Hurricane Dorian was the most devastating to the Bahamas, and today we’ll recap the facts, storm path, and affected areas.
Hurricane Dorian’s Destruction in 2019
Hurricane Season is a very apprehensive time of the year for residents in the states near any body of water. They are formed out in the oceans, and depending on their intensity and strength, will cause destruction to anything in its path. several states in the nation have fallen prey to the damage of various hurricanes down through the years, and some took years to recover. In recent years, hurricanes like Harvey caused death and devastation to the city of Houston in 2017. It left such a mark that some people are finding it difficult to resume their life as usual. With lost homes and businesses, the city is still struggling to bounce back, and the losses totaled over $125 billion dollars. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 left the city of New Orleans in such devastation that the total loss is over $160 billion dollars. After all these years, the city is still in a state of restructuring. In 2012, Hurricane Isaac came to Louisiana and left a deficit of $3.02 billion dollars. The wind speed at landfall was 70 miles per hour. Gustav also hit the state of Louisiana in August 2008 with 135 mile per hour winds, and left the state with a cost of $6.96 billion dollars in damages.
One of the most powerful and intense tropical cyclones on record struck the Bahamas. This hurricane was named Dorian. This was regarded as the worst natural disaster to hit the country in its history. It has been recorded as the most powerful to form in the Atlantic Ocean with measured one minute sustained winds peaking at 185 miles per hour. Dorian surpassed the 2017 Hurricane Irma to become the most powerful in the Atlantic region outside of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. This storm was named fourth, named the second hurricane, and named the first major hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane season in 2019. Hurricane Dorian struck the islands of Abacco on the first of September. The maximum sustained winds tied with those of the Labor Day hurricane of 1935 for the highest wind speed ever recorded at landfall in the Atlantic. The storm struck The Grand Bahamas with the intense wind speed that hovered over the country for a 24 hour period. This catastrophic storm left the island with most of the homes and other structures flattened or swept out to sea. More than 70,000 people were left without homes. After ravaging through the Bahamas, Dorian left for the Southeastern coasts of the United States, and the Atlantic Canada. Those regions were also left with a considerable amount of damage, and the economic losses were also devastating.
Hurricane Dorian began to develop as a tropical wave over the Central Atlantic on August 24th. It moved through the Lesser Antilles to become a hurricane north of Greater Antilles on the 28th of August. Over the next few days, the storm’s intensity grew rapidly to peak at a Category Five Hurricane with sustained one minute winds of 185 miles per hour. By September 1st, it had a minimum central pressure of 910 millibars, and reached landfall in Elbow Cav in the Bahamas which is east of the Abacco Island. By September 3rd, the storm had weakened and began to move North Westward parallel to the East Coast of Florida. The hurricane turned northeast and made landfall on September 6th in Cape Hatteras with a Category One intensity. The storm then turned into an extra tropical cyclone and struck Nova Scotia and Newfoundland on September 8th with hurricane force winds. After leaving a path of destruction for several days, the hurricane finally dissipated on September 10 near Greenland.
Between August 26 and August 28, Hurricane Dorian primarily affected some of the northern part of the Lesser Antilles, and wind gusts of 111 miles per hour affected The Virgin Islands. Although precautionary measures were taken to lessen the damage, one person died in Puerto Rico. In other parts of the Lesser Antilles, the storm’s impact was relatively minor. People in the United States prepared for the hurricane by declaring a state of emergency in the states of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Many of the counties along the coasts from Florida to North Carolina also ordered mandatory evacuations. The United States escaped damages from Hurricane Dorian, but the damage to the Bahamas was catastrophic. This was due to the prolonged storm conditions that were also very intense. The high winds, heavy rainfall, and storm surges, played a large contributory factor to the devastation. There were at least 70 deaths recorded in the Bahamas as a result of the hurricane, and thousands of people with no place to return. The accurate death total is unknown to this date, but there is an uncertainty of the count.
The elongated trough of a very low air pressure was the tropical wave that was identified by the National Hurricane Center on August 19, 2019 over Guinea and Senegal in Western Africa. The system that was only understood by professionals remained over the Tropical Atlantic Ocean for days. An area of low pressure was consolidated over the surface with increased thunderstorm activity. This was classified as a Tropical Depression Five on August 24, 2019. The system was situated near Barbados. It continued to move westward steering toward the Lesser Antilles. It started as a small cyclone that soon developed an inner core with an eye like feature that was 12 miles wide. The intensification of this storm was marked as that of a tropical storm, and was then given the name Dorian by the National Hurricane Center. As Dorian traveled along its course barely missing Barbados, the strong winds and heavy rains headed toward Saint Lucia. The tropical storm made landfall there on August 27, 2019. This disrupted the core of the storm before it headed out to the Caribbean Sea. The Island of Martinique received tropical storm force winds as well. Dorian did not follow the path that was predicted. Instead it took a northerly path toward Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
According to current records, Dorian is the strongest land falling Atlantic Hurricane to date. Its winds of 185 miles per hour puts it at the top of the most devastating hurricanes in history. The hurricane barely missed striking the coast of South Carolina as it moved North Westward and reorganized. Moving over the warm Gulf Stream waters it completed its eye wall replacement cycle. It grew to a stronger Category 3 hurricane off the Carolina coast, but hours later it encountered a high wind shear that caused it to weaken to a Category 2 hurricane. The intensity caused to to move to a Category 1 hurricane. As Hurricane Dorian completed its path of destruction and devastation over a large part of the countries surrounding the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, it came to rest on September 10, 2019 after its tormenting transition from one place to another. This was truly one for the annuls of history that will not be forgotten for a long period of time. During the beginning of Hurricane Dorian’s travel, the Prime Minister of Barbados only ordered the residents of the country to stay indoors during the duration of the storm.