Tales of survival out of Abaco

MARSH HARBOUR, Abaco – Despite her fragile frame, Diana Davis, 80, survived the deadly storm surges and winds of Hurricane Dorian on her own, walking five miles to refuge after the storm had passed the island.

“I was by myself in the house,” Davis told The Nassau Guardian before boarding an evacuation flight at the Marsh Harbour International Airport.

She added, “The roof came off in the back and everything began to fall apart.”

“The water was coming in.

“The water came across my neck. You know with the rise of the tide, it came up.”

She said she hid in the closet when her home started to flood with seawater.

Davis said Dorian has left her with nothing.

“I don’t have no clothes left,” she said.

“[I only have] what I have on. So, I left and I didn’t have no food. I left. I don’t even know the days of the week.”

Davis, who had lived in Abaco for more than 20 years, said she had to walk “a far distance” of about five miles to her grandson’s house in the aftermath of the storm.

However, Davis was not the only Abaconian left scarred by the fury of Dorian.

Many vulnerable residents of the island were terrified by what they saw during the peak of the storm.

Jemiyah Russell, a shy 6-year-old, was staying at the Government Complex with her mother and brother when she recalled the events of Dorian.

She said the storm was “very bad,” noting that she was “very scared” for the duration of it.

“[It sounded] like a boat was crashing the water somewhere,” Russell said.

“My mummy made me feel better. She just let us lay in the tub.”

Her brother, Latrelle Rolle, 10, said he was also scared as Dorian tore through Abaco.

“It was very frightening cause I was scared and the water was rising up in the house,” Rolle said.

While pointing at his waist, he said, “It was like right here [but] my stepdad went and blow something up and we stayed on it for the whole night.”

He said he did his best to protect his sister as the storm continued to roar.

“I just kept her in the back so she don’t fall into the water,” Rolle said.

Dorian laid ruin to Abaco and Grand Bahama, making landfall on Elbow Cay with sustained winds of 185 miles per hour and gusts over 220 miles per hour.

The wind speed made Dorian the second strongest hurricane on record in the Atlantic.

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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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