The death toll in the Bahamas from Hurricane Dorian has risen to 30, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis told CNN’s Anderson Cooper by phone Thursday evening.
Hurricane Dorian's path and destruction
The storm was about 30 miles south of Cape Fear as of 8 p.m. ET, the NHC said.
Hurricane conditions are now spreading along portions of the North Carolina coast, the center said. The northern area of the South Carolina coast is still experiencing tropical storm conditions.
"Dorian is moving toward the Northeast near 10 mph (17 km/h) and this general motion is expected to continue with an increase in forward speed through Saturday," the advisory said.
President Trump tweeted that he spoke with North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper “as Hurricane Dorian ominously comes up the East Coast.”
He also tweeted that he spoke to South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.
Parts of North Carolina are being hit with flooding and heavy winds by the storm. Dorian is also causing power outages in North Carolina, Georgia and South Carolina as it makes its way up the East Coast.
Several health care facilities were damaged after Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas, and patients will need to be evacuated, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said in a news release.
"Due to floodwaters and potential contamination with sewage and lack of safe water, the risk of diarrheal and waterborne diseases is high," the release said. "Rand Memorial Hospital in Grand Bahama is flooded and supplies damaged, and other clinics on Grand Bahama and New Providence are also flooded. Patient evacuations will be needed and supplies from PAHO’s Panama Regional Warehouse are on standby."
PAHO says that three emergency medical teams, from Samaritans Purse, Team Rubicon and Humanity First, have been deployed to the Bahamas.
"Over 1,200 people are reported in various shelters in Great Abaco and Grand Bahama and an additional 800 are sheltering at Marsh Harbour Clinic," PAHO said in the release.
A cruise ship company is sailing to the Bahamas on a humanitarian mission to bring evacuees to Florida. The Grand Celebration Humanitarian Cruise will set sail Thursday night from the Port of Palm Beach, and head to Freeport, Bahamas.
The ship will carry food, water and other supplies, as well as volunteers and first responders to the Bahamas. It will return to Florida on Saturday.
Bahamian residents looking to evacuate the islands devastated by Hurricane Dorian will be able to ride the cruise to Florida for free, the company said in a Facebook post on Thursday.
The Deerfield Beach-based cruise line is also pairing with Mission Resolve to collect money and donated supplies at the cruise’s warehouse. South Florida business leaders and nonprofits created the Bahamian Relief Consortium as part of Mission Resolve to help those affected by the hurricane.
“Our hearts go out to all of those impacted, and we felt it was imperative to issue a rapid response, demonstrating our support through action,” Oneil Khosa, CEO of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, said in a press release.
US Coast Guard crews have rescued 201 people in the Bahamas since Hurricane Dorian began, according to a news release.
They continue to conduct air operations based out of Andros Island, Bahamas, with seven MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters and four MH-65 Dolphin helicopters on search and rescue missions, area assessments and providing logistical support, the release said.
A great number of people are still missing in the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, officials say, and the death toll is sure to rise.
“Literally hundreds, up to thousands of people are still missing," Joy Jibrilu, director general of the Bahamas' Ministry of Tourism, told Michael Holmes on "CNN Today."
“Make no bones about it, the numbers will be far higher than 23,” Bahamas’ Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands said Thursday during a radio interview on Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. "It is going to be significantly higher than that."
Approximately 243,313 customers are without power in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina as of 6:30 p.m. ET, according to poweroutage.us.
That’s over 4,000 customers more than at 4:30 p.m. ET.
The bulk of the outages remain in South Carolina with 220,312 customers without power reported, 127,420 of whom are in Charleston County.
17,495 customers are without power in North Carolina, according to the website.
Georgia has 5,506 customers without power.
Body bags and additional morticians and refrigerated coolers to properly store bodies are being transported to Abaco and other affected areas as the death toll continues to soar, Bahamas’ Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands said Thursday during a radio interview on Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. Numbers could drastically change this afternoon, he said.
“The public need to prepare for unimaginable information about the death toll and the human suffering.”
“Make no bones about it, the numbers will be far higher than 23,” he said. "It is going to be significantly higher than that. And it’s just a matter of retrieving those bodies, making sure we understand how they died. It seems like we are splitting hairs, but not everyone who died, died in the storm.”
“It’s going to be huge," he said.
“We have four morticians in Abaco embalming because we have run out of coolers.”