Devastating photos show the destruction left behind after Hurricane Dorian battered Bahamas

Hurricane Dorian has killed at least five people and destroyed as many as 13,000 homes during its path of destruction through the Bahamas.  

The catastrophic onslaught sent floodwaters up to the second floors of some buildings, trapped people in attics and led to others fleeing from one shelter to another.

Dorian’s relentless winds and rain battered homes and businesses on the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama, which have a combined population of about 70,000 and are no more than 40 feet above sea level at their highest points.

The Grand Bahama airport was said to be under 6 feet of water. The exact toll of the devastation in the Bahamas will not be clear until the storm passes and rescue crews can get on the ground. The storm hovered over the islands for almost 24 hours. 

Photos have captured just a glimpse of the devastation in the Bahamas. One photo shows dozens of capsized boats at a harbor, while video shows stalled cars among flooded roads and completely destroyed homes. 

One video shows Bahamians picking through debris as they try to salvage some of their belongings.  

Bahamas prime minister Hubert Minnis said: ‘We are in the midst of a historic tragedy. The devastation is unprecedented and extensive.’

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Hurricane Dorian has killed at least five people and destroyed as many as 13,000 homes during its path of destruction through the Bahamas. This photo shows dozens of damaged boats at a harbor in the Bahamas

Hurricane Dorian has killed at least five people and destroyed as many as 13,000 homes during its path of destruction through the Bahamas. This photo shows dozens of damaged boats at a harbor in the Bahamas

Hurricane Dorian has killed at least five people and destroyed as many as 13,000 homes during its path of destruction through the Bahamas. This photo shows dozens of damaged boats at a harbor in the Bahamas 

This photo taken by the US Coast Guard during a rescue operation shows floodwaters at the Leonard M. Thompson International Airport in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas

This photo taken by the US Coast Guard during a rescue operation shows floodwaters at the Leonard M. Thompson International Airport in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas

This photo taken by the US Coast Guard during a rescue operation shows floodwaters at the Leonard M. Thompson International Airport in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas 

 

Coast Guard choppers are seen preparing to head out on rescue missions during a downpour from Hurricane Dorian. The Coast Guard airlifted at least 21 people who were injured on Abaco Island, which Dorian hit on Sunday with sustained winds of 185mph and gusts of up to 220mph

Coast Guard choppers are seen preparing to head out on rescue missions during a downpour from Hurricane Dorian. The Coast Guard airlifted at least 21 people who were injured on Abaco Island, which Dorian hit on Sunday with sustained winds of 185mph and gusts of up to 220mph

Coast Guard choppers are seen preparing to head out on rescue missions during a downpour from Hurricane Dorian. The Coast Guard airlifted at least 21 people who were injured on Abaco Island, which Dorian hit on Sunday with sustained winds of 185mph and gusts of up to 220mph

‘Our mission and focus now is search, rescue and recovery,’ Minnis added.

He added that the US Coast Guard was on the ground in Abaco and had rescued a number of injured individuals. 

The Coast Guard airlifted at least 21 people who were injured on Abaco Island, which Dorian hit on Sunday with sustained winds of 185mph and gusts of up to 220mph, a strength matched only by the Labor Day hurricane of 1935, before storms were given names. 

Critically injured people were being taken to hospitals on New Providence, the country’s most populous island. 

The storm was at a standstill, with part of its eyewall having hung over Grand Bahama Island since Sunday night. 

As many as 13,000 homes in the Bahamas may have been destroyed or severely damaged, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said.

Efforts to reach officials in the Bahamas by phone on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Houses in a neighborhood in Freeport on Grand Bahama Island were engulfed by 6 feet of water.

‘It looks like they’re boats on top of the water,’ said Rosa Knowles-Bain, 61, a resident who fled two days ago to an emergency shelter.

Video shows stalled cars (above) among flooded roads and completely destroyed homes. Bahamians were also seen picking through debris as they try to salvage some of their belongings

Video shows stalled cars (above) among flooded roads and completely destroyed homes. Bahamians were also seen picking through debris as they try to salvage some of their belongings

Video shows stalled cars (above) among flooded roads and completely destroyed homes. Bahamians were also seen picking through debris as they try to salvage some of their belongings

Completely destroyed businesses and stalled vehicles are seen as a driver passes by an area directly impacted by Hurricane Dorian

Completely destroyed businesses and stalled vehicles are seen as a driver passes by an area directly impacted by Hurricane Dorian

Completely destroyed businesses and stalled vehicles are seen as a driver passes by an area directly impacted by Hurricane Dorian 

Julia Aylen (pictured) was seen wading through waist-deep water while carrying her two pet dogs

Julia Aylen (pictured) was seen wading through waist-deep water while carrying her two pet dogs

Julia Aylen (pictured) was seen wading through waist-deep water while carrying her two pet dogs 

Aylen was wading in the water just moments before she and her dogs were rescued by first responders

Aylen was wading in the water just moments before she and her dogs were rescued by first responders

Aylen was wading in the water just moments before she and her dogs were rescued by first responders 

Residents wade through a street flooded with water brought on by Hurricane Dorian in Freeport, Bahamas, where the storm's relentless winds have caused catastrophic damage and flooding

Residents wade through a street flooded with water brought on by Hurricane Dorian in Freeport, Bahamas, where the storm's relentless winds have caused catastrophic damage and flooding

Residents wade through a street flooded with water brought on by Hurricane Dorian in Freeport, Bahamas, where the storm’s relentless winds have caused catastrophic damage and flooding 

Bahamian officials said they received a ‘tremendous’ number of calls from people in flooded homes.

One radio station said it fielded more than 2,000 distress messages, including reports of a five-month-old baby stranded on a roof and a woman with six grandchildren who cut a hole in a roof to escape rising floodwaters. At least two designated storm shelters flooded.

Dorian was blamed for one death in Puerto Rico at the start of its path through the Caribbean.

Health minister Duane Sands said flooding has rendered the main hospital on Grand Bahama unusable.

Bahamian officials said they received a 'tremendous' number of calls from people in flooded homes. Footage showed the moment an ambulance became trapped in the heavy floodwaters of the Bahamas during Hurricane Dorian

Bahamian officials said they received a 'tremendous' number of calls from people in flooded homes. Footage showed the moment an ambulance became trapped in the heavy floodwaters of the Bahamas during Hurricane Dorian

Bahamian officials said they received a ‘tremendous’ number of calls from people in flooded homes. Footage showed the moment an ambulance became trapped in the heavy floodwaters of the Bahamas during Hurricane Dorian 

He said the hospital in Marsh Harbor is intact and sheltering 400 people but needs food, water, medicine and surgical supplies. 

Sands also said crews are trying to airlift between five and seven end-stage kidney failure patients from Abaco who have not received dialysis since Friday.

Parliament member Iram Lewis said he feared that waters would keep rising and stranded people would lose contact with officials as mobile phone batteries died.

‘It is scary,’ he said, adding that people were moving from one shelter to another as floodwaters kept surging. ‘We’re definitely in dire straits.’

United Nations officials estimate more than 60,000 people in the north-west Bahamas will need food following the devastation left by the hurricane.

The UN World Food Program said a team is ready to help the Bahamian government assess storm damage and prioritize needs.

Its preliminary calculations show that 45,700 people in Grand Bahama island may need food, along with another 14,500 in the Abaco islands.

United Nations officials estimate more than 60,000 people in the north-west Bahamas will need food following the devastation left by the hurricane. This photo shows a damaged resident building

United Nations officials estimate more than 60,000 people in the north-west Bahamas will need food following the devastation left by the hurricane. This photo shows a damaged resident building

United Nations officials estimate more than 60,000 people in the north-west Bahamas will need food following the devastation left by the hurricane. This photo shows a damaged resident building 

Parliament member Iram Lewis said he feared that waters would keep rising and stranded people would lose contact with officials as mobile phone batteries died. 'It is scary,' he said, adding that people were moving from one shelter to another as floodwaters kept surging. Two vehicles are seen submerged in Freeport, Bahamas, on Tuesday

Parliament member Iram Lewis said he feared that waters would keep rising and stranded people would lose contact with officials as mobile phone batteries died. 'It is scary,' he said, adding that people were moving from one shelter to another as floodwaters kept surging. Two vehicles are seen submerged in Freeport, Bahamas, on Tuesday

Parliament member Iram Lewis said he feared that waters would keep rising and stranded people would lose contact with officials as mobile phone batteries died. ‘It is scary,’ he said, adding that people were moving from one shelter to another as floodwaters kept surging. Two vehicles are seen submerged in Freeport, Bahamas, on Tuesday 

A woman walks in a flooded street after Hurricane Dorian hit Nassau, Bahamas, on Monday

A woman walks in a flooded street after Hurricane Dorian hit Nassau, Bahamas, on Monday

A woman walks in a flooded street after Hurricane Dorian hit Nassau, Bahamas, on Monday 

Four MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews were deployed to conduct search and rescue missions in the Bahamas. An ambulance is seen outside damaged homes as they rescue a resident

Four MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews were deployed to conduct search and rescue missions in the Bahamas. An ambulance is seen outside damaged homes as they rescue a resident

Four MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews were deployed to conduct search and rescue missions in the Bahamas. An ambulance is seen outside damaged homes as they rescue a resident 

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies says some 62,000 people also will need access to clean drinking water. 

Dorian, which over the weekend had been one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes on record, weakened to a Category 3 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale early on Tuesday.  

Shortly after 11am, the storm weakened to a Category 2 hurricane as it continued to batter the Bahamas with life-threatening storm surge.

The NHC said Dorian’s maximum sustained winds decreased to near 110mph. but it’s expected to remain a powerful hurricane during the next few days.

Dorian is centered about 45 miles north of Freeport in the Bahamas and is moving northwest near 2mph.

The storm is expected to approach the Florida coast later on Tuesday, but the threat to the state has eased significantly, with the NHC’s projected track showing most of the coast falling outside the cone of potential landfall.

No place in Florida has more than an 8 per cent chance of getting hit by hurricane-force winds, the service said.

The storm is expected to approach the Florida coast later on Tuesday, but the threat to the state has eased significantly, with the NHC's projected track showing most of the coast falling outside the cone of potential landfall

The storm is expected to approach the Florida coast later on Tuesday, but the threat to the state has eased significantly, with the NHC's projected track showing most of the coast falling outside the cone of potential landfall

The storm is expected to approach the Florida coast later on Tuesday, but the threat to the state has eased significantly, with the NHC’s projected track showing most of the coast falling outside the cone of potential landfall

Dorian is centered about 45 miles north of Freeport in the Bahamas and is moving northwest near 2mph

Dorian is centered about 45 miles north of Freeport in the Bahamas and is moving northwest near 2mph

Dorian is centered about 45 miles north of Freeport in the Bahamas and is moving northwest near 2mph

Dorian, which over the weekend had been one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes on record, weakened to a Category 3 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale early Tuesday. Shortly after 11am, the storm weakened even more to a Category 2 hurricane

Dorian, which over the weekend had been one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes on record, weakened to a Category 3 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale early Tuesday. Shortly after 11am, the storm weakened even more to a Category 2 hurricane

Dorian, which over the weekend had been one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes on record, weakened to a Category 3 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale early Tuesday. Shortly after 11am, the storm weakened even more to a Category 2 hurricane

Over Labor Day weekend, hundreds of thousands of people in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina – more than 800,000 in South Carolina alone – were ordered to evacuate amid fears Dorian could bring life-threatening storm-surge flooding (depicted above) even if the hurricane's center stays offshore, as forecast

Over Labor Day weekend, hundreds of thousands of people in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina – more than 800,000 in South Carolina alone – were ordered to evacuate amid fears Dorian could bring life-threatening storm-surge flooding (depicted above) even if the hurricane's center stays offshore, as forecast

Over Labor Day weekend, hundreds of thousands of people in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina – more than 800,000 in South Carolina alone – were ordered to evacuate amid fears Dorian could bring life-threatening storm-surge flooding (depicted above) even if the hurricane’s center stays offshore, as forecast

A hurricane warning is still in effect for parts of Florida, including Melbourne and Daytona Beach (depicted above)

A hurricane warning is still in effect for parts of Florida, including Melbourne and Daytona Beach (depicted above)

A hurricane warning is still in effect for parts of Florida, including Melbourne and Daytona Beach (depicted above)

Forecasters also released this map of areas where power outages are 'possible' and 'likely' (depicted above)

Forecasters also released this map of areas where power outages are 'possible' and 'likely' (depicted above)

Forecasters also released this map of areas where power outages are ‘possible’ and ‘likely’ (depicted above) 

As of 11am Tuesday morning, most of Florida appeared to sit outside of the predicted path Hurricane Dorian is expected to take

As of 11am Tuesday morning, most of Florida appeared to sit outside of the predicted path Hurricane Dorian is expected to take

As of 11am Tuesday morning, most of Florida appeared to sit outside of the predicted path Hurricane Dorian is expected to take 

While it is expected to stay offshore, meteorologist Daniel Brown cautioned that 'only a small deviation' could draw the storm’s dangerous core toward land

While it is expected to stay offshore, meteorologist Daniel Brown cautioned that 'only a small deviation' could draw the storm’s dangerous core toward land

While it is expected to stay offshore, meteorologist Daniel Brown cautioned that ‘only a small deviation’ could draw the storm’s dangerous core toward land

While it is expected to stay offshore, meteorologist Daniel Brown cautioned that ‘only a small deviation’ could draw the storm’s dangerous core toward land. 

Over Labor Day weekend, hundreds of thousands of people in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina – more than 800,000 in South Carolina alone – were ordered to evacuate amid fears Dorian could bring life-threatening storm-surge flooding even if the hurricane’s center stays offshore, as forecast.

In South Carolina, the major Interstate 26 road was turned into a one-way evacuation route away from Charleston on the coast, and Georgia governor Brian Kemp likewise planned to reverse lanes on I-16 on Tuesday to increase the flow of traffic away from the danger zone. 

Kemp said: ‘We’re taking the “better safe than sorry” attitude.’

Several large airports announced closures, and hundreds of flights were cancelled. 

Dorian was tied with Gilbert (1988), Wilma (2005) and the 1935 Labor Day hurricane for the second-strongest Atlantic hurricane on record, based on maximum sustained winds. 

Allen in 1980 was the most powerful, with 190-mile winds, the NHC said. 

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