Residents of Grand Bahama and Abaco are being urged to brace for Hurricane Dorian, as one local meteorologist expressed fear for those islands, which he said will likely be hit with the full brunt of the storm.
Current projections show that Hurricane Dorian, a category one storm, will strengthen to a dangerous category three or four hurricane as it nears the Bahamian islands.
Meteorologist Wayne Neely predicted that The Bahamas could begin feeling the impact of Dorian by sometime tomorrow.
“I’m afraid for Abaco and Grand Bahama,” he said. “Right now, Dorian was supposed to be impacted by the mountains of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, but it moved further east than [expected], and that doesn’t bode well for The Bahamas because the mountains didn’t really tear the storm apart.
“Grand Bahama and Abaco are going to get the full brunt of the storm. If there is one good thing, most of the stronger points will be [over] water, on the present track, but any wobble, left or right, could take it either further north or further south and then there would be catastrophe.”
Neely said while other islands will also feel some impact, they are not expected to get extreme weather.
“Most of the central Bahamas is going to be out of the storm,” he added. “Here in Nassau, we are going to get some showers and some stronger winds and rough seas, but the brunt of the storm is going to be on Grand Bahama and Abaco. Those two islands, I really fear for those two islands.
“If you are in the extreme northwest, Grand Bahama, Abaco, Bimini, you should definitely be preparing for a strong storm, a category three storm or higher.”
Grand Bahama resident Gail Woon said residents are becoming increasingly concerned as the storm barrels closer.
“We’ve been bashed and battered several times before and people know what to expect,” she said.
“I spoke to someone from NEMA this morning and they’re mobilizing and everyone’s going to get their provisions and preparing their houses.”
Scores of people have already begun to prepare their homes in preparation for the storm. Residents are also stocking their shelves. Photos posted to social media show long lines at grocery stores.
“I went to get water this morning and that was crazy,” Woon said, adding that she did most of her shopping yesterday.
The Department of Meteorology issued an alert for the islands in northwestern Bahamas this morning. The islands include New Providence, Eleuthera, Abaco, Grand Bahama, North Andros, Bimini and the Berry Islands. A hurricane alert means that hurricane conditions are expected in the mentioned islands within 60 hours.
In its 11 a.m. advisory, the National Hurricane Center said on its current track, Dorian should move over the Atlantic well east of the southeastern and central Bahamas today and on Friday, approach the northwestern Bahamas on Saturday, and move near or over portions of the northwest Bahamas on Sunday.
“Maximum sustained winds are near 85 with higher gusts,” the advisory notes. “Strengthening is forecast during the next few days, and Dorian is expected to become a major hurricane on Friday, and remain an extremely dangerous hurricane through the weekend.”
Dorian is expected to produce one to two inches of rain in central Bahamas; three to six inches in the northwestern Bahamas and up to eight inches in isolated areas.
“This rainfall may cause life-threatening flash floods,” NHC warns.
“Swells around the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico should gradually diminish today. Swells are likely to begin affecting the east-facing shores of The Bahamas and the southeastern United States coast during the next few days. These swells are likely to cause life threatening surf and rip current conditions.”