Hurricane Dorian churned towards the United States Wednesday after leaving seven dead in the Bahamas, where the prime minister said terrified residents had endured “days of horror” at the hands of the monster storm.
Aerial footage showed scenes of catastrophic damage with hundreds of homes missing roofs, cars submerged or overturned, widespread flooding and boats reduced to matchwood.
Harrowing accounts emerged, with one survivor describing how he had watched his wife drown.
Announcing the updated death toll, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis warned the number would rise as he called Dorian “one of the greatest national crises in our country’s history.”
“Parts of Abaco are decimated. There’s severe flooding, there’s severe damage to homes, businesses, other buildings and infrastructure,” he said.
Bahamas residents “endured hours and days of horror, fearing for their lives and the lives of their loved ones,” Minnis said.
All tropical storm warnings for the islands had been discontinued, the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said, as more accounts of the suffering it inflicted emerged.
Crab fisherman Howard Armstrong described how the water flooded his home, coming up to his roof.
“I would imagine 21 feet (six meters) at least. We were doing all right until the water kept coming up and all the appliances were going around the house like a washing machine,” he told CNN.
“My poor little wife got hypothermia and she was standing on top of the kitchen cabinets until they disintegrated… I kept with her and she just drowned on me,” said Armstrong, who eventually made it to his boat.