Hurricane Dorian carved a path of destruction through the Bahamas and relief officials on Tuesday were preparing for a humanitarian crisis after one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the islands killed at least five people, with the scale of the disaster as yet unknown. "Communities are cut off and roads are underwater still", Brave Davis told reporters at Nassau airport after returning from the flight, together with Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis in a Facebook Live video.
Bahamian officials said they received a "tremendous" number of calls from people in flooded homes.
"A friend of ours his house is 12 feet above the water and I heard he's got water on the first floor".
Chances are, Hurricane Dorian will at the very least graze the so-called Space Coast of Florida, including NASA's Kennedy Space Center, where personnel have spent almost a week preparing for potential wind and rain from the storm.
Scientists say climate change generally has been fueling more powerful and wetter storms and the only recorded storm more powerful than Dorian was Hurricane Allen in 1980, with 190 miles per hour (305 kph) winds, though it did not make landfall at that strength.
"We are in the midst of a historic tragedy in parts of the northern Bahamas", he said on Twitter.
As the Labour Day weekend drew to a close, hundreds of thousands of people in Florida, Georgia and SC - more than 800,000 in SC alone, and half a million in Georgia - were warned to evacuate for fear that Dorian could bring life-threatening storm-surge flooding even if the hurricane's centre stayed offshore, as forecast.
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Where Hurricane Dorian is expected to go in the coming days
The storm is the second-most powerful Atlantic storm in modern history, lagging only behind Hurricane Allen in 1980. He added that the sea surge from the storm was high and people were still trapped in their homes and attics.
The US National Hurricane Center said Dorian's maximum sustained winds have now decreased to near 175km/h, but it's expected to remain a powerful hurricane during the next few days.
The International Red Cross fears 45% of homes on Grand Bahama and the Abacos - some 13,000 properties - have been severely damaged or destroyed.
The storm's relentless winds and rain battered homes and businesses on the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama, which have a combined population of about 70,000 and are no more than 12m above sea level at their highest points.
Forecasters said it would come "dangerously close" in the next 36 hours to Florida's east coast, where more than a million people have been ordered to evacuate.
At present, Dorian has been downgraded to a category 2 storm. Choppy brown floodwaters reached roofs and the top of palm trees on Monday. It was expected to hit Florida with hurricane conditions overnight, before bringing its powerful winds and risky surf along the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina by late Thursday. "Some people the water just sucked them", she said. While the threat of a direct hit on Florida had all but evaporated, Dorian was expected to pass dangerously close to Georgia and SC - and perhaps strike North Carolina - on August 5 or August 6.
The governors of those states have ordered evacuations of coastal counties.