28 photos show how people in the Caribbean braced for Dorian as the hurricane heads for Florida

Tropical Storm Dorian is pictured off the coast of Venezuela.

caption
Tropical Storm Dorian is pictured off the coast of Venezuela.
source
NASA / Handout / Reuters

People are hunkering down as Hurricane Dorian crosses the Atlantic Ocean and eyes Florida.

In preparation, people have stockpiled fuel, food, and water. Schools and offices have closed. Businesses have been boarded up. Some of the more brave souls made the most of Dorian and even went surfing.

Puerto Rico, Barbados, St. Lucia, and the Virgin Islands have already been battered by the hurricane. Puerto Rico was particularly concerned after the devastation it experienced from Hurricane Maria in 2017. Forecasters warned high winds and heavy rainfall could cause landslides, flooding and loss of power. But overall it wasn’t too badly affected.

The fourth named storm of 2019, Dorian officially became a Category 1 on Wednesday. Now the storm is heading for the Bahamas and Florida.

Here are photos showing people preparing for, and surviving, Hurricane Dorian.


Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Mottley might be smiling in this photo, but on Sunday she warned her people to stay indoors, and ordered schools and offices to shut down. In a blunt televised speech, she told her country of 285,000: “When you’re dead, you’re dead. Stay inside and get some rest.”

caption
Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Mottley speaks with children as an excavator prepares the beach for the arrival of Tropical Storm Dorian in Speightstown, Barbados
source
Nigel R. Browne / Reuters

Source: AP


On Sunday, Barbados prepared for the hurricane by piling sand on beaches to protect the waterfront and stop flooding. Diggers also cleared drains in preparation for heavy rainfall. Forecasts predict Barbados could get up to 8 inches of rain.

caption
Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Mottley watches an excavator prepare the beach for the arrival of Tropical Storm Dorian.
source
Nigel R. Browne / Reuters

Sources: Business Insider, The New York Times


People listened to Mottley’s advice. In preparation, motorists waited in long lines to fill their cars with fuel.

caption
Motorists preparing for the arrival of Tropical Storm Dorian queue for fuel in Bridgetown, Barbados August 25, 2019.
source
Nigel R. Browne / Reuters

People also flocked to supermarkets for supplies before Dorian hit. Here’s a full supermarket in Bridgetown, Barbados.

caption
Shoppers preparing for the arrival of Tropical Storm Dorian crowd a supermarket in Bridgetown.
source
Nigel R Browne / Reuters

Water is the most common purchase. In previous storms, officials have cut off power and utilities, so a decent supply of drinking water is essential.

caption
Shoppers preparing for the arrival of Tropical Storm Dorian load a vehicle with bottled water outside a supermarket in Bridgetown.
source
Nigel R. Browne / Reuters

Source: Business Insider


On Tuesday night, Dorian passed over Barbados. Here a man braves the elements on his bicycle.

caption
A man rides a bicycle wearing a makeshift rain covering after Tropical Storm Dorian passed overnight in Brighton St. George, Barbados
source
Nigel R. Browne / Reuters

Another man walks to the end of the pier, once the worst of the storm had passed.

caption
A man walks on a pier after Tropical Storm Dorian passed overnight in Oistins Christ Church, Barbados
source
Nigel R Browne / Reuters

There was some damage. Parts of the island lost power, and volunteers had to clear some trees that were blocking roads.

caption
Volunteer members of the Roving Response Team remove a tree blocking a road after Tropical Storm Dorian passed overnight in Barbados.
source
Nigel R. Browne / Reuters

Source: WTOP


Dorian also hit St. Lucia, an island of about 180,000 people. On Monday the government ordered everything on the island to shut down. One hotel owner told AP that his establishment was ready and never waited for the formal announcement. “We’re always prepared no matter what,” he said.

caption
Hotel employees remove beach cots from the pool area in preparation for the arrival of Tropical Storm Dorian in St. Lucia.
source
Andrea de Silva / Reuters

Source: Business Insider, The Guardian


The National Hurricane Center lifted the tropical storm warning on St. Lucia Tuesday night. Other than heavy winds and rainfall battering the island, filling some boats with water, it wasn’t too badly hit by Dorian.

caption
A child removes water off a boat in St. Lucia.
source
Andrea de Silva / Reuters

Sources: CBS, USA Today


In Puerto Rico on Monday, Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced declared a state of emergency. Forecasters expected Dorian would bring up to 4 inches of rainfall for the island.

caption
A lifesaver is seen on a wooden dock as Tropical Storm Dorian approaches in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico August 26, 2019
source
Ricardo Arduengo / Reuters

People were stocking up in Puerto Rico, too. Some parts of the island still haven’t recovered from Hurricane Maria, which devastated the US commonwealth two years ago.

caption
A man purchases bottled water from a local grocery store as Tropical Storm Dorian approaches in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.
source
Ricardo Arduengo / Reuters

Source: Al Jazeera


By Tuesday, the shelves were already empty in at least one grocery store — an unfortunate sign the territory knows how destructive these storms can be.

caption
Nearly empty shelves where bottled water is normally displayed, are shown at a grocery store as Tropical Storm Dorian approaches.
source
Ricardo Arduengo / Reuters

Source: Business Insider


On Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service issued a tropical storm watch for Puerto Rico. This means a tropical storm is expected to hit within 36 hours. Here, a boat races to dock on Monday night.

caption
A boat races to the dock after sunset as Tropical Storm Dorian approaches in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
source
Ricardo Arduengo / Reuters

Source: CNN


Some people removed their boats from the water altogether …

caption
A man removes a boat from the water as Tropical Storm Dorian approaches in Lajas, Puerto Rico August 27, 2019.
source
Ricardo Arduengo / Reuters

… while others secured them to mangroves.

caption
A boat sits secured to a mangrove as Tropical Storm Dorian approaches in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico August 27, 2019.
source
Ricardo Arduengo / Reuters

Garced said 360 shelters would be ready for people who didn’t have proper roofs. About 30,000 homes still use blue tarps for roofs, after a slow recovery from the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria.

caption
Plastic tarps cover damaged roofs in Puerto Rico.
source
Carlos Barria / Reuters

Sources: CNN, Business Insider


In preparation, emergency management crews also visited high flood risk areas before Dorian reached the island.

caption
The emergency management crews of Canovanas visit communities identified as high flood risk.
source
Gabriella N. Baez / Reuters

Residents and business owners did their best to protect their buildings, as they prepared for Dorian. Here store employees in Humacao covered the entrance to their shop with metal shutters.

caption
Employees of a retail store install metal storm shutters as Tropical Storm Dorian approaches in Humacao, Puerto Rico August 28, 2019.
source
Ricardo Arduengo / Reuters

Here, two men cut up plywood to cover windows at a beachfront restaurant.

caption
A man cuts a plywood to cover the windows of a beach restaurant in the tourist zone of El Combate as Tropical Storm Dorian approaches.
source
Ricardo Arduengo / Reuters

But even after boarding the windows up, there isn’t much space between buildings and the sea.

caption
A man boards up the windows of a beach house in the tourist zone of El Combate as Tropical Storm Dorian approaches.
source
Ricardo Arduengo / Reuters

There was at least one benefit from the approaching storm. Some adventurous people were making the most of Dorian by surfing on the swells the hurricane caused, even as it loomed.

caption
A surfer enters the water as Hurricane Dorian approaches.
source
Ricardo Arduengo / Reuters

And it certainly wasn’t just one brave soul.

caption
Surfers wait for waves as Tropical Storm Dorian approaches in Patillas, Puerto Rico August 28, 2019.
source
Ricardo Arduengo / Reuters

On Wednesday, Dorian reached Puerto Rico, bringing heavy rains and strong winds, but it didn’t directly hit the island. It did however hit Vieques and Culebra, two of Puerto Rico’s smaller islands, with more force, causing flooding and power outages.

caption
A man surveys the beach.
source
Ricardo Arduengo / Reuters

Source: The Wall Street Journal, CBS News


In the Dominican Republic on Tuesday, the government announced it had found 3,000 buildings that could be converted into shelters, which could hold up to 800,000 people. Dorian was forecasted to hit Hispaniola, the island the DR shares with Haiti, after Puerto Rico.

caption
Director of the Emergency Operation Center Juan Manuel Mendez informs about measures taken for Tropical Storm Dorian in the Dominican Republic
source
Erika Santelices / AFP / Getty

Source: Reuters


A lot of food rations were prepared for residents. But the DR escaped the worst of the storm, too.

caption
A worker of the Social State Plan prepares food rations in preparation for Storm Dorian in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, August 27, 2019
source
Ricardo Rojas / Reuters

In Florida, a state of emergency was declared on Wednesday. Dorian is expected to reach the state late Sunday or early Monday morning. People have already begun preparing. In Orlando, dozens were filling sandbags to help with flooding.

caption
Dozens of Orange County residents fill sandbags at Blanchard Park in Orlando, Fla. on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019.
source
Stephen M. Dowell / Orlando Sentinel / Tribune News Service / Getty

Source: CBS News


Dorian could douse Florida with up to 8 inches of rain, which could cause flash flooding. Like the Caribbean islands, people in Florida are already stockpiling fresh water. And they’re waiting to see what Dorian does next.

caption
Ed Smith loads up on water as Hurricane Dorian approaches.
source
Austin Fuller / Orlando Sentinel / Tribune News Service / Getty

Source: Insider