113 Animals Killed After Shocking Storm Surge Hit Bahamas Shelter in Hurricane Dorian
Six people and more than 150 cats and dogs survived after a “raging river” of water overwhelmed the Humane Society of Grand Bahama.
As the scale of Hurricane Dorian’s devastation in the Bahamas comes into focus and the number of known deaths rises, an animal shelter on the island of Grand Bahama has also gotten a clearer picture of its losses from the storm.
A nearly 20-foot storm surge overwhelmed the Humane Society of Grand Bahama in Freeport on Monday night, causing destruction and flooding that killed 113 dogs and cats, executive director Tip Burrows told the Miami Herald. Burrows had not expected the shelter, which is 10 feet above sea level, to be hit so brutally.
Though hurricanes have long been a threat in the region, a warming climate is contributing to their increased intensity. Atmospheric scientist Jennifer Francis explained to The Washington Post that warming ocean temperatures essentially give hurricanes more fuel, with warmer air holding more moisture that results in heavier rainfall from the storms. Rising sea levels also lead to higher storm surges and worsened flooding.
Additionally, scientists have found that it’s becoming increasingly common for hurricanes to stall over a particular location for longer periods of time ― as Dorian did in the Bahamas and 2017′s Hurricane Harvey did in Texas ― battering one place with unrelenting rain for a longer period of time. NASA scientist Tim Hall told the Post that researchers are examining the relationship between a warming climate and these slower moving hurricanes.
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