One month after Dorian, evacuees relocate from St. George’s shelter

PREPARING FOR EVACUEES – Members of St. Cleveland Baptist Church, Free Town were preparing the church building to receive evacuees from East End, who were willing to return to the settlement following Hurricane Dorian. St. Cleveland was the only church left standing in East End after Dorian’s devastation. (PHOTO: JENNEVA RUSSELL)

One month after Hurricane Dorian, evacuees that were being housed at the St. George’s High School Gymnasium shelter were relocated to a facility in Free Town.

On Thursday (October 3) around 10:00 a.m. as the residents prepared to leave the gym, many of them did not want to speak with the media; however, 60-year-old Dexter Carter gladly shared his story.

Carter said that he was living at his residence in Holmes Rock (West Grand Bahama) for five years, before Dorian ripped the roof off the building.

Carter hopes to receive some kind of assistance with his current living situation.

“I told the people at the Social Services my position, my condition, but I have no other choice. I have to go back to that same old building and I really need some help,” he pleaded.

Carter said that he has nowhere else to go.

“I have family, but they are unable to help me because they do not have the space,” he added.

Carter said that he moved into the shelter right after Dorian made landfall.

He revealed that this was the third shelter he stayed in, as a result of the storm.

“The first shelter I was at was down in Eight Mile Rock, Sea Grape … the Church of God of Prophecy. While there, it was raining and stuff and the water started to come in, so we were forced from that shelter,” he said.

Bethel’s Deliverance Center, Jonestown was the second facility where he took shelter.

“After that they gave the clearance for everybody to leave,” he said, adding that he eventually ended up at St. George’s after making a call to a radio talk show, which assisted him in getting there.

Carter, who noted that his family is originally from Turks and Caicos even requested a ticket from Social Services to get him there.

However, Carter claimed, he was told that he would only be able to get a one-way ticket, which he could not accept.

“I even asked them to help me to get a plane ticket to go to Turks and Caicos, but they told me that they were going to get me a one-way ticket. I told them that couldn’t work, because if you’re going to another country as another citizen you can’t just go on a one-way ticket, you need a round trip,” he said.

Carter noted that he is glad that he does not have any immediate family members, because they would have been going through this with him.

“I just hope that I could really get some assistance,” he insisted.

Representatives from the shelter were not available to speak to this daily regarding the move. However, The Freeport News can confirm that Rev. Preston Cooper of Free Town was preparing his church building, St. Cleveland Baptist, to receive evacuees from East End, who were moving from shelters in Freeport.

Hurricane Dorian was the strongest storm to hit the country. 

It was the second strongest storm recorded by wind speed in the Atlantic. Grand Bahama and Abaco are our second and third most populated islands, respectively. Dorian’s eye passed over Abaco and East Grand Bahama.

They faced maximum sustained winds of 185 miles per hour with gusts of 220 miles per hour. There was storm surge in excess of 20 feet. Dorian devastated, and in some instances, destroyed parts of these islands.

Many lives were lost. The current number of dead recovered is 58. However, we expect that figure to increase significantly, as there are 600 missing. Dorian brought the ocean inland in Abaco and Grand Bahama.

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