Hurricane Dorian finally began departing from the Mid-Atlantic states Friday evening after battering the region for days and headed for an expected assault on New England.
The storm has already left a trail of death and destruction in its wake; 30 people so far have been killed.
Eastern North Carolina, southeast Virginia and the southern Delmarva Peninsula have taken one in the gut from Dorian’s heavy rain, strong winds and storm surge through much of Friday.
Along the skinny, vulnerable strip of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, wind gusts up to 95 mph battered the coastline early Friday and strong winds continued.
Thousands of people were without power in North and South Carolina, most of them on the Outer Banks and slightly inland. Dorian has a high risk of spawning more tornadoes like the one that touched down Thursday in Emerald Isle, N.C., causing significant damage.
Even though the storm is moving away from the Mid-Atlanta, residents in North Carolina especially need to stay on high alert in the coming hours.
“Life-threatening storm surge and dangerous winds will continue along portions of the North Carolina coast for the next several hours,” said the National Hurricane Center’s 5 p.m. Friday update.
Hurricane Dorian made landfall over Cape Hatteras Friday morning. Southern Maryland braced for windy conditions that could topple trees, and the Eastern Shore could see even higher flooding.
Hurricane Dorian’s effects slowed down on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, and residents are sharing their experiences. In certain areas, the storm brought so much water that SUVs and fridges were seen afloat.
The hurricane made landfall in North Carolina with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph and threatening to bring up to seven feet of water to the land, according to the National Weather Service. The maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly, but residents are still in danger.
One Facebook user, Jason Wells, said many people have severely damaged houses and have been forced into their attics. People are using boats get to safety. Dorian is cause to “the worst flooding I have ever witnessed by several feet,” Wells said.
Another Facebook user, Harris Kelton Williams Jr., posted a video of his Suburban floating away, taken by the powerful waters. “I will admit I was a little scared when I saw my suburban float away,” he posted.
By Friday night and Saturday morning the accelerating storm will blow by extreme eastern Massachusetts, including Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and parts of Cape Cod, whacking the area for several hours of wind-swept rain and high seas.
Earlier, Dorian toppled dozens of trees, flooded streets and brought down power lines in the historic port city of Charleston, South Carolina, which sits just a few feet above sea level and is prone to flooding under normal circumstances.
It has been the unwelcome guest that wouldn’t leave.
Friday marked the storm’s ninth day as a named hurricane.
It hung over the Bahamas for more than 40 hours, causing massive destruction and more than 30 known deaths, with many more feared.
It then skirted Florida, Georgia and South Carolina before its current path, producing 10 inches of rain in coastal areas, widespread flooding and the tornadoes.