Now packing winds up to 180 mph, Hurricane Dorian is reported to be the strongest hurricane in modern records for the northwestern Bahamas, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
“Dorian has grown larger in size,” NHC said in it’s 11 a.m. advisory.
“Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.
“Catastrophic hurricane conditions are occurring in the Abacos Islands and will spread across Grand Bahama Island later today and tonight.
“A life-threatening storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 18 to 23 feet above normal tide levels in areas of
onshore winds on the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama Island. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.
“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.”
On Guana Cay, most locals have opted to stay despite an appeal by Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis for the cays to be evacuated.
Troy Albury, a Guana Cay resident, said eight people left aboard a free ferry yesterday and about 150 opted to stay.
Albury, who makes a living on the sea, said eight people are in the island’s school, which is being used as a shelter.
Asked why he and his wife decided to stay, Albury said, “Our house is built solid. It’s more than 15 feet above sea level. My house isn’t going anywhere.”
He added, “We’ve been through four storms.”
Albury’s wife, Maria, remarked earlier today that the sea was already “horrendous”.