Hurricane Dorian: Bahamas Videos and Photos Show 'Complete Devastation' As U.S. Braces for Landfall

Hurricane Dorian has torn across part of the Bahamas in the Caribbean, leaving a wake of destruction with the Category 5 storm now bearing down on the U.S. mainland.

The hurricane made landfall on Sunday afternoon at Elbow Cay in the Abaco Islands—a group of islands and barrier cays in the northeast of the Bahamas archipelago which sit less than 200 miles from the Florida coast.

Power cuts and internet disruption meant that information is only slowly emerging from the affected regions. The BBC reported that the Abaco Islands were underwater after Dorian hit, as a result of a 23-foot storm surge.

Roofs were also torn from buildings as the islands were battered by sustained winds of up to 180 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center noted. This makes Dorian the second-strongest Atlantic hurricane on record.

Photos and videos from the affected areas showed homes and businesses—some without roofs—inundated by the floodwaters. Residents were sheltering inside buildings as the water levels rose and sustained heavy winds and driving rain battered the area.

A video of what appeared to be a residential street showed what south Florida TV station WPLG described as "complete devastation." Much of the area was underwater, with multiple buildings torn up by the strong winds. Debris can be seen floating in the floodwaters, including multiple capsized boats.

Another video, shared by WFLA News reporter Josh Benson, showed the inside of a destroyed building in the Abaco Islands. The roof of the property had been almost entirely torn away, spreading debris inside. The video also showed significant flooding inside the property, further adding to the damage.

Joy Jibrilu, the director general of The Bahamas' Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, said on Sunday the storm was "devastating," reporting "huge damage to property and infrastructure."

Dorian's first fatality was reported late Sunday night, that of 7-year-old boy Lachino Mcintosh. He reportedly drowned while his family were trying to evacuate their home after the storm made landfall. Mcintosh's sister is also reported missing.

Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said on Twitter that the islands are "facing a hurricane that we have never seen in The Bahamas. Please pray for us."

Hurricane Dorian, Atlantic Ocean, Florida, Caribbean
Hurricane Dorian, now a Category 5 storm, is pictured tracking towards the Florida coast on September 1, 2019 in the Atlantic Ocean. NOAA via Getty Images/Getty

Eerie footage from inside Dorian was captured by U.S. Air Force pilots on Sunday as it passed across the Abaco Islands. The service's 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron—known as the "Hurricane Hunters"—are tasked with gathering data for the National Hurricane Center from inside swirling storms.

Lieutenant Garrett Black posted photos to Twitter showing the "stadium effect" inside the storm, with great walls of cloud curving outwards to create Dorian's "eye."

Dorian is now slowly crawling northwest from the Bahamas towards the U.S. It could make landfall on the Florida coast as early as Tuesday, though may also remain out at sea and move north up the coast. Strong winds and dangerous storm surges could also occur along the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, CNN noted.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the economic damage wrought by hurricanes.

Hurricane Tropical Cyclone Economic Damage Statista
History of economic damage caused by tropical cyclones. Statista
Hurricane Dorian: Bahamas Videos and Photos Show 'Complete Devastation' As U.S. Braces for Landfall | News