Dorian-devastated Bahamas gears up for potential tropical cyclone

Nearly two weeks after a Category 5 hurricane battered its shores, the Bahamas is expected to experience strong winds and rains as the National Hurricane Center issued a warning Friday for a potential tropical cyclone.

The devastated islands still recovering from Hurricane Dorian, which made landfall on Sept. 1, are expected to see “tropical-storm-force winds and rains” Friday and Saturday in the northwestern part of the country as the system could develop into a tropical storm in the next 24-48 hours.

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The National Hurricane Center warned that Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine promises maximum sustained winds of 30 mph and several inches of rain.

Residents in the eastern part of Florida were also advised of “tropical-storm-force winds” over the weekend and heavy rain which could result in flash flooding.

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The storm comes as Bahamians are beginning to tackle a daunting cleanup nearly two weeks after Hurricane Dorian devastated the archipelago's northern islands.

A man walks among debris at the Mudd neighborhood, devastated after Hurricane Dorian hit the Abaco Islands in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas, September 6, 2019. (REUTERS/Marco Bello)

A man walks among debris at the Mudd neighborhood, devastated after Hurricane Dorian hit the Abaco Islands in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas, September 6, 2019. (REUTERS/Marco Bello)

A preliminary report estimated that Dorian caused some $7 billion in damage, although the government of the Bahamas has not yet offered any figures.

Search-and-rescue crews are also desperately looking for around 1,300 people who remain missing as Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said Wednesday that the death toll, currently at 50, “is expected to significantly increase.”

An aerial view of floods and damages from Hurricane Dorian on Freeport, Grand Bahama on September 5, 2019. (ADAM DELGIUDICE/AFP/Getty Images)

An aerial view of floods and damages from Hurricane Dorian on Freeport, Grand Bahama on September 5, 2019. (ADAM DELGIUDICE/AFP/Getty Images)

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While power has returned to much of Grand Bahama, the electrical infrastructure around Marsh Harbour, Abaco's largest city, was destroyed. Some 70,000 people are also believed to be homeless.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.