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Hurricane Dorian swamps North Carolina's Outer Banks, moves on

Jenny Jarvie, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Weather News

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Hurricane Dorian began to pull away from the southeastern coastline of the United States on Friday after bringing severe flooding to North Carolina's Outer Banks, making landfall as a Category 1 storm and sending residents across a string of remote, low-lying barrier islands scrambling to their attics to avoid rising water from powerful storm surges and heavy rain.

The hurricane's eye reached Cape Hatteras, N.C., shortly after 8:30 a.m. EDT with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph after days of skirting Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas and earlier pounding the Bahamas as a Category 5, causing catastrophic devastation and killing at least 30 people.

The search for victims and survivors in the Bahamas continued, five days after Dorian devastated the Caribbean island nation with 185-mph winds that obliterated countless homes.

Hundreds of Bahamians gathered Friday at the Marsh Harbour port on Great Abaco -- one of the areas most devastated by the storm -- in the hope of boarding a ferry to Nassau, the capital.

There were no government-organized evacuations yet, The Associated Press reported, but the Royal Bahamas Defense Force helped people board a 139-foot ferry that had come to pick up its employees and had room for an additional 160 people.

A British navy ship moored offshore has begun to deliver essential items, including ration packs, water and blankets, and an array of organizations and companies, including the United Nations, Royal Caribbean cruise line and American Airlines, have mobilized to send in food, water, generators, roof tarps, diapers, flashlights and other supplies.

 

As the eye of the storm churned about 330 miles south-southwest of Nantucket, Mass., officials in North Carolina expressed relief Friday afternoon that the damage was not worse -- as well as concern that hundreds of residents might be trapped on Ocracoke, a narrow sliver of an island between Pamlico Sound and the Atlantic Ocean, after water inundated homes.

"Finally, Hurricane Dorian has left North Carolina -- and we're getting a look at the damage that it brought," Gov. Roy Cooper said at a Friday afternoon news conference.

About 800 people remained on the island during the storm, Cooper said, and many homes and buildings were under water.

The U.S. Coast Guard airlifted a 79-year-old man in need of immediate medical attention from the island, and Hyde County officials announced plans to airlift any residents who needed to evacuate from Ocracoke to a shelter in Washington County, where they would have access to food, power and medical supplies.

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