(CNN) — At least five storm-related deaths have been reported in the U.S., as Dorian is downgraded to a category one hurricane, skirting along the east coast.
But in the Bahamas, people there are being told to prepare for the “unimaginable” as the death toll from Dorian rises.
Bahamian resident Sherrie Roberts says, “words can’t describe it. It was like an atomic bomb went off.
As the floodwaters dry up, grim reality awaits Bahamians.
Hubert Minnis, Bahamas prime minister says, “our death toll at this present time is 30. I’ve said repeatedly that we expect that to rise.”
Dorian has largely spared the U.S., leaving behind flooded streets in the Carolinas, power outages, and some tornados.
But in the Bahamas, it’s an entirely different story.
Director-General of Bahamas ministry of tourism and aviation, Joy Jibrilu, says “literally hundreds, up to thousands, of people are still missing.”
U.S. Coast Guard teams have been helping the rescue effort in the islands, pulling more than 200 people to safety so far.
And while there have been moments of happiness and relief, those on the islands face an unimaginable road to recovery.
The world food programme estimates about 60,000 people may be in dire need of food relief.
A vast international relief effort is underway, with ships and planes filled with supplies dedicated to help.
But access is an issue, with airports destroyed, roads impassable and communication at a minimum in some areas.
A U.S. Coast Guard member said “we came across the island and there were about 150 people on the island. It was completely devastated. All the homes were flattened.”