Nicole’s nightmarish trek across Green Turtle Cay

Tropical Storm Nicole lashed Green Turtle Cay as it made its way across the northwestern Bahamas yesterday.

By 1 p.m., Eddie Bodie, 50, a charter fisherman, had already started experiencing flooding in his neighborhood.

“The water came up to almost four feet,” he told The Nassau Guardian.

Bodie said water came into his house.

“For some people downtown, the water just came straight through their house completely,” he said.

“It didn’t come all the way into my house. When I left early this morning, I left around 7 o’clock and the water was coming through the door.

Bodie said Nicole had “more water” for Green Turtle Cay than Hurricane Dorian, which ravaged Abaco and Grand Bahama three years ago, and the winds were “blowing hard”.

“We didn’t know this storm was going to blow this hard,” Bodie said.

When asked if he was worried, he replied, “Well, I’m in a safe house. I came by one of my neighbor’s house. I left my house and I took my mom and dad and wife and family and we flew. We just got out right in time.”

Bodie said he was happy he was able to evacuate.

A storm has to have winds of at least 74 miles per hour (mph) to be considered a Category 1 hurricane.

Although Nicole made landfall as a tropical storm, Ken Jones, 62, an engineer, said he is certain that winds exceeded 74 mph as it passed Green Turtle Cay.

“We had one house that was under construction and it started to cave in,” he said. “Other than that, so far, no lives were lost.” 

Jones described conditions on the island as “terrible” shortly before 1 p.m.

He said flooding was a major issue yesterday.

“We have a lot of rain,” Jones said.

“… We have persons who had to move out of their houses which had like four feet of water in it.”

Jones said his home is on high ground.

The storm started affecting parts of Abaco yesterday morning.

By 9 a.m., the Department of Meteorology said there had been reports of storm surge about four feet north of Treasure Cay. 

Images and videos from Green Turtle Cay showed people walking in knee-high water. Some residents reported at least two feet of water entering their homes.

Eve Russell, 40, a nail technician, evacuated her home during the storm because of the flooding.

“We had to move to come to higher ground because of water,” she said. 

When asked how high the water came, Russell replied, “Four and a half to five feet.”

She said when she woke up, she realized the water had already reached her front step.

Russell said this gave them enough time to evacuate.

“It didn’t get into the house but it came way up to the step,” she said.

There was also flooding in the Blackwood and Marsh Harbour communities of Abaco.

However, not all areas on the island were impacted by heavy flooding.

“I haven’t gone outside yet but I don’t see water right now,” said Renel Metellus, 50, a resident of The Farm shantytown, shortly before 5 p.m. yesterday.

“I look out of the window in the front, the window in the back, and I don’t see any water.”

When asked if he has any concerns about Nicole, following the devastation of Hurricane Dorian in 2019, he replied, “No, I’m not scared because Dorian was [worse] than Nicole.” 

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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