The death toll rose to 43 and officials say that number will go up drastically as hundreds of residents remain missing, buried under the rubble. Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands were hit the hardest by the hurricane, which ripped off roofs, scattered pole lines and boats, and flattened entire neighborhoods.
"It was like an atomic bomb went off," said Sherrie Roberts, who survived the hurricane on Abaco Islands.
In the neighborhoods of the wrecked islands, reminders of the disaster were everywhere.
"When we were driving up, we could smell ... death," CNN's Patrick Oppmann said about Bevans Town on the island of Grand Bahama.
The area is in ruins, he said.
"Every house, every structure, every life has been essentially destroyed in this area."
Jet skiers save 100 people trapped in flooded homes in the Bahamas
From CNN's Christina Zdanowicz
In a story of how residents came together to save one another amid dangerous conditions, Jensen Burrows and d'Sean Smith -- as well as a dozen other jet skiers -- rescued 100 people who were trapped in flooded homes in the Bahamas on Tuesday.
"They did a phenomenal job, not just with us. What we saw when we came out is that they continued to go back in and over and over again," Michael Pintard, the Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources in the Bahamas, told CNN on Friday.
Burrows and Smith, two friends that are part of the GB Jet Ski Club, were the men that drove their jet skis to save the minister and his family. Jason Albury rode on board to navigate them to the minister's house and help with the rescue.
"The wind was pelting you, so it felt like rocks being pelted at you. I had his daughter and my friend, and the jet ski tipped over," Smith said. "Jensen had the minister and his wife and Jensen also flipped over. He insisted we take the daughter and wife to safety first, so we did and came back for him."
Before the dramatic rescue of the Pintard family, Smith and Burrows had tried to rescue Smith's cousin on Monday. Conditions were too rough to ride safely, but they had to try.
After a few failed attempts to ride out on Monday, the pair made it to Pioneers Way, a street south of the decimated Grand Bahama Airport. They say they saved dozens of people pleading for help, among them pregnant women and even a baby in a Styrofoam cooler.
Bahamas air offers free relief flights from hard-hit areas to Nassau
Bahamas Air resumed its service to Marsh Harbour in Abaco and Freeport in Grand Bahama, offering several free relief flights between those hard-hit areas and Nassau, according to public broadcaster ZNS.
Free relief flights have been scheduled, which includes:
Nassau to Marsh Harbour at 7 a.m., which then departs Marsh Harbor at 9 a.m. to return to Nassau
Nassau to Freeport at 10:30 a.m., which then departs Freeport at 12:30 p.m. to return to Nassau
Nassau to Freeport at 2 p.m., which then departs Freeport to Nassau at 3:30 p.m.
There are also flights into Treasure Key, ZNS reports. A flight is scheduled to leave Nassau to Treasure Key at 3 p.m., which returns at 4:45 p.m.
ZNS also advised waiting passengers where they should go to access and request flights, saying they could not be booked through online reservations.
4:18 a.m. ET, September 7, 2019
Death toll expected to rise
From CNN's Pamela Boykoff and Matthew Moxey in Nassau
The Bahamas Health Minister, Duane Sands, acknowledged Friday that there are uncollected bodies evident in areas where Hurricane Dorian caused devastation, adding that he expected the death toll would rise significantly.
"I am sure that your reporters have seen uncollected bodies on the ground. I am sure there are many person who know individuals who have personally lost loved ones. So where we end up with the death toll is likely to be significantly higher than where we are right now."
Sands said in a press briefing that there would be a new process for updating the death toll, which involves comparing numbers from health teams and the Royal Bahamas Police, in an attempt to avoid getting any "mixed information" and to ensure accuracy.
He insisted that this was in no way an attempt to suppress information.
"I want to be very clear," he told reporters. "Certainly, The Ministry of Health and the Government of the Bahamas has no interest in suppressing information. What we want to do is ensure the information that is given is accurate."
On Friday night Sands confirmed in a text message to CNN that the death toll from Hurricane Dorian is now up to 43.
4:14 a.m. ET, September 7, 2019
US Secretary of State Pompeo announces latest efforts to assist the Bahamas
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has sent a Disaster Assistance Response Team "to coordinate the US response and provide technical support to the National Emergency Management Authority," at the request of the Bahamian government.
Pompeo added that the country “extends its condolences to all those in the Bahamas who have lost loved ones” in his latest statement on Hurricane Dorian.