At least 30 people in the Bahamas are dead as a result of Hurricane Dorian, with thousands still missing
When Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the Bahamas last week, a blind man was forced to leave his own home in order to make sure his son, who cannot walk, stayed safe.
As the storm touched down, Brent Lowe, 49, had taken refuge in his Abaco Islands home alongside his 24-year-old son, who has cerebral palsy, as well as several neighbors.
“It was scary, so scary,” Lowe told The New York Times. “I’ve never experienced anything like that in my life.”
Although the group initially huddled together in Lowe’s bathroom, after the roof of his home flew off in the devastating winds, Lowe and his neighbors had no choice but to go out into the storm in order to seek refuge.
Carrying his son on his shoulders, Lowe held onto his neighbors as the group made their way to a nearby house, which was located five minutes away. They stayed there until Monday, when they were transported to a shelter.
Lowe, who was subsequently taken to Nassau, told the Times that he is eager to return to Abaco, where his son has remained, even though the storm has rendered him homeless.
“I’m just wondering where we’re going to live when I go back home, what I’m going to do,” he told the outlet.
At least 30 people in the Bahamas are dead as a result of Hurricane Dorian, while thousands still remain missing, NBC News reported.
“The Bahamas has certainly never seen anything on the scale … a disaster of such epic proportions on a single country in a single incident is very very unusual,” United Nations relief chief Mark Lowcock said in a statement.
The hurricane, which made landfall as a Category 5 storm, has caused extreme destruction to the island. Structures have been completely flattened, with as many as 13,000 homes destroyed, NBC reported, citing the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The death toll is expected to continue to rise.
“The public needs to prepare for unimaginable information about the death toll and the human suffering,” Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands told Guardian Radio 96.9 FM, according to CNN. “Make no bones about it, the numbers will be far higher.”
Sands said morticians in Abaco have been embalming remains because crews have run out of coolers.
“We are in the midst of one of the greatest national crises in our country’s history,” Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said on Tuesday, according to The Washington Post, adding on NPR’s All Things Considered that “thousands of individuals are now homeless.”
Several groups have vowed to help in recovery efforts. The Walt Disney Company is donating more than $1 million, while Rihanna has vowed to provide aid through her non-profit, the Clara Lionel Foundation.
“I want to thank all the first responders who are acting with courage to save lives and rescue those in need,” Bahamian Prime Minister Minnis wrote on Twitter. “We are seeing bravery and fortitude of Bahamians who endured hours and days of horror. Our urgent task will be to provide food, water, shelter and safety and security.”
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After ravaging the Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane, Dorian headed to the U.S. and eventually weakened to a Category 1 storm. Dorian lashed the east coast of central Florida on Tuesday with maximum sustained winds at 110mph winds east of Melbourne before making its way to the Carolinas, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm wound up making landfall Friday morning over Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, as a Category 1 hurricane, bringing the possibility of a “life-threatening storm surge” and dangerous winds, the Center said.