September 6, 2019
Residents of the coastal Northeast are the next in line to feel the disruptive effects from Dorian even as the hurricane lurks offshore.
Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the United States Friday morning. After flirting with landfall on the East Coast since Tuesday night, the storm officially came ashore in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, at 8:35 a.m., the National Hurricane Center said.
Dorian made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane, maintaining maximum sustained winds of 90 mph. The hurricane stomped up the Eastern Seaboard causing widespread power outages, flooding and unleashing damaging tornadoes throughout the Carolinas.
There have been four Dorian-related deaths in the United States in the past week, officials have said -- three in Florida and one in North Carolina. Two of the deaths were victims who were preparing for the storm, according to The Associated Press. In addition, the death of an 80-year-old man was reported in Puerto Rico after falling from a ladder while climbing the roof of his residence to clean the drains as part of the preparations prior to the passage of Dorian.
Dorian was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane on Friday morning after regaining major hurricane status during the middle of the week.
Despite losing wind intensity, the hurricane continues to pack a punch in terms of heavy rainfall, particularly in North Carolina's outer banks, where hundreds were stranded amid rising floodwaters on Ocracoke Island. "There is significant concern about hundreds of people trapped on Ocracoke Island,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said at a Friday press conference about the developing situation.
“There are rescue teams ready as soon as they can get in," the governor added.
Cooper said the island was subjected to significant storm surge and waters were "rising quickly there" as Dorian lashed the coastline. He urged people on the island to get to the highest points of their homes to avoid the deluge.
Significant rain totals were being recorded in various places around the state as Dorian swept through. Wilmington, North Carolina, picked up 8.58 inches on Thursday alone. The city normally receives 7.88 inches during the entire month of September.
Water levels were rising on beaches in Wilmington as high tide approached on Thursday. AccuWeather Digital Journalist Chaffin Dos Santos was in Wilmington reporting on the storm's worsening impacts as Dorian approached the city.
While there continues to be a risk of isolated tornadoes in eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia, this risk has substantially decreased since Thursday. A frenzy of tornadic activity came during the early morning hours of Thursday in southeastern North Carolina. The twisters resulted in numerous damage reports as the region continued to be pelted by Dorian's increasing winds, heavy rain and storm surge.
The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center reports 13 preliminary tornadoes in the area on Thursday, and this number may increase as crews survey additional damage. Video from Carolina Shores, North Carolina, showed homes ripped apart, RVs tossed on their sides and numerous trees uprooted.
Power outages increased as winds picked up speed, with nearly 190,000 customers without power in South Carolina Thursday evening, according to PowerOutage.US. While the number of power outages has since decreased in South Carolina, they are on the rise in North Carolina, with over 176,000 customers without power as of early Friday morning.
(AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)
Residents of the Bogue Shores condominiums work to hook up a generator after the complex lost its roof during high winds from Hurricane Dorian in Atlantic Beach, N.C., on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. Only a few residents stayed behind after an evacuation order and no one was injured.
The destruction in the Carolinas was just the latest in the notorious storm's devastating history, which goes back to when the hurricane left historic and catastrophic damage in the northern Bahamas earlier this week , causing at least 30 deaths. Officials in the Bahamas expect the death toll to continue to increase.
Dorian's lifespan is expected to last into the weekend, as it is forecast to pound areas of the Northeast coast, then accelerate to the north where it will make landfall on Canada's Atlantic Coast.