9/7/2019 1:06:00 PM Bahamians arrive in Florida via cruise ship North Carolinians take stock of Dorian's damage
ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. (AP) More than 1,100 Bahamians have arrived in Palm Beach, Florida, after being evacuated by cruise ship from their hurricane-battered islands. The Grand Celebration cruise ship returned to its home port after setting sail Thursday for Freeport, Grand Bahama, to deliver more than 112 tons of supplies and ferrying dozens of health workers and emergency crews.
Hurricane Dorian produced catastrophic damage across the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm. The resulting humanitarian crisis has prompted a massive relief effort.
The cruise line industry is aiding the relief effort by sending ships to transport food, water and personnel to the islands, while rescuing Bahamians looking to flee the devastation.
Officials with Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, which operates the Grand Celebration, said the arriving Bahamians were welcomed to Florida by relief agencies.
As the sky cleared and floodwaters receded Saturday, residents of North Carolina’s Outer Banks began to assess the damage wrought by Hurricane Dorian.
Steve Harris has lived on Ocracoke Island for most of the last 19 years. He’s ridden out eight hurricanes, but he said he’d never seen a storm bring such devastation to his community, which is accessible only by boat or air and is popular with tourists for its undeveloped beaches.
“We just thought it was gonna be a normal blow,” Harris, a semi-retired contractor, said Friday. “But the damage is going to be severe this time. This is flooding of biblical proportions.”
Gov. Roy Cooper said about 800 people had remained on the island to wait out Dorian and it appeared to be the hardest hit. The storm made landfall Friday morning over the Outer Banks as a far weaker storm than the monster that devastated the Bahamas. Yet despite having been downgraded to a Category 1 storm, it still sent seawater surging over neighborhoods on Ocracoke, flooding the first floors of many homes.
At least four deaths in the Southeast were blamed on Dorian. All were men in Florida or North Carolina who died in falls or by electrocution while trimming trees, putting up storm shutters or otherwise getting ready for the hurricane.