CHARLESTON, United States: Hurricane Dorian struck the Carolinas with torrential rain and fierce winds as it approached the east coast of the United States on Thursday after devastating the Bahamas and killing at least 20 people.
Parts of downtown Charleston were flooded, with video images showing people kayaking in the dark in the waters of the coastal city of South Carolina. Trees bent by the wind that blew from the sea.
It was reported that dozens of streets were closed as up to 20 inches of rain were forecast and meteorologists warned of flash floods.
At dawn, the Category 3 hurricane was 80 miles (130 kilometers) southeast of Charleston, moving north along the coast with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.
Hundreds of thousands of people in the Carolinas, Georgia and other places were under evacuation orders while the United States stuck to the taste of a storm that caused severe destruction in the Bahamas.
Power has been cut to more than 80,000 customers in South Carolina, and at least 22 shelters have been set up for evacuees, the state emergency management agency said on Twitter.
On Wednesday, Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said at least 20 people were dead so far and described the damage as nothing less than “generational devastation.”
The US Coast Guard UU. And the Royal Navy of Great Britain transported survivors by plane and transported emergency supplies as flood waters receded in the Bahamas.
The United Nations said 70,000 people in the Grand Bahama and Abaco Islands were in “immediate need” for help.
Minnis also warned that looters will be prosecuted “to the fullest extent of the law,” and said additional police and defense force agents had been deployed.
People in Grand Bahama used jet skis and boats to get victims out of houses flooded and pulverized by the monstrous storm.
US and British helicopters were conducting medical evacuations, aerial evaluations to help coordinate relief efforts and reconnaissance flights to assess damage.
President Donald Trump spoke by phone with the leader of the Bahamas and promised United States assistance, the White House said.
“A large part of the Bahamas was hit as few people have seen before,” Trump said. “They need a big hand.”
Aerial images showed scenes of catastrophic damage in Abaco with hundreds of homes without roofs, submerged or overturned cars, widespread flooding and ships reduced to matches.
“Luck in Florida”
As rescue efforts increased, Dorian rolled along the coasts of South and North Carolina, the NHC said.
Dorian left Florida largely unharmed.
“We were lucky in Florida, very, very lucky,” Trump said.
Roberto Smith, who was born in Abaco but now lives in Florida, said he was worried about his family.
“I talked to my dad the night of the hurricane, Sunday night, and his roof exploded,” Smith told AFP. “I haven’t talked to him since then. I’m really worried. I can’t even eat.”
“The island is devastated.” “There is no electricity, no running water, no electricity.”