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Hurricane Heading North After Decimating Bahamas

CNN is reporting that Hurricane Dorian, now a Category 2 storm, is dropping heavy rains and winds along the eastern coast of Florida, and residents of Charleston, South Carolina, have been asked to evacuate. 

Dorian is carrying maximum sustained winds of 105 mph and is 95 miles east-northeast of Daytona Beach, Florida, of as 9:30 a.m. CDT. 

The storm is expected to turn northeast along the US coastline, teeing up what could be devastating flooding Thursday in Charleston, South Carolina.

The core of the hurricane could be "very near, or possibly over, the coast of South and North Carolina on Thursday and Friday," the National Hurricane Center said.

Additionally, CNN states that flood risks for Charleston are high because the city is flat, a few feet above sea level, and next to the ocean. Dorian’s storm surge in Charleston could be higher than 10 feet, which is 2 feet shy of the record set by Hurricane Hugo, said Dave Hennen, CNN meterologist. 

Mike Hernandez, VP for Housing Access and Disaster Response and Rebuild for Fannie Mae, said  Fannie Mae’s Disaster Response Network is available for homeowners impacted by storms, such as Hurricane Dorian. 

Hernandez said the Disaster Response Network came about a year ago when Fannie recognized how challenging it can be for homeowners to begin the recovery process. 

“Putting all that together, in a time when you’re dealing with so much stress, was very difficult,” Hernandez said. “So, we thought hat by having an entity, some individuals that could come in and provide case management support that  would be a huge benefit for borrowers.”

Hernandez added that Fannie Mae is working with Clearpoint (a division of MMI)out of Atlanta, Georgia, which has HUD-approved agents that can help borrowers navigate the recovery process. Hernandez, though, noted that most FEMA applications are denied on the first attempt, but are approved the second time around

Hernandez said homeowners can find more information at Know Your Options, or call the disaster recovery hotline at 877-833-1746. 

Dorian demolished the Bahamas over the weekend, as the storm stalled over the island. The Washington Post reports that authorities three out of every four homes on Grand Bahama are underwater, and recovery “will cost billions of dollars.” 

The Post states that Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said Tuesday that the official death count has risen to seven, but expects that to increase as more of the damaged areas can be reached. 

“Parts of Abaco are decimated. There is severe flooding,” Minnis said. “There is severe damage to homes, businesses, other buildings and infrastructure.”

Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest said the island’s infrastructure is “wrecked.” 

“With approximately 70% of the homes underwater, we anticipate tremendous social and economic dislocation and disruption in the short term,” Turnquest said in an interview with The Washington Post. “The mental health of those who have endured this monster storm is a priority concern of the government.

About Author: Mike Albanese

Mike Albanese is a reporter for DS News and MReport. He is a University of Alabama graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in communications. He has worked for publications—both print and online—covering numerous beats. A Connecticut native, Albanese currently resides in Lewisville.

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