Irene destroys parts of the Bahamas
Freeport - Hurricane Irene ripped off roofs, downed power lines and demolished homes on several islands in the Bahamas as the powerful storm roared across the southeast part of the archipelago, officials said on Thursday.
On the remote Acklins Island, where Irene's eye passed over on Wednesday, 90% of the homes in the Lovely Bay settlement were destroyed, the National Emergency Management Agency (Nema) said, with house roofs and several homes blown away.
On nearby Crooked Island, Nema received reports of wind gusts of over 160km/h and that the Colonel Hill High school's roof "was reportedly completely blown off and its windows blown out".
The island of Inagua had 52 persons in the shelter, 18 of whom are Haitian migrants, and 40 homes were severely damaged, the agency said.
On the island of Mayaguana, local officials said power was off, the road leading to the main town was becoming flooded, and a number of utility poles were down with wires exposed.
The storm was moving closer to the more populated Bahaman islands as it veered toward the US eastern seaboard.