Hurricane Dorian, the tropical storm that has devastated the Bahamas and caused much of Southeastern American to be on the edge of their seats, made landfall on the Outer Banks on Friday. Homes in both North and South Carolina were subjected to heavy rains, winds, and flooding.
The National Weather Service reported that the center of the category 1 storm passed over Cape Hatteras as of 8:35 a.m. on Friday (see all updates).
The storm moved northeast quickly, starting to head away from land as quickly as it had come, but not before leaving its mark in the form of high flood waters and blistering winds. Residents of the Outer Banks were left behind with barricaded doors and flooded homes.
Due to where the Outer Banks, a small outcroppings of islands off the Carolinian coast, are located, many residents were unable to escape the hurricane once it started. On Ocracoke Island, which even in regular weather can only be accessed by air or boat, residents were forced into their attics to avoid the incoming waves of water.
Governor Roy Cooper said that he was experiencing “significant concern about hundreds of people trapped on Ocracoke Island.” State and local officials worked in conjunction with the National Guard to arrange helicopters to help evacuate people trying to escape, in addition to providing water and rations to members of the island, as well as its neighbor, Hatteras Island.
According to Katie Webster, a state meteorologist, the storm surge on Friday reached heights of five to seven feet on Ocracoke Island.
The owner of a local bookstore, Leslie Lanier, was hunkered down inside her now barricaded home on the island, in which she reported feeling “sick with worry.”
“The water is higher than I have ever seen it,” reported Ms. Lanier.
Earlier this week, Dorian wreaked havoc in the Bahamas. The damage there has yet to be fully reported, but so far it seems that it was catastrophic.
Info from the southeastern United States shows that so far, at least four people have died while they made preparations for the storm, reports The Associated Press.
Although damage so far in the US seems to be mainly flooding, homeowners will still have to face the tough financial realities of dealing with hurricanes. On the Outer Banks especially, where flooding so far seems to have been the most costly, residents will be unboarding their windows and attempting to air out ruined basements and ground floors. On Ocracoke Island in particular, where the flooding was heaviest, property owners will likely be filing insurance claims for property damage, as reports so far suggest that water damage was heavy. But first, they’ll just be trying to get off the island, which has proven tough to evacuate.
The monetary costs alone show just how negative the effects of hurricanes can be. Dorian was only a category 1 storm, yet the emotional state that it put the coast and country into was nothing short of apocalyptic, with officials from local to federal levels weighing in on the storm and its effects. While Dorian luckily seems to have veered off course for now, hurricane season isn’t over yet.