Horrific Reports From Bahamas in Dorian Aftermath – A Topography Changed Event…

Steve Harrigan reports from Abaco Island in the Bahamas as search and rescue efforts continue.  The scale of the devastation is incredible; everything is gone, and worse yet the topography has changed removing the ability of deep water ports to be used in/around most of the northern Bahama islands.  The anticipated death toll is expected to be dramatic. [Disturbing Content]


The duration of Hurricane Dorian has changed the underwater topography making access to the Island communities even more difficult, if not impossible. The Bahamian National Emergency Management Agency and the Royal Bahamian Defense Force have warned all ocean vessels to stay clear of the Northern Bahama islands.

The equipment needed, and the fuel to make the equipment operational, is not able to reach the Islands because the underwater topography has changed. Deep water channels and port routes need to be remapped.  Most previous ports in/around the Northern Bahamas are no longer feasible for use.  What used to be deep water is now shallow water.

Air crews from the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Military are working under the authority granted by the Bahamian National Emergency Management Agency and the Royal Bahamian Defense Force to reach as many island residents as possible.  However, the mass delivery of tonnage is severely limited by the inability to open the airports and use fixed wing carriers.

Large ships cannot port, and hovercrafts are needed to avoid the issues with topography changes. All coastal maps are essentially useless around Abacos and Grand Bahama Island. Near shore navigation is currently impossible for large vessels.

This recovery effort is going to be complex and long duration.

As of Friday at 9 a.m.:

Coast Guard crews have rescued 205 people in the Bahamas since Hurricane Dorian began.

The Coast Guard is conducting air operations based out of Andros Island, Bahamas. Seven MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters and five MH-65 Dolphin helicopters are conducting search and rescue missions, area assessments and providing logistical support.

Port Condition Zulu is in effect for the Port of Savannah and Brunswick, Georgia.

Port Condition Zulu is in effect for the Port of Charleston, South Carolina.

Eight Coast Guard cutters are staged near the Bahamas ready to engage in Hurricane Dorian response efforts.

For their safety, the Coast Guard advises mariners to not attempt voyages into the Northern Bahamas until further notice due to the devastating effects of Hurricane Dorian.

The Government of the Bahamas is currently assessing its northern ports and harbors to determine if they are safe to enter. There is a high risk of debris in the water, sunken vessels, and destroyed or missing aids to navigation and pier facilities. There is also a risk of chemical spills and changes to the topography/hydrology in ports and marinas from the prolonged winds and storm surge of the Category 5 hurricane.

The Coast Guard is supporting the Bahamian National Emergency Management Agency and the Royal Bahamian Defense Force, who are leading search and rescue efforts in the Bahamas.

If you are in a life-threatening situation and need assistance, call 911 or 919 in the Bahamas, or call the Bahamian National Emergency Management Agency at 242-325-9983 or the Bahamian Emergency Operations Center at 242-362-3895 or 242-362-3896.

During Port Condition Zulu, no vessels may enter or transit within ports without permission of the COTP. All vessel movements are prohibited, and all ship-to-shore operations must cease. (link)

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281 Responses to Horrific Reports From Bahamas in Dorian Aftermath – A Topography Changed Event…

  1. rah says:

    The real killer generated by a powerful tropical cyclone is storm surge. Under the low pressure a dome of water builds and in a powerful storm like Dorian that dome can be several meters high and 50-100 miles in diameter. On top of that dome are wind driven waves. Rogue waves approaching 100′ have been recorded. typically the worst of the storm surge is generated at the NW quadrant of the hurricanes as the counter clockwise winds drive the water towards shore.


  2. lettruthspeak says:

    If the United States can evacuate a million people to safer areas and ground, why in the hell can’t the governments who are able come together to have evacuated tens of thousands to the safer areas of the Bahamas before this thing hit. It is inconceivable that no one cared enough to make sure these people had a chance to get off those islands before that Cat 5 hit. This world really sucks. If they refuse to leave that is one thing, but damn it there was plenty of time to get the majority of those people to a safe place.


    • Mac says:

      Island nations have unique problems with evacuations, which continental countries do not. In the CONUS, it is a relatively simple matter for residents to get into a car and drive hundreds of miles to a safer location. On an island, easy personal travel is limited to the land are of the island, which may only be a few dozen miles one way or another. So, any significant evacuation has to be done by airplane or ship This requires a lot of resources and time.

      Now, unlike some islands in the Caribbean basin, the Bahamas are relatively low lying. Almost all of Grand Bahama Island, and all of Abaco Island, have an elevation of between sea level and 7 feet above sea level and the off-shore seabed is very near the surface. So, what happened during Dorian is that 150+ mph winds were pushing a lot of sea water directly ashore along the northern shore of the island, which is very low lying. The moving water washes out the support of buildings, as well as batters them, putting further stress on the structures and these structures collapse. The longer these stresses are applied, the more damage that is done. While more buildings could have survived the winds, even over the time involved, but they would probably not have survived the wind driven water. And, they were unable to survive the combination. And, the water made fleeing the destruction even more difficult.

      Some people choose not to leave. Some probably could not leave. But, you can’t save all the people, all the time.


  3. Music Of Life says:

    Bahama Island is a Christian settlement. Every FOUR years the population is reduced by hurricanes. WHY do people remain on the island when there are other islands to secure a safe livelihood?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. pageoturner says:

    I’m sure the utopias of Cuba and Venezuela have rushed supplies, doctors and first aid in large quantities and offered asylum to all until they have rebuilt their renewable energy homes, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. sunnyflower5 says:

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tressel Burnes says:

    This is what hurricanes do, they change landscapes, island or land.
    The Earth is a living, breathing celestial body. Man can’t change that.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Mac says:

    The main problem that the Bahamian relief effort faces is the lack of secure landing points, both airports and marine ports. While some nautical topography has been changed, the biggest problems with using the ports is debris. Submerged vessels, cargo containers, structural members and other debris are clogging basins and channels. Until those are cleared and obstructions, which are unable to be immediately removed, can be mapped, it is not safe to move vessels through them, especially deep draft vessels.

    Now, the second problem is the post-Bahamas path of Dorian. A number US naval relief efforts would be staged out of Atlantic ports. All of those ports were essentially closed until after Dorian had past. Then they have to be surveyed for safe use, supplies have to be mo ed to the ports, ships loaded and then set sail. So, realistically, we are looking at another few days before the first US Naval assets can arrive in the area. As soon as the runways at the airports are cleared, then airborne relief can begin. Of course, the Bahamas, being a sovereign nation has to formally request aid from the US. And, the Bahamian authorites would be largely responsible for distribution of relief supplies.

    The relief operation is a huge undertaking. There are very limited emergency resources available in the Bahamas. These things take time. This is why authorities strongly suggest evacuation and, barring that, that people be prepared to survive, on their own, for an extended period of time. If not, they may not survive at all.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Rose says:

    It would be nice if the cruise ships that visit those Islands repaid their hospitality and sent said ships for people to live on until some of the mess can be cleaned up. I can dream.

    Liked by 1 person

    • rah says:

      They tried that after Katrina down by New Orleans and it didn’t work out too well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • MGBSE says:

        Sadly…New Orleans 9th Ward evacuees DESTROYED everything, everywhere they went…so much so…there are now laws or mandates passed in ALL surrounding states as to how long an evacuee can stay in one place after a natural disaster


  9. jfhdsiu says:

    The murder rate in the Bahamas has to go down exponentially now. One must wonder about such things when considering compassion for a certain people’s sufferings due to “Act of GOD” type things such as hurricanes! The religious would be asking the question, “What Did THEY Do to P.O. GOD?”, … ! I do not think that’s it at all. I would be asking, “Did GOD step in to save the innocent?…. Disasters are disasters and are ALWAYS disasters only because ‘somebody’ lives where the disaster is occurring or ‘somebody’ is affected vicariously by it financially. OR ‘somebody’ just can’t handle reality and goes off the deep end over something that no one can remedy. BUT. It’s one’s compassion for his fellow man’s suffering, (regardless of whether it’s deserved and one might be ‘second guessing’ GOD if one FEELS compassion for GOD’S chosen victims), that tugs at a human’s heart, (isn’t it?), and THUS is affected by it! Or is it conditioning? Those people still alive down there DO NEED HELP so give them REAL help. Educate them. And perhaps some decent education in “how to get along with your fellow man WITHOUT murdering them” would ALSO be in order!!!!


  10. TheLastDemocrat says:

    Nova Scotia getting hit. Lots of boats there getting rocked.


  11. James says:

    AUTEC is on/offshore/underwater/whatever on Andros Island. It’s the US Navy’s equivalent of the underwater Area 51. They have all the high tech they need to very quickly do undersea terrain mapping and figure out where the new shipping channels should be.


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