‘Pure hell’: Category 5 Hurricane Dorian brings historic destruction to Bahamas

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BAHAMAS – (WTVQ/ABC NEWS) – Hurricane Dorian is a massive Category 5 hurricane Monday morning with sustained winds of 165 mph as it continues to batter the Bahamas in the Atlantic Ocean.

Dorian, which came ashore on Elbow Cay of the Abaco Islands, is tied for the strongest Atlantic hurricane landfall on record, along with a hurricane on Labor Day in 1935 that struck the Florida Keys and moved up along the Gulf Coast of Florida.

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Winds are currently blowing at a sustained 165 MPH — the same strength that Hurricane Andrew had when it hit parts of the Miami metro area in 1992.

The eye of the storm made a second landfall at 2 p.m. on the island near Marsh Harbour, and a third landfall an hour before midnight on the eastern end of Grand Bahama Island.

Francis Charles, who rode out the storm in Hope Town, Elbow Cay, called the island “a wreck” late Sunday.

“I have never seen anything like this in my life,” Jenise Fernandez, reporter with Miami ABC affiliate WPLG, told the station during their broadcast.

ABC News correspondent Marcus Moore, who is on the ground in Marsh Harbour, described the scene as “pure hell.”

“I have seen utter devastation here in Marsh Harbour. We are surrounded by water with no way out,” Moore said. “Absolute devastation, there really are no words it is pure hell here on Marsh Harbour on Avoca Island in the northern part of the Bahamas.”

The National Hurricane Center is calling the storm a life-threatening situation with extreme destruction and the potential for wind gusts over 200 mph.

“Today I gave a live national briefing on the extremely dangerous #HurricaneDorian from NEMA Headquarters,” Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said in a tweet Sunday night. “This is probably the saddest and worst day for me to address the Bahamian people. We are facing a hurricane that we have never seen in The Bahamas. Please pray for us.”

The town of Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco island has catastrophic damage, according to an ABC News team on the ground, with boats on rooftops and uprooted trees.

It is the strongest hurricane in modern record for the northwestern Bahamas.

But with the slow motion of Dorian, the prolonged duration of hurricane and tropical storm force winds with gusts over 200 mph, storm surges of up to 20 feet and heavy rainfall will continue to devastate the northern Bahamas.

To read more on Dorian click here.

Information and pictures from ABC News.