With the death toll in the Bahamas now standing at 20, Hurricane Dorian has very nearly arrive in the United States.
The storm stalled over the Bahamas just days ago, drenching the already battered island with a torrential downpour that, combined with the massive storm surge, saw water in the streets reaching second story windows with ease.
As Dorian began to move toward the US east coast, the rather large hurricane began to weaken, leaving many in the effected areas to breath a sigh of relief.
Today, however, Hurricane Dorian was re-upgraded to Category 3 as it began to batter the Carolina coast.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper pointed to the devastation in the Bahamas to urge people to take evacuation orders seriously. He activated 300 National Guard members and issued evacuation orders for all barrier islands beginning Wednesday.
“We have seen the life-and-death effects of this storm in the Bahamas, and we urge everyone on the islands at the coast to leave,” Cooper said in a statement.
The National Hurricane Center had said earlier that Dorian could pick up strength on Wednesday night and briefly jump back from Category 2 to Category 3. It was reclassified when its maximum sustained winds reached 115 mph late Wednesday.
South Carolina was expected to bear the brunt of the storm, prompting officials to take action.
“Time to get out is running out,” South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster warned Wednesday. “Once the wind speeds get up to about 40 or 45 miles an hour, emergency crews will not be able to come in and get you.”
Since Monday afternoon, 100 miles of Interstate 26, from coastal Charleston to inland Columbia had been running one way, west. Lane reversals were being returned to normal on Wednesday, the state Public Safety Department said, but Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said he wanted his city empty and shuttered.
McMasterwent on to say that he would like to see Charleston, South Carolina appearing as a “ghost town” for the next 36 hours.
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