Backgrounder: Hurricane Dorian

By Chandrea Baster

Hurricane Dorian has been the focus of weather news this past month, given the extensive financial and human cost which resulted from it rolling through the Bahamas and the United States. Hurricane Dorian first formed on August 24, 2019, and became a Category Five storm on September 1, with winds reaching 185 mph and a minimum central pressure of 910 MB. 

The hurricane has been described as the strongest ever to hit the Bahamas and one of the strongest to ever develop in the Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately, once Dorian reached the Bahamas, it lingered; for nearly 48 hours, the hurricane slowly moved across the country, destroying hospitals, homes, businesses, and lives. 

Although Hurricane Dorian had decreased to a Category One storm by the time it reached North Carolina, it still left severe damage in its wake. The hurricane hit with sustained winds of at least 90 mph, triggering a series of tornadoes on the eastern side of the state. Additionally, it caused flooding so severe that multiple individuals had to be rescued by boat

There are currently over 1,000 individuals missing after the storm, and the death toll has risen to 50 people. The United Nations has released a report stating that nearly 70,000 people need life-altering assistance. The Bahamas specifically have been decimated and will take years to recover from such damage. People are currently living without power and running water, and damage has been equated to that of “a war zone.

Because of extensive damage and a large number of missing persons, first responders are struggling both with cleaning up and helping individuals search for their family members and friends. To help ease the burden of dealing with the debris, the government of the Bahamas recently announced that they are planning on hiring local companies to clean up the areas hit hardest by the hurricane. 

There are many ways to assist the areas that have been destroyed by Hurricane Dorian. Some of the most imperative resources that individuals need are clean water, food, a safe shelter and an alternative to conventional electricity. One of the most helpful ways to assist the Bahamas is through the Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation, which has been making a consistent effort to assist the victims of the hurricane. Additional methods of providing assistance to the victims of Hurricane Dorian include donations through the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. Although the Bahamas are in great need of monetary assistance, other methods of assistance include donating blood and sending supplies to the battered areas. 

As hurricane season will continue through November, individuals living in possible paths of hurricanes must be prepared for the worst. Additionally, individuals who are safe from such horrendous natural disasters must be cognizant of the damage that these disasters can inflict and prepared to aid individuals who have suffered through them in any way possible.

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