"Absolute devastation, there really are no words, it is pure hell here on Marsh Harbour on Avoca Island in the northern part of the Bahamas," said ABC News correspondent Marcus Moore.
Shredding roofs, flooding homes, and bringing life to a standstill, Hurricane Dorian has left people scared for their lives and desperate to get in touch with loved ones who are living in and around the storm-affected area.
For hours, the hurricane remained over the island of Grand Bahama and Hubert Minnis, the Bahamian Prime Minister, called it a "historic tragedy in parts of our northern Bahamas", as reported by The Guardian.
Being the most powerful storm to have hit the Bahamas in recorded history, Hurricane Dorian has claimed the lives of at least five people in the Abaco Islands and left 13,000 homes destroyed or in need of severe repair.
"That’s my kitchen window that water is hitting, and that has to be a minimum of about 20 feet above the ground." Bahamas Minister for Agriculture Michael Pintard describes flooding from Hurricane Dorian at his house in Grand Bahama. https://t.co/QiKg6r48K0 pic.twitter.com/y2ciiJxc64— CNN (@CNN) September 3, 2019
Shani Bowd, who lives in the Bahamas, could do nothing but stay in her house as the water rose all the way up to her shoulders.
"Every room in the house was filled with water, up to maybe about four or five feet. All the furniture floating, you know, the bathroom flowing. Everything is just about ruined. Before that, we put everything up as high as we could," Shani Bowd told CNN. "Now, the water is probably about down to my knees and it's still going down. But everything is, you know, floating from room to room. You know, unsanitary, which is the number one reason why we need to get out."
"I have seen utter devastation here in Marsh Harbour. We are surrounded by water with no way out," said ABC News correspondent Marcus Moore. "Absolute devastation, there really are no words it is pure hell here on Marsh Harbour on Avoca Island in the northern part of the Bahamas."
With the storm being alarmingly close to the east coast of Florida, evacuation orders were put in place in Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the hurricane had been "stationary" for hours, and forecasts say that it will move towards Florida over Tuesday and into Wednesday evening. Forecasts also say that it may eventually make its way towards Georgia and South Carolina over Wednesday and Thursday.
Preparing for the worst, 93 nursing homes and Florida and seven hospitals were evacuated. But some seniors are staying put for now whilst till being ready to leave if things turn for the worse.
"If the winds get over 120 mph, we are going to have to vacate..." 75 year-old Buzz Rossman said, according to CBS News. "I probably can't run anymore but I can trundle out to my car and take off."
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis urged people not to take the risk and, according to Mail Online, said, "This storm at this magnitude could really cause massive destruction. Do not put your life in jeopardy by staying behind when you have a chance to get out".
The only thing one can hope for during times like these is that people find ways to help each other out and weather the storm together. One woman was able to do that amidst the raging storm, Chella Phillips opened her home to 97 dogs that were homeless and abandoned.
"It was either leave the dogs on the street to fend for themselves...or do something about it," Chella Phillips told ABC News. "I just want these dogs to be safe. I could care less about the dog poop and pee in my house."
It didn't matter to her that 79 of the dogs were in her master bedroom, as long as they were braving the storm together.
On Facebook, she wrote, "We may not get hit as hard as other islands and the saddest part is that after the hurricane leave the Bahamas, some islands will take a long time to recover... Each island has an abundance of homeless dogs, my heart is so broken for the ones without a place to hide a CAT 5 monster and only God can protect them now. Thank you for thinking of us and praying for us.
Hurricane Dorian has stopped over the northern Bahamas. It's been downgraded to a Category 3 storm and is punishing the island nation with winds well over 100 mph for the second straight night. https://t.co/49Xmw8rHI3 pic.twitter.com/ciYehqFx7F— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) September 3, 2019
The severe devastation in the Bahamas is heartbreaking and taking the necessary precaution to stay safe and out of danger is of utmost importance for everyone residing in the areas that have been warned. Our hearts go out to all those facing those devastating conditions right now.