Hurricane Dorian death toll rises to 23 in the Bahamas

Hurricane Dorian death toll rises to 23 in the Bahamas
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The death toll from Hurricane Dorian's devastation in the Bahamas rose to 23 on Thursday, according to The New York Times

Officials warned that number could rise in coming days in the aftermath of the strongest storm to ever hit the island. 

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Bahamian Minister of Health Duane Sands said Thursday the death count "could be staggering," according to the Times. 

“We are embalming bodies so that we have more capacity as new bodies are brought in,” he said. “We need to get coolers into Abaco and Grand Bahama, because we believe that we may not have the capacity to store the bodies.”

The Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama were two areas hit hardest by the Category 5 hurricane. 

The storm has since been downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane. It is heading toward North Carolina and South Carolina. 

At 4 p.m. the National Hurricane Center's latest update on Dorian said there are dangerous winds, a storm surge and flooding across the two states.