clearn.png
Saturday September 21st, 2019 5:04AM

'Only animals can live here': Storm victims await evacuation

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ABACO, Bahamas (AP) — Carrying their meager possessions in duffel bags and shopping carts, hundreds of desperate storm victims gathered at the port in Grand Abaco on Friday in hopes of getting off the hurricane-devastated island, amid signs of rising frustration over the pace of the disaster-relief effort.

"It's chaos here," said Gee Rolle, a 44-year-old construction worker who waited with his wife for a boat that could take them to the capital, Nassau. "The government is trying their best, but at the same time, I don't think they're doing a good enough job to evacuate the people. It ain't livable for nobody. Only animals can live here."

The Bahamian Health Ministry said helicopters and boats were on the way, but officials warned of delays because of severe flooding.

The search for victims and survivors went on, meanwhile, five days after Dorian slammed the Bahamas with 185 mph (295 kph) winds that obliterated countless homes. Health Minister Duane Sands reported late Friday that the official death toll had been raised to 43 from 30. "We expect it to rise," Sands added in a text message to The Associated Press

.

At the port, some of those who lined up behind a yellow cloth tape arrived as early as 1 a.m., hoping to get to Nassau.

"It's going to get crazy soon," said Serge Simon, 39, who drives an ice truck and waited with his wife and two sons, 5 months old and 4. "There's no food, no water. There are bodies in the water. People are going to start getting sick."

There were no government-organized evacuations yet, but the Royal Bahamas Defense Force helped people board a 139-foot (42-meter) ferry that had come to pick up its employees and had room for an additional 160 people. The crowd waited calmly as marines separated women and children to let them board first.

Also, a barge that had dropped off port-a-potties and heavy equipment in Abaco took some 300 people to Nassau.

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis spoke to the crowd at the port, using a Creole interpreter for a group of Haitians awaiting evacuation, and assured them: "All of you will be treated with respect."

Minnis said he was satisfied with the speed of the government's response and told the storm victims, "All I need you to do is just be patient and wait because everybody is coming."

Officials said all ports had reopened.

An international company that owns an oil terminal on Grand Bahama said damage by the storm had resulted in a significant oil spill on the surrounding ground but added that so far there was no sign of leakage into the sea. The company, Equinor, which is majority-owned by Norway's government, said it had not yet determined how much oil had leaked from the tanks, which can hold 6.75 million gallons of crude oil and condensate.

An array of organizations, countries and companies — including the United Nations, the U.S. government, the British Royal Navy, American Airlines and Royal Caribbean — have mobilized to send in food, water, generators, roof tarps, diapers, flashlights and other supplies.

The U.S. Coast Guard said it had rescued 239 people in the Bahamas and was still conducting search missions.

On hard-hit Grand Bahama Island, a long line formed at a cruise ship that had docked to distribute food and water. Among those waiting was Wellisy Taylor, a 65-year-old housewife.

"What we have to do as Bahamians, we have to band together. If your brother needs sugar, you're going to have to give him sugar. If you need cream, they'll have to give you cream," she said. "That's how I grew up. That's the Bahamas that I know."

___

Associated Press writers Danica Coto in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Marko Alvarez in Freeport, Bahamas; Carlton Nixon in Abaco; and Kelli Kennedy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, contributed to this report.

___

For more of AP's coverage of Hurricane Dorian, go to: https://apnews.com/Hurricanes

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP World News, AP Business, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
'Only animals can live here': Storm victims await evacuation
Hundreds of people have gathered at a port and airport hoping to escape a Bahamian island devastated by Hurricane Dorian
1:41PM ( 4 minutes ago )
The Latest: Mugabe named Zimbabwe national hero after death
Zimbabwe's president has declared former President Robert Mugabe a national hero, the highest honor given in death in the country
1:25PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Texas-LSU will measure if Longhorns are really back
Texas-LSU will measure if Longhorns are really back
1:25PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Aid effort picks up momentum as some Bahamians seek way out
Hundreds of people have gathered at a port and airport hoping to escape a Bahamian island devastated by Hurricane Dorian
12:56PM ( 49 minutes ago )
It's complicated: Zimbabweans see Mugabe's legacy as mixed
Robert Mugabe stood tall on the world stage, first as a celebrated liberator and then as a combative enforcer, loathed by many of the Zimbabweans who once loved him
12:47PM ( 58 minutes ago )
Brexit crisis grows as opposition rejects snap election call
Britain's opposition parties say they won't support Prime Minister Boris Johnson's call for an election when it comes to a vote next week, piling more pressure on Britain's embattled leader
12:33PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP World News
The Latest: Mugabe named Zimbabwe national hero after death
Zimbabwe's president has declared former President Robert Mugabe a national hero, the highest honor given in death in the country
1:25PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Texas-LSU will measure if Longhorns are really back
Texas-LSU will measure if Longhorns are really back
1:25PM ( 20 minutes ago )
The Latest: Cruise ship to bring Bahamians to Florida
A Florida cruise ship plans to bring back Bahamians who want to evacuate the hurricane-ravaged country after disembarking in Grand Bahama island with supplies, first responders and volunteers
1:12PM ( 33 minutes ago )
NC election tests Trump clout, suburban flight from GOP
There's a do-over special election next week for an open House seat from North Carolina that's testing President Donald Trump's popularity ahead of 2020
1:11PM ( 34 minutes ago )
Chiefs sign Tyreek Hill to 3-year, $54 million extension
Chiefs sign wide receiver Tyreek Hill to 3-year, $54 million contract extension
1:06PM ( 39 minutes ago )