Mortuary workers carried out the grim task of searching for bodies in heaps of rubble on Friday as dazed survivors of Hurricane Dorian waited for relief from the Category 5 storm that ravaged the northern Bahamas.
At least 30 deaths have been reported from the monster storm but hundreds — perhaps thousands — of people are missing and Bahamian officials said the final toll could be “staggering.”
Thousands of people were left homeless on the hardest-hit islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco and the scale of the devastation has left many wondering if Abaco, in particular, can ever be rebuilt.
“Abaco Island is like a ghost town,” said Mark Duvinie, a resident of Marsh Harbour, the largest town on Abaco, which had been home to more than 15,000 people. “No electricity, no water, no nothing.”
“I honestly believe Abaco is finished,” said Thaah Hepburn, another resident of Marsh Harbour. “Absolutely everything is gone.”
“I don’t think people are going to invest anymore because of the devastation,” Hepburn said. “It’s a chance I don’t think people are willing to take.”
Haida Guillaume, another Marsh Harbour resident, was slightly more optimistic.
“Nothing is impossible but it will take a long long time to recover,” Guillaume said. “It’s 100 percent devastated all over.”
A multi-national relief effort was stepping up on Friday but it was hampered by damage to airport runways and downed communications.
Some Abaco residents expressed frustration with the wait for food and shelter and evacuation to other islands.
“We’re stuck for now,” said David Bienami of Marsh Harbour. “We’ve got plans to move but we don’t know when.”
“No water, no food,” said James Whell, also of Marsh Harbour. “My plan is to leave, find some other place to live.”
– Landfall in Outer Banks –
According to UN relief officials, more than 70,000 people — virtually the entire population of Grand Bahama and Abaco — are in need of assistance after the storm reduced homes to matchsticks and destroyed their livelihoods.
As survivors began the first steps in rebuilding their shattered lives, arrangements were being made to take care of the dead from the storm.
Bahamian Health Minister Duane Sands said extra morticians and refrigerated coolers to store bodies were being sent to the affected islands.
Mortuary workers in white hazmat suits, blue gloves and masks could be seen in Marsh Harbour carrying corpses encased in green bodybags and loading them onto flatbed trucks.
Of the eventual death toll, Sands declared: “Let me say that I believe the number will be staggering.”
“Literally hundreds, up to thousands, of people are still missing,” Joy Jibrilu, the director general of the Bahamian tourism and aviation ministry, told CNN.
Dorian made landfall meanwhile in the United States as a Category 1 hurricane packing winds of nearly 90 miles per hour (150 kilometers per hour).
The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the slow-moving storm made landfall at Cape Hatteras on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, the finger-like barrier islands off the coast.
Thousands of coastal residents of US states from Florida to Virginia had been fearing the worst from the powerful storm but the East Coast largely escaped unscathed.
Some flooding occurred in the historic city of Charleston, South Carolina, and tens of thousands of residents lost electricity but no major damage was reported.
At 11:00 am (1500 GMT), the NHC said Dorian was moving in a north-easterly direction up the Atlantic coast at 17 mph (28 kph).
It said Dorian was expected to weaken as it moves up the coast and the center of the storm should move to the southeast of New England on Friday night and across Nova Scotia late Saturday.
Trump pretends he was in the military during White House reception
President Donald Trump held a White House Hanukkah party a few weeks before the Jewish holiday and during the event, he seemed to be claiming he served in the military when he didn't.
"Like we used to say in the military, make a path,” Trump said.
Trump not only never served in the military he actively dodged the draft, getting a pass due to alleged bone spurs in his feet. It's unknown if Trump actually has bone spurs, but such a condition doesn't disappear.
Bob Kerrey, a former Republican Senator and SEAL officer in the U.S. Navy went after the president in March demanding to see proof of the bone spurs.
Fox News host argues women journalists sleep around for scoops ‘all the time’ — as his network faces new harassment suit
Right-wing director Clint Eastwood has come under outrage after his new movie, Richard Jewell, falsely depicts the late Atlanta reporter Kathy Scruggs having sex with a source to get a scoop.
But on Wednesday's edition of Fox News' "The Five," co-host Jesse Watters defended Eastwood, arguing that women reporters do in fact frequently sleep around to get stories — and all but one of the examples he cited were fictional characters.
"Just as an example, this happens all the time," said Watters. "Ali Watkins was a reporter for many, many years, in many distinguished publications. She slept with one of her sources, allegedly, for four years, and broke a lot of scoops according to this Politico report here. So it happens a lot, and it happens a lot in movies and TV shows. Just to list right here, Fletch, Thank You For Smoking, Top Five, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, I mean it's all over Hollywood now. They have a problem with the Clint Eastwood movie? Come on."
Florida Democrat uses kindergarten logic to explain how you can tell Trump is guilty
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The Congressman explained that he has a family group-text where he speaks to his children while he's in Washington. He asked his children what they worry about
"They told me what they were feeling. and what their friends were feeling," he described. "And they confirmed the worst. Their faith in our democracy is shaken. One of my kids said, 'Trump has made me feel like our country is failing. He has taken away America's common sense.' Another said, 'If our democracy is fragile enough to be manipulated by the president, then I worry for our future as a country.' Why is our democracy so fragile? Well, the president smears the press as the enemy of the people. He attacks verifiable facts and calls them fake news. He attacks his opponents in the ugliest and the most hateful ways."