“I’m not sure what I’m going to meet when I get back, but none of that matters once I’m still here,” said Harrold Rolle after getting off an evacuation ferry arranged by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Dover’s Point, Grand Bahama.
Rolle was one of 34 residents of Grand Cay, Abaco, who changed their minds about staying at the last minute and evacuated the cay yesterday with the help of a ferry service organized by NEMA.
“It really wasn’t my choice to come here to Freeport,” he said.
“My wife is over here and she wanted me to come so I just come. You got some people who just didn’t want to leave their home. But for me, I think it’s safer over there because of the storm surge and stuff. We don’t have flooding over there.”
According to Rolle, well over 100 people were still left on Grand Cay, deciding to weather the storm there.
Grand Cay is a peaceful fishing community that sits just south of Walker’s Cay.
When the ferry got in at the crack of dawn, the Grand Cay residents, which included mostly women and children, removed their suitcases, blankets and plastic bins containing their belongings and placed them on the nearby defense force shuttle waiting to transport them to one of the 13 shelters on Grand Bahama.
Some were picked up by family members.
A woman who identified herself as Sabrina was one of them.
She said she boarded the ferry with her children after family members urged her to get off Grand Cay.
“I’m not happy about coming here because I felt safer on the cay,” she said.
“Everyone kept pushing me to come, so I come. I have no idea where I’m going to stay, probably the shelter. But I’m here. I don’t think I’m safer, but I’m here.”
Just after that boat arrived with those evacuees, NEMA officials had the tough task of coordinating another evacuation boat to collect 37 residents from Sweeting’s Cay, just off Grand Bahama.