Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

A road is flooded during the passing of Hurricane Dorian in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas on Monday Sept. 2, 2019. (Photo: Tim Aylen/AP)

At Least 5 Dead in Bahamas as Hurricane Dorian Unleashes 'One of Most Catastrophic 24-Hour Periods of Weather in Recorded World History'

"We are in the midst of a historic tragedy," said Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis

Jake Johnson

Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said Monday that at least five people have been confirmed dead as Hurricane Dorian, one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes on record, stalled over Grand Bahama Island, unleashing massive flooding and destroying thousands of homes.

During a press conference, Minnis broke down in tears as he said Monday was "probably the most sad and worst day of my life" and described Dorian as a storm "we've never seen in the history of the Bahamas."

"We are in the midst of a historic tragedy," Minnis said. "Our mission and focus now is search, rescue, and recovery."

As The Guardian reported Tuesday, even as the storm weakened to a Category 3, Dorian "has been hovering over Grand Bahama Island for more than a day," threatening tens of thousands of people with rainfall and 120 mph winds.

"Bahamian officials said they received a 'tremendous' number of calls from people in flooded homes," according to The Guardian. "One radio station said it received more than 2,000 distress messages, including reports of a five-month-old baby stranded on a roof and a woman with six grandchildren who cut a hole in a roof to escape rising floodwaters. At least two designated storm shelters flooded."

Minnis said Monday that downtown Grand Bahama "is under three feet of water, including the ground floor of its hospital and the prime minister's office."

Images and videos posted to social media highlighted the extent of the damage caused by the storm. Meteorologist Eric Holthaus said the people of the Bahamas "are going to need years, if not decades, to recover."

"Simply put," tweeted Holthaus, "Grand Bahama Island is currently enduring one of the most catastrophic 24-hour periods of weather in recorded world history."

According to the National Hurricane Center, life-threatening weather conditions are expected to continue in the Bahamas Tuesday, and the storm is likely to move "dangerously close" to the Florida coast as early as Tuesday night.

The widespread devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian was viewed by environmentalists as evidence that the climate emergency is not a crisis of the distant future, but one that is wreaking havoc and taking lives in the present.

"Dorian marks the first time in human history that a Category 5 has hit the Atlantic four years in a row," said the youth-led Sunrise Movement. "This is the climate crisis."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

AOC Slams Conservative Dems Who Would Rather Skip Town Than Vote to Extend Eviction Ban

"We cannot in good faith blame the Republican Party when House Democrats have the majority."

Jake Johnson ·


'A Devastating Failure': Eviction Ban Expires as House Goes on Vacation and Biden Refuses to Act

"We’re now in an eviction emergency," said Rep. Cori Bush. "Eleven million are now at risk of losing their homes at any moment. The House needs to reconvene and put an end to this crisis."

Jake Johnson ·


With Election Days Away, Bernie Sanders Headlines Get-Out-the-Vote Rally for Nina Turner

In his keynote speech, Sanders said corporate interests are pulling out all the stops to defeat Turner because "they know that when she is elected, she is going to stand up and take them on in the fight for justice."

Jake Johnson ·


Bush, Pressley, and Omar Sleep Outside Capitol to Demand Extension of Eviction Moratorium

Rep. Cori Bush, who was formerly unhoused, slammed her Democratic colleagues who "chose to go on vacation early today rather than staying to vote to keep people in their homes."

Jake Johnson ·


As Progressives Call for End to Blockade, Biden Announces More Sanctions Against Cuba

The move comes after Democratic leadership in the House blocked an amendment to roll back limits on how much money people in the United States can send to family on the island nation.

Jessica Corbett ·