Florida, Nassau Open for Business After Dorian

Florida and Nassau, capital of the Bahamas, were open for meetings and tourism as usual on Thursday after escaping the major damages that were widely feared. Florida did experience a storm surge in the northern part of the state earlier, with more than 150,000 power outages statewide and closures of schools, airports and businesses up and down the coast.

In other parts of the Bahamas, thousands were left homeless and the official death toll rose to 23, with more expected. Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) in Nassau is now the site of a major relief effort to help other islands, such as hard-hit Abaco Island. Atlantis, Paradise Island was not affected by Hurricane Dorian and is working with the Bahamas Red Cross and partner Chef Jose Andres/World Central Kitchen to deliver relief, including food and supplies to Abaco, Grand Bahama and other affected areas. Atlantis started a donation link through GoFundMe that can be accessed here.

Meanwhile, Dorian pounded the Carolinas with wind and rain Thursday. The Category 2 hurricane gained speed and was traveling at 10 mph with sustained winds of up to 105 mph, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in an update at 2 p.m. local time. The eye of the storm was some 45 miles southeast of Myrtle Beach.

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“The center of Dorian will continue to move close to the coast of eastern South Carolina for the next several hours, and then move near or over the coast of North Carolina [Thursday night] and Friday,” the NHC reported.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster lifted his evacuation order for Jasper, Beaufort and Colleton counties, but evacuation orders were still in effect for Charleston, Dorchester, Berkeley, Georgetown, and Horry counties.