Hurricane Dorian weakened into a Category 1 hurricane Friday, after generating tornadoes and flooding roads in North and South Carolina.
“We know we’re in for a long night and we’ll be eager to see the sunshine in the morning,” North Carolina’s Governor Roy Cooper told the Atlanta, Georgia-based cable news network, CNN.
Dorian is moving with maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers per hour.
The National Hurricane Center said early Friday “the center of Dorian will move near or over the coast of North Carolina during the next several hours.” NHC added, “The center should move to the southeast of extreme southeastern New England tonight and Saturday morning, and then across Nova Scotia late Saturday or Saturday night.”
A potent storm
Dorian will remain a potent storm straight into the weekend, however, with tropical storm warnings posted as far north as Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The Canadian Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane watch for all of Nova Scotia.
Thousands of people in the Bahamas have begun the long, painful struggle to rebuild their lives following Hurricane Dorian.
International search-and-rescue teams are spreading across Abaco and Grand Bahamas islands looking for survivors.
Late Thursday, the death toll in the Bahamas had risen to 30.
Bahamian Health Minister Duane Sands told the Associated Press he expects that number to become “significantly higher.”
The French news agency AFP reported teams of men in masks and white protective suits were seen placing bodies enclosed in green body bags onto a flatbed truck.
Homes have been transformed into matchsticks.
“It’s hell everywhere,” said Brian Harvey, a Canadian who was on his sailboat when Dorian hit.
The U.S. Coast Guard and British Royal Navy have ships docked off the islands, and the United Nations is sending eight tons of ready-to-eat meals and satellite communications equipment.
The Royal Caribbean and Walt Disney cruise lines, which usually carry happy tourists to Bahamian resorts, are instead using ships to deliver food, water, flashlights and other vital aid.
Hampton University, a historically black college in Virginia, has offered free classes and room and board to students from the University of the Bahamas for the current fall semester.
After the fall semester, any students who remain will be charged the regular rates.