Hurricane Dorian may have been downgraded to Category 1, but its storm surge still brought devastation to North Carolina, leaving destruction behind in its wake after it made landfall on Friday.
Continue Reading Below
Steve Harris, a semi-retired contractor who lives on Ocracoke Island, said he thought Dorian would be a “normal blow,” but was wrong.
“This is flooding of biblical proportions," he said.
North Carolina’s Governor Roy Cooper said Friday around 800 people decided to ride out the storm, although hundreds were stranded in the Outer Banks.
More than a quarter-million people and tourists in the region were ordered to evacuate ahead of landfall.
By Saturday, officials confirmed there were no serious injuries, though many needed to be transported to the mainland for shelter.
The Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department makes rounds through the village on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019 on Ocracoke Island, N.C., in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian. (Connie Leinbach/Ocracoke Observer via AP)
At least four people died preparing for the storm in Florida and North Carolina.
We’re trying to make sure everybody is safe, but it’s going to be a long recovery.
Damage costs have yet to be estimated in the U.S.
In the Caribbean, where the monster storm left at least 43 dead with more expected, areas of the Bahamas were completely decimated.
A woman is overcome as she looks at her house destroyed by Hurricane Dorian, in High Rock, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Friday Sept. 6, 2019. The Bahamian health ministry said helicopters and boats are on the way to help people in affected areas, though officials warned of delays because of severe flooding and limited access. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Estimates put the damage in the northwest Bahamas around $7 billion.
Recovery efforts there are expected to last well into 2020 and beyond.
President Trump sent his best wishes in a video published on Twitter Friday.
“It looks like the numbers are going to be far worse than we thought,” he said.
“At the request of your government, the United States has come in. We have the Coast Guard, we have tremendous numbers of people working there. We’re bringing food, we’re bringing water," he tweeted.
Photos and video from the islands show the complete obliteration the 185 mph winds wrought on homes and businesses.
Security Minister Marvin Dames said it was difficult to begin cleanup when there were still likely bodies buried underneath the rubble.
Cruise ships and personal boats were being used to distribute water and supplies to the area.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.