Tropical Storm Warnings Issued for Bahamas Islands Hit by Hurricane Dorian

September 12, 2019 Updated: September 12, 2019

The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that a tropical cyclone is forecast to form near the northwestern Bahamas, where Hurricane Dorian hit in early September.

“The government of the Bahamas has issued a tropical storm warning for the following islands in the northwestern Bahamas the Abacos, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, and New Providence,” the agency said at 5 p.m. on Sept. 12.

It noted that the system, which hasn’t been named, is expected to “move across the northwestern Bahamas on Friday, and along or over the east coast of central Florida on Saturday.” Currently, maximum sustained winds are 30 mph with higher gusts.

In this handout aerial photo provided by the HeadKnowles Foundation, damage is seen from Hurricane Dorian on Abaco Island in the Bahamas on Sept. 3, 2019. (HeadKnowles Foundation via Getty Images)

The storm is forecast to morph into a tropical depression or storm in the next day or two, the NHC  added.

Elaborating further, the Miami-based forecaster said the storm “is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches through Sunday over the Bahamas and along the east coast of Florida north of West Palm Beach.”

But, according to the agency, as much as 7 inches of rain may fall in some parts of the Bahamas, which will likely hamper search and rescue efforts following Dorian’s devastation.

dorian hurricane evacuation, bahamas devastated
Royal Bahamas Defense Forces and Royal Bahamas Police help evacuees move to an awaiting ferry boat at Marsh Harbour Port in Abaco, Bahamas, on Sept. 6, 2019. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald via AP)

1,300 Missing

Officials in the Bahamas revised the number of people who are listed as missing following devastating Hurricane Dorian’s landfall more than a week ago.

Earlier this week, a government spokesperson said 2,500 people were still missing. But, according to reports from the New York Times and CNN, that number dropped to 1,300.

“The number of people registered missing with the Bahamas government is going down daily,” Carl Smith, a representative with the Bahamian National Emergency Management Agency, told the NY Times on Sept. 12.

“As we are able to cross-reference our data sets, we will be able to inform family members and reunite survivors with loved ones,” he added to CNN.

The Bahamanian government revised the figure after cross-referencing the names of people missing with those who looked for shelter or were evacuated.

Government officials said that when the 2,500 figure was released to media outlets, the list hadn’t been cross-referenced.

The official death toll stands at about 50, but officials said that the number will likely dramatically increase.

Dorian laid waste to the Abacos Islands and Grand Bahama Island when it made landfall on Sept. 1 with 185 mph winds. It parked over the island chain for more than 24 hours.

Marsh Harbour in Great Abaco Island
Destruction from Hurricane Dorian at Marsh Harbour in Great Abaco Island, Bahamas, on Sept. 4, 2019. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald via AP)

According to CNN, some 70,000 people are homeless following the storm.

Daniel Gajewski of Fairfax County, Virginia’s Urban Search and Rescue team, told the network that a sweep of the islands has been completed.

“Lately it has been a lot of reconnaissance, a lot of building structures, and then from there we’re getting a pulse on the locals,” said Gajewski, who was sent to the Bahamas via the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis also said that there is work being done to set up temporary homes for people left homeless.

“We are a nation in mourning,” he said in a statement. “The grief is unbearable following the devastating impact of Hurricane Dorian, which has left behind death, destruction and despair on Grand Bahama and Abaco, our second and third most populous islands.”

He said that Sept. 18 would be a national prayer and mourning day for people who died in the storm.