Lachino McIntosh's mother found the 8-year-old boy dead as the family sought safety from Hurricane Dorian
An 8-year-old boy is the first named victim of Hurricane Dorian, which made landfall on Sunday in the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm and caused “extreme destruction,” with storm surges up to 18 feet above normal tide levels, reports say.
Lachino McIntosh drowned in the Abaco Islands over the weekend, Lachino’s grandmother, Ingrid McIntosh, told Bahamas’ EyeWitness News through tears. Ingrid said a relative broke the news, telling the doting grandmother that Lachino’s mother found his body while searching for her daughter — the boy’s sister — who remained missing on Monday.
“How am I supposed to feel? My grandson is dead,” said Ingrid, who indicated that her grandson was 8 years old. “I just seen my grandson about two days ago. My grandson just told me he loved me.”
Ingrid told EyeWitness News that the family became separated as they tried to flee the storm. The Bahamas Press shared a photo of the boy on social media and reported his age to be 7.
The Royal Bahamas police force has confirmed that five people died in the Abacos Islands, Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said at a recent news conference.
“We are in the midst of a historic tragedy,” Minnis said, according to the New York Times. “Our focus is search, rescue and recovery. I ask for your prayers for those in affected areas and for our first responders.”
The eyewall of the “catastrophic” hurricane hit the Abacos Islands on Sunday, packing “devastating winds,” the National Hurricane Center reported. And Minnis said on Monday that downtown Grand Bahama “is under three feet of water, including the ground floor of its hospital and the prime minister’s office,” according to the Times.
He added that homes, businesses and several other buildings were destroyed or badly damaged. The storm was expected to continue battering the islands through Tuesday, even as it remained stationary early Tuesday morning as a Category 2 storm with 120 mph winds.
The storm lingered over the Bahamas Tuesday morning just off Grand Bahama Island, ravaging the area for hours, CNN reported. By the time it departs from the area, parts of the Bahamas will have seen more than 30 inches of rain, according to CNN.
“It’s utter destruction everywhere we look,” Bahamas resident Sharon Rolle told CNN.
The National Hurricane Center said the storm is expected to head north-northwest on Tuesday.
“On this track, the core of extremely dangerous Hurricane Dorian will gradually move north of Grand Bahama Island through [Tuesday] evening,” according to the center.
“The hurricane will then move dangerously close to the Florida east coast late today through Wednesday evening, very near the Georgia and South Carolina coasts Wednesday night and Thursday, and near or over the North Carolina coast late Thursday and Thursday night,” the center added.
Although the storm has weakened to Category 2, the hurricane has grown and its damaging winds cover more territory, the Washington Post reported. It seems the Bahamas bore the brunt of the storm, remaining in its eyewall for over 36 hours.