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One year later, Dorian survivor says he’s still haunted by killer storm

Erick Auguste, 37, a resident of Treasure Cay, Abaco, watched in horror as his mother, who was clutching to his arm, was swept off with a storm surge after a sharp object severed his left arm from his body during Hurricane Dorian last year.

Auguste said yesterday that he is still haunted by what happened that day.

However, one year later, Auguste and his wife, Elsie Bain-Auguste, are expecting a beacon of hope.

“My wife is in Nassau getting ready to have another baby,” he told The Nassau Guardian.

“So, I’m excited. I have a baby girl coming. For the last two weeks, it was very touching. I was very emotional about it. She’s coming and I won’t be able to lift her and do this and do that.

“It was very emotional but my son told me, ‘Daddy, it’s okay. We will help you. We will help you.’”

The monster Category 5 storm terrorized Abaco and Grand Bahama for the first three days of September last year.

It killed at least 74 people and left 279 missing in its wake.

Auguste said doctors expect his daughter to be born “in the next three days”. 

“I’m just grateful,” he said.

He said the last year has been challenging for him following his amputation.

“I have to live in a different way,” he said.

“I have to learn how to do everything. Everything that I knew for 30 years, now I have to learn how to do something else and how to survive, how to live, how to put my clothes on, how to eat.”

He said the experience has been “frustrating”.

“Sometimes, it’s very emotional knowing everything I could do before and now I can’t do it,” Auguste said.

“My mind is telling me to do it but my body cannot do it. It’s really, really frustrating… Emotionally, it’s killing you from the inside.”

Auguste spent six months in Miami, Florida, following Dorian as a result of his injury.

He said he returned to Abaco at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March.

He said the island was not the one he remembered.

“When I came back, it was like I walked into a different place,” Auguste said.

“It was not the Abaco that I knew. I don’t remember some streets because trees were gone. Houses that were there, they were destroyed.”

August said he doesn’t want to risk his life returning to the United States during the pandemic.

“We still have all our stuff in Miami,” Auguste said.

“Everything is there. Before the first lockdown, we were in Abaco and we never went back. So, all our belongings, everything is still in Biscayne.”

He said his family plans on staying on Abaco.

“We’re moving back home,” Auguste said.

“Home is home. This is where my heart is.”

Auguste is living in Crossing Rock, Abaco, where his wife was raised.

“We plan on moving back to Treasure Cay sometime next month,” he said.

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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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