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Hurricane Dorian death toll climbs to 20 in devastated Bahamas; storm is now a Category 3 |

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Hurricane Dorian death toll climbs to 20 in devastated Bahamas; storm is now a Category 3

FREEPORT, Bahamas (AP Modified) — Hurricane Dorian is gaining strength again. The hurricane was officially categorized as a Category 3 storm on Wednesday night. That means it is once again labeled as a ‘major hurricane,’ and packing winds of up to 112 miles per hour.

Right now, the North Carolina and South Carolina coasts are in its path.

People in the Bahamas, the area hit hard by Hurricane Dorian over the weekend, worked to pick up the pieces on Wednesday.

The ground crunched under Greg Alem’s feet on Wednesday as he walked over the ruins of his home, laid waste by Hurricane Dorian. He touched a splintered beam of wood and pointed to the fallen trees, overcome by memories.

“We planted those trees ourselves. Everything has a memory, you know,” he said. “It’s so, so sad. … In the Bible there is a person called Job, and I feel like Job right now. He’s lost everything, but his faith kept him strong.”

The devastation wrought by Dorian — and the terror it inflicted during its day-and-a-half mauling of the Bahamas — came into focus Wednesday as the passing of the storm revealed a muddy, debris-strewn landscape of smashed and flooded-out homes on Abaco and Grand Bahama islands. The official death toll from the strongest hurricane on record ever to hit the country jumped to 20, and there was little doubt it would climb higher.

With a now-distant Dorian pushing its way up the Southeastern U.S. coast, menacing Georgia and the Carolinas, many people living in the Bahamas were in shock as they slowly came out of shelters and checked on their homes.

In one community, George Bolter stood in the bright sunshine and surveyed the ruins of what was once his home. He picked at the debris, trying to find something, anything, salvageable. A couple of walls were the only thing left.