Bahamas resident Joey Saunders told CNN he and his son slept in trees for two days after Hurricane Dorian destroyed their home with flood waters.
Saunders said it was early in the morning when the water reached the third floor of his home in Grand Bahama, one of the areas hit hardest by Dorian. Their home has 32-foot ceilings — and the water reached the very top, he said.
The current carried away his 25-year-old son, he told CNN’s Patrick Oppmann. They were separated for two days, sleeping in trees, before they reconnected.
Joe Chestnut’s parents’ home on Ocracoke Island in North Carolina sits on 5-foot stilts.
As Hurricane Dorian batters the island, the water has risen about 18 inches from the house, he said.
Chestnut told CNN that his parents are trying to conserve cell battery since they lost power earlier in the day. He’s not sure where they stand right now.
It’s a miracle that we survived. It’s a miracle,” Saunders told CNN
Hurricane Dorian took its last shot at the U.S. Friday morning after marching through the Caribbean and up the Southeast coast. The National Hurricane Center said the Category 1 storm made landfall over Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, with wind gusts near 90 mph, its first landfall since causing at least 30 deaths in the Bahamas.
Dorian was causing life-threatening flash floods and up to 6 feet of storm surge. Thirteen tornadoes touched down in North Carolina Thursday.
The storm also gave coastal South Carolina a beating, and Charleston was starting to survey the damage Friday morning. Dorian’s eye passed within 55 miles, bringing heavy rain and wind gusts of up to more than 70 mph.
In the Bahamas, officials expected the death toll to rise significantly. Thousands of people were reported missing, and search-and-rescue missions were working around the clock.
As of 11 a.m. ET, Dorian’s core was about 50 miles northeast of Cape Hatteras and 460 miles southwest of Nantucket, Massachusetts. The storm was moving northeast at 17 mph with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph.
Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 45 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extended outward up to 220 miles.
- The Bahamas: At least 30 people were killed when Dorian devastated the islandsearlier this week. Hundreds more are missing, officials say.
- What’s next for the storm: The center is forecast move to the southeast of New England Friday night and Saturday morning, and it’ll approach Nova Scotia later on Saturday.
- Hurricane Dorian weakened slightly early Friday, becoming a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph.
- Dorian made landfall over Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, at 8:35 a.m. ET, the National Hurricane Center said.
- Almost 350,000 residents and businesses were without power in North and South Carolina as of 7 a.m. ET.
- The hurricane decimated parts of the Bahamas for 48 hours, killing at least 30 people. Officials expect that number to rise dramatically. Intense rescue and relief efforts were ongoing.