Hurricane Dorian threatens millions in U.S. after pummeling Bahamas

/ CBS News

Hurricane Dorian begins inching northwest as Category 2

Hurricane Dorian fast facts

Hurricane Dorian started to move northward toward the U.S. on Tuesday after stalling over the Bahamas, where the storm caused widespread devastation and was blamed for at least five deaths.

The National Hurricane Center said Dorian would move "dangerously close" to the east coast of Florida late Tuesday through Wednesday evening. Evacuations were ordered for parts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

Over two million people were warned to evacuate. Florida was expecting minimal impact, but Governor Ron DeSantis said people should obey local evacuation orders.

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"We just ask people to stay safe, remain vigilant. There will be some effects in the state of Florida. There'll be storm surge. There'll be some flooding," DeSantis said.

Dorian was a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph as of 2 p.m. EDT, the hurricane center said. Its core was some 125 miles east-southeast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, and about 105 miles east of Vero Beach, Florida. It was moving northwest at 5 mph.

A map shows the projected path of Hurricane Dorian as of 2 p.m. ET on September 3, 2019. National Hurricane Center

Follow live coverage of the storm below:

More than 2,400 reports of price gouging in Florida

Florida's attorney general, Ashley Moody, has received more than 2,400 reports of price gouging. One gas station was selling 24-packs of Nestle's Pure Life water for $9, more than twice its normal retail cost, and other stations hiked prices at the pump by $1 more than advertised price.

While some may argue that rising prices merely reflect the difficulty of transporting goods during a storm, many states — including Florida — prohibit retailers from jacking up the cost of essentials like water and gas during a state of emergency, which Governor Ron DeSantis declared on August 28.

— Aimee Picchi

Watches and warnings in effect

A summary of watches and warnings in effect, via the National Hurricane Center.

A hurricane warning means hurricane conditions were expected. A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions were possible.

A tropical storm warning means tropical storm conditions were expected within 36 hours. A tropical storm watch means tropical storm conditions were possible within 48 hours.

A storm surge warning means there was a danger of life-threatening rising water moving inland within 36 hours. A storm surge watch means there was a possibility of life-threatening rising water within 48 hours.

Intense hurricanes like Dorian cause 1,000 times more damage

Hurricane Dorian stalls off Florida coast

With peak winds of 185 mph, Hurricane Dorian was tied for the second strongest hurricane on record in the Atlantic basin, in terms of wind speed. Pictures from the Bahamas reveal the scale of devastation, consistent with the catastrophic damage expected in a Category 5 hurricane.

Naturally we expect that a stronger storm produces more damage. But the damage does not go up in a linear fashion as the winds increase. Instead, the growth is exponential.

At peak intensity, Hurricane Dorian's winds clocked in at 185 mph, about two and a half times faster than the 75 mph winds of a low-end Category 1 hurricane. Yet the potential damage caused by a storm like Dorian is not 2.5 times more, or even 25 times more — it's more than 1,000 times greater. That's because the damage increases by the eighth power, according to research by Nobel Prize-winning economist William D. Nordhaus.

So, a storm with winds of 150 mph can be expected to produce not double but approximately 256 times the damage of a storm with winds of 75 mph. For a storm like Dorian, with winds of 185 mph, the damage potential — resulting from a combination of winds, storm surge, rain and tornadoes — increases by 1,371 times.

That would explain why the strongest of hurricanes — Category 3, 4 and 5 storms — produce 85% of all hurricane damage, even though they only make up one-quarter of landfalling storms.

–Jeff Berardelli

2 die in Florida ahead of Dorian's possible impact

A 55-year-old man died Monday evening after falling from a tree he was trying to trim in anticipation of Hurricane Dorian's arrival, according to authorities in Ocoee, Florida.

CBS Orlando affiliate WKMG-TV reports Ocoee Battalion Fire Chief Edwin Youman said the man fell after climbing about 15 feet into the tree with a chain saw and attempting to position himself to cut branches. He wasn't using a ladder, Youman said.

And a 68-year-old Indialantic man who was putting plywood on the windows of a beachside condominium in preparation for Hurricane Dorian Sunday afternoon apparently fell three stories and died, reports WKMG partner Florida Today.

He was identified by Indialantic police as David Bradley. Police said he was standing on a ladder in a screened-in balcony facing the sea when he fell. Police added that Bradley may have had a cardiac episode during the incident.

"He was putting up the plywood and lost his balance and fell through the screen," said Indialantic Police Chief Mike Connor.

Bradley fell onto the ground behind the condo, which faces the shoreline, police said.

Florida coast braces for Hurricane Dorian

"The devastation is unprecedented and extensive"

Devastating images show Dorian ravaging the Bahamas

Dorian ravaged portions of the Bahamas with torrential rainfall and wind gusts of over 200 mph. According to the Red Cross, an estimated 13,000 homes were damaged or destroyed in the Bahamas, which is home to nearly 400,000 people.

Overwhelming storm surge swallowed entire neighborhoods. Video showed water that is waist-deep — and much higher in some locations — stretching for miles across the Abaco Islands.

The punishing conditions were amplified when the storm stalled directly over Grand Bahama, crawling across the island at just 1 mph. "The devastation is unprecedented and extensive," Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said.

The life-threatening conditions strained search-and-rescue efforts as distress calls were pouring in. One woman told a local news station her 8-year-old grandson drowned in the rising water.

"My grandson's dead," Ingrid McIntosh said. "I'd just seen my grandson about two days ago. My grandson just tell me he love me."

Some people were reportedly forced to cut holes in their roofs to escape floodwaters in their homes. Extensive flooding was believed to have contaminated many wells with salt water, creating an urgent need for drinking water.

–David Begnaud

Dorian tossed boats around like toys in Bahamas

bahamas.jpg
Boats tossed around by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas on September 2, 2019. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater

The U.S. Coast Guard released new images Tuesday of the destruction left by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. In a release, the Coast Guard said helicopter crews have been helping search-and-rescue efforts by conducting medical evaluations.

Rescues were being led by the Bahamian National Emergency Management Agency and Royal Bahamian Defense Force. The Coast Guard, which is assisting the two agencies, said anyone in a life-threatening situation and in need of help should call 911 or 919.

Florida nursing homes evacuate, but some won't leave

Nearly a quarter of Florida's population is over 60; 93 nursing homes and seven hospitals have been evacuated ahead of Hurricane Dorian. But some residents don't want to leave.

That includes 96-year-old Patricia Laurencelle, who told "CBS Evening News" she prefers to stay home.

"I'm uneasy," Laurencelle said when asked if she's nervous about the impending storm.

She packed a bag just in case but will stay for now.

K.C. Kelber, 70, and his neighbor, 75 year-old Buzz Rossman, are also staying put.

"If the winds get over 120 mph, we are going to have to vacate," Kelber admitted, "Because I'm worried about the windows.

Mandatory evacuations underway in Florida ahead of Hurricane Dorian

More than 8 million seniors live in Florida's east coast counties and face the menace of Dorian.

"I probably can't run anymore but I can trundle out to my car and take off," Rossman told CBS News. Kelber agrees that's not much of a plan, though.

When asked what's worrying Kelber: "Just him not being able to get out of here because he does move kind of slow and he is a little bit fragile."

How to help those affected by Hurricane Dorian

How to help those affected by Hurricane Dorian

The International Red Cross believes as many as 13,000 homes have been severely damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Dorian. Because it's hard to get in touch with people on the ground, those numbers are just estimates.

The storm, which was stationary over Grand Bahama Island late Monday afternoon, has torn roofs off of buildings, flooded streets and knocked out power.

The situation is dire.

Once the storm passes, the Bahamas will need help, as will other communities in Dorian's path. Here's are two ways to help.

City of Miami BAHAMASTRONG

The City of Miami has created 16 drop-off locations to collect donations, fire stations and some churches. The city's commissioner is hoping a near-miss so far in Miami will mean people donate what they bought in preparation for Dorian.

They're asking for water, canned goods and baby formulas. The supplies will make it to the Bahamas on Wednesday, if weather allows.

World Central Kitchen

World-renowned chef José Andrés is on the ground in the Bahamas getting ready to feed the people of there. He hopes to be able to be in the impacted areas by tonight. If kitchens are destroyed, his World Central Kitchen will build a makeshift one and cook in big paella pans.

World Central Kitchen has provided relief efforts for past storms, including in Puerto Rico for Hurricane Maria. Andrés and others collectively helped feed 3.6 million people.

For a list of even more organizations helping communities affected by Hurricane Dorian, visit CBSNews.com/help.

Dorian seen from space station over Bahamas

Video taken from aboard the International Space Station on Sunday afternoon showed the daunting scale of Hurricane Dorian as it enveloped the Bahamas as a devastating Category 5 storm.

Cameras on the outside of the ISS shot the video as the station orbited over the Caribbean, showing it as a clearly defined circular mass of clouds, swirling around a large eye.

Hurricane Dorian seen over Bahamas from space station

DHS chief says Dorian might stay off U.S. coast

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told CBS News "Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan on Sunday that the monster hurricane churning in the Caribbean could remain just off the coast of the United States, but he warned it could still cause major problems.

"Most models show it holding for over 24 hours (over the Bahamas) before it starts moving in a northerly direction and staying most likely offshore of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina," McAleenan said.

"That does not mean there's not going to be significant impacts from the storm where you expect to see hurricane force winds lashing the coastline of Florida as soon as Tuesday," he added, noting that storm surge was expected to pose a major threat and there could also be "a prolonged rain event as the storm makes its way north."

McAleenan said he was "regularly" briefing President Trump on the storm, and that he expected to do so again, along with other key cabinet members, later Sunday morning.

The acting DHS chief also defended the Trump administration's decision to divert millions in disaster relief funds to the southern border for immigration enforcement as his agency prepares to respond to the powerful storm.

In an interview Sunday on "Face the Nation," Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said that the expected transfer of more than $155 million funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would have "no impact" on his department's response to the hurricane.

McAleenan says transfer of FEMA funds to border will have "no impact" on hurricane response

What supplies do you need to prepare?

The National Weather Service is encouraging anyone in the path of the storm that it's "never too early" to start preparing a hurricane kit. CBS News has rounded up some emergency preparedness tips for people and pets, as well as a checklist of supplies to have on hand before a big storm arrives. Ahead of potentially devastating storms this hurricane season, the Red Cross recommends having several supplies including, a flashlight, batteries, first aid kit, medications, a multi-purpose tool and an emergency blanket.

View the full list here.

"You need to overprepare": Former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal shares tips for surviving a hurricane

First published on September 3, 2019 / 7:54 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A map shows the projected path of Hurricane Dorian as of 2 p.m. ET on September 3, 2019. bahamas.jpg ​Hurricane Dorian churns near the east coast of Florida in a satellite image captured at 4:16 p.m. ET on September 3, 2019.

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