A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Hurricane Dorian’s Destructive Nature

Recently, a vicious storm in the Atlantic pounded the island nation of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and the east coast of the United States of America. As a result, the storm inflicted severe damage wherever it went and the name of the hurricane is on everyone’s mind: Dorian.

On September 3rd, 2019, the powerful hurricane hit The Bahamas at 8:08 P.M., making landfall at Elbow Cay, Abacos. For the next 40 hours, the catastrophic storm unleashed its wrath on the island nation, flooding homes, destroying the local geography, and leaving the island paradise in a state of misery and ruin. A week later, Dorian left the Bahamas and made its way towards the United States of America, mainly the east coast of the country. The powerful hurricane skirted along the southeastern coast, hitting Florida and Georgia with tropical storm rain and winds. The southeastern coast of the United States of America was mostly spared, however, the hurricane dealt the Carolina coasts with flooding and tornadoes. Dorian also brought 100 mile per hour winds to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and hit the cape with storm surges that reached seven feet. Ocracoke Island, located on North Carolina’s Outer Banks coastal region, was hit with historic water levels. After hitting the Carolinas, the storm hit Maryland, Virginia, New York, and Connecticut. Dorian continued to travel north, hitting Eastern Canada, specifically Nova Scotia, the storm being a category one hurricane.

After the storm dissipated, the destruction and wrath of Dorian was evident, especially in the Bahamas. The Bahamas’ Abacos Islands experienced the brunt of Dorian’s power. Homes and businesses were leveled, their roofs torn away by the storm’s powerful winds. Structures were met with floods and debris. Moreover, the geography of the island nation has been changed. Islands are completely submerged underwater and according to some experts, this might be a permanent change.










The Bahamian Prime Minister, Hubert Minnis, described the situation as “dire.” He further says, “We are in the midst of one of the greatest national crises in our country’s history.” The official death toll has risen to 50, but the country’s officials expect more to come in. Furthermore, they believe that thousands are still missing, probably underneath debris and rubble waiting to be rescued. Many Bahamians are asking for help, asking for relief. Rescue workers went door to door, looking for any survivors. The U.S. Coast Guard also sent helicopters to evacuate residents deemed to be critically injured. Citizens of the Bahamas are trying to leave the country as well. A cruise ship brought over 1,100 Bahamians to the United States. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) delivered food and water by helicopter as well. The CBP chief also considered allowing Bahamians into the United States, however, United States President Donald Trump dismissed the idea. “I don’t want to allow people that weren’t supposed to be in the Bahamas to come into the United States, including some very bad people.” While many are trying to send in relief, Bahamian infrastructure and government red tape slowed the relief process. As a result, many Bahamians are becoming impatient and desperate. Approximately 75,000 people are in need of medical assistance. The Bahamian Minister of Health has requested “medicine and medical supply support” as a result. Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, traveled to the Bahamian capital of Nassau to meet with evacuees. During his stay, Guterres told reporters that “Dorian should be a wake-up call for the world about the dangers of climate change.” The Bahamian government and several other organizations are accepting donations of money. Additionally, the Bahamian government has set up The Bahamas Disaster Relief Fund to accept wire transfers.

Hurricane Dorian was a historic storm that has devastated several communities and has brought suffering to paradise. Many are desperate for relief and are asking for outside help. Survivors, while grateful for being alive, are asking the international community for aid.