Hawksbill residents thankful for life, after Dorian

STREETS LINED WITH PERSONAL POSSESSIONS – Like hundreds of residents affected by flood waters of Hurricane Dorian, homeowners in Hawksbill lined their streets with personal possessions that were damaged as a result of the storm. (PHOTO: JENNEVA RUSSELL)

Residents in East Grand Bahama, Coral Reef Estates, Hudson, Regency Park, Sunset, Back-A-Town Subdivisions, those on Settlers’ Way and Hawksbill will forever remember Hurricane Dorian.

The storm approached Grand Bahama on September 1 traveling at 0-mph, sitting over the island for two-and-a-half days creating havoc.

Dorian left hundreds of residents in total devastation, including some 80 homeowners in the Hawksbill community. 

Our reporter, Juelanda Thompson, during a walk-about through that tight knit community, spoke with residents who shared their horrific stories of surviving the Cat 5, Hurricane Dorian.

“My experience with Hurricane Dorian has been a believable one,” said a tearful Shirley Ferguson of #53 Abaco Drive, who lost everything to the storm surge.

“It was devastating, depressing and just a total loss for me and my family. The water was six-to-seven feet high. We lost everything from appliances, bedroom sets, kitchen wares. We were only able to salvage two or three bags,” she added.

Having to face the reality of losing everything, Ferguson said, she found clam and strength in bonding with her family.

“I try to keep myself together by making jokes because my husband was really depressed. We thought the water would’ve been ankle high, but this was overwhelming to say the least,” Ferguson added.

Left without a home, the mother of three said, “I am currently living with my son-in-law and eldest daughter. I was first staying at my younger daughter’s home, but I had to leave and now I am with my older daughter. I don’t know what the length of stay will be there, but we are there until things are sorted out.

“Nonetheless, I grateful for my life and my family’s life, because we had no lives lost. These other things can come later, they are material things and we as humans can always get them. But I would never like to relive this one again,” said a grateful Ferguson.

Princess Williams, who resided at #87 Abaco Drive was simply thankful to God for life.

“All I can say is thank God for life. This house is material things. A lot of people lost their father, their mother, their brother and look at the families in Abaco. I didn’t stay at home during the hurricane this time, because I learned from the last experience. When they alerted us about flooding, they told us to go as high as we could so I left.

“But when I returned home, I had lost everything,” Williams said.

“In the midst of every hurricane, I usually lose some things and have to start over. But when people started calling and saying how high the water was, I knew I lost everything. When I came inside and saw that ceiling, the bureau and fridge was floating, I knew I lost everything. 

“The bureaus are for the back room, and they were out in the front room. The kitchen cabinets that are built of wood are gone this time, but at least I am here,” she added.

Williams noted she and her husband were unemployed and are currently dependents of their adult children.

“Sadly, I don’t have a job, and my husband doesn’t have a job, because he had a stroke. I also had a slight stroke, so whatever our kids can do for us is what we make ends meet with. 

“So, that’s two medical bills to deal with. Right now, I have a medical card, and government keeps turning me around-and-around and won’t fill it,” she maintained. “I don’t know how I will get medication now.”

Noting the she and her husband are diabetic, Williams said it would have been good if one of them had a card where they could share the medication. 

Despite the medical challenge, Williams added that she is thankful to God for life. 

Hawksbill resident Mark Antonio Crowther, who also lost everything, claimed that he is getting no help from the government.

“We don’t have anything in the back here, the storm took away everything that we had. We don’t have any help, the government don’t even help us,” he alleged.

“When the Progressive Liberal Party was in power, cars would line off giving out water to the residents and now we don’t have that. During the hurricane I went on top of the hill and stayed inside my car. It felt like the wind was trying to push it over the hill and I couldn’t hold the car up. So, I got out, ran and my sister had to come and help me,” Crowther added.

Senior citizen Lorraine Pennerman of #126 said that her son-in-law battened up her home. “But he did not feel safe with me staying there, so he and my daughter took me in their home.

“I just came home and although I am sad and I have losses, I have life. I have a special child and if I had stayed at my house, I would not have been able to lift her with me.

“I know there are a lot of losses, and I don’t have a husband, but life is so important and the same God who bless me and help me build this place is the same God and I have faith in to build again,” said Pennerman,

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