The island chain of Abaco and the northernmost island of Grand Bahama will start to experience storm winds as early as 4 or 5 a.m. local time Sunday morning, Basil Dean, Deputy Director of Bahamas Department of Meteorology, told CNN Saturday.
“And from there onwards, things will go downhill as the hurricane force winds are expected to follow,” he said.
The Bahamas consists of more than 700 mainly low-lying islands — some only a few feet above sea level. Dorian is expected to be near or over the island chain on Sunday.
The category 4 hurricane could wreck serious damage on the archipelago. Dean said that Hurricane Matthew in 2016 led to the “total devastation” of Grand Bahama.
But he added that the islands are bracing “for the arrival of rain and we are just continuing to urge those who may still be near those coastal areas to move inland to a safer place.”
“The storm surge is going to be a major factor, heavy rainfalls. And with this system slowing down as it is forecast to do, will certainly add to the rainfall accumulation on those islands, which can be as much as 15 inches of rainfall. And when you dump on that about up to 15 feet of storm surge, flooding will certainly be a major factor along the coast of these islands.”