By Emily Lohec | Staff Writer
Hurricane Dorian, which has been cast as a Category Two storm by the National Hurricane Center as of Tuesday night, has killed at least seven people in the Bahamas Abaco Islands, torn down thousands of establishments and caused intense flooding.
The storm was labeled as Category Five Sunday night as Dorian hit the Bahamas but has since been downgraded to Category Two. Forecasters predict that the storm may move closer to areas around Georgia and South Carolina, as well as up to Virginia and North Carolina by Friday. Warnings have been issued along the coasts of Florida to North Carolina.
In a Monday news conference, Hubert A. Minnis, prime minister of the Bahamas, expressed sadness about the recent events, stating that, “we are in the midst of a historic tragedy in parts of the northern Bahamas,” as well as asking for prayers and support for the country.
The hurricane is centered in the Atlantic Ocean and could eventually have effects in areas ranging from the Caribbean to the coast of Canada.
Some Baylor students from these areas and their families are being personally affected by the hurricane.
Naples, Fla., senior Lauren Mulford said that her family took measures to prepare for possible damage caused by the hurricane around where they live, but that luckily the storm has passed over her hometown.
“One of the most common problems people face after a hurricane is loss of electricity,” Mulford said. “My family [prepared] for the hurricane by waiting in long lines for gas and bottled water and non-perishable foods. My parents had plans to travel to Waco to visit prior to news of the storm but were able to continue since the storm changed course. It’s a relief to know our community will be safe and that the land will not suffer severe damages.”
Mulford pointed out that damage by Hurricane Dorian can cause major setbacks not only to the residential areas but to the school districts as well.
“Many of my friends in Florida colleges have classes canceled for a few days,” Mulford said. “It usually takes a while to get up and running again after such a big storm.”
Fort Myers, Fla., senior Peyton Hornung finds it hard to be away from family and friends who live in Florida as they prepare for the storm to still possibly hit their area.
“My older sister lives in St. Augustine, Florida, which is in the red zone for the hurricane, so they are in the evacuation zone,” Hornung said. “Her boyfriend and three kids are also going to the other coast of the state but near the panhandle. I do know that her area has been extremely low if not out of bottled water.”
Hornung said towns around affected areas often assist those without resources or shelter during times of need.
“I’m born and raised in Florida, so I’ve experienced a ton of hurricanes and honestly, the whole state always comes together when a bad one hits,” Hornung said. “Churches, schools and so many other organizations across the state will help collect donations after or before hurricanes.”
Hurricane Dorian comes a year after Hurricane Michael, a Category Five storm that ranked as the third strongest hurricane in Florida’s history.