane during the next couple of days.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles (240 km).  Settlement Point Grand Bahama recently reported a sustained wind of 61 mph (98 km/h) with a gust to 82 mph (132 km/h), and Juno Beach Pier in northern Palm Beach County Florida recently reported a sustained wind of 44 mph (70 km/h) with a gust to 56 mph= (91 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure based on data from the Air Force and NOAA Hurricane Hunters was 946 mb (27.94 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

WIND:  Devastating hurricane conditions continue on Grand Bahama Island.  Do not venture out into the eye, as winds will suddenly increase after the eye passes.

Hurricane conditions are expected within the Hurricane Warning area in Florida on Tuesday.  Hurricane conditions are possible in the Hurricane Watch area beginning Wednesday.

Tropical storm conditions are expected within the Tropical Storm warning area through Tuesday, and are possible in the Tropical Storm watch area through early Tuesday.

STORM SURGE:  A life-threatening storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 12 to 18 feet above normal tide levels in areas of onshore winds on Grand Bahama Island.  Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.  Water levels should very slowly subside on the Abaco Islands on Tuesday.

The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.  The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide…

Lantana FL to South Santee River SC…4 to 7 ft

North of Deerfield Beach FL to Lantana FL…2 to 4 ft

Water levels could begin to rise well in advance of the arrival of strong winds.  The surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.  Surge-related flooding depends on the how close the center of Dorian comes to the coast, and can vary greatly over short distances.  For information specific to your area, please see products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.

RAINFALL:  Dorian is expected to produce the following rainfall totals through late this week:

Northwestern Bahamas…Additional 6 to 12 inches, isolated storm totals of 30 inches.

Central Bahamas…Additional 1 to 3 inches, isolated storm totals of 6 inches.

Coastal Carolinas…5 to 10 inches, isolated 15 inches.

Atlantic Coast from the Florida peninsula through Georgia…4 to 8 inches, isolated 10 inches.

This rainfall may cause life-threatening flash floods.

SURF:  Large swells are affecting the northwestern Bahamas, the Florida east coast, and the coast of Georgia.  These swells are expected to spread northward along much of the remainder of the southeastern United States coast during the next couple of days. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.  Please consult products from your local weather office.

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