Monday, September 23, 2019

‘Opening the Door to Hell Itself’: Bahamas Confronts Life After Hurricane Dorian

The government has ordered no rebuilding of any kind in obliterated shantytowns.

GREAT ABACO ISLAND, Bahamas—The storm surges that topped 20 feet have long since receded, and the 220-mile-an-hour wind gusts are gone. But the devastation Hurricane Dorian left behind is staggering.

On Great Abaco, rubble stretches as far as the eye can see. Some 1.5 billion pounds of debris is strewn across Marsh Harbour alone. In one neighborhood, a deflated basketball, a waterlogged Bible and a sodden teddy bear lay among flattened cinder-block buildings and wood-framed houses. Total property losses have been estimated at $7 billion.

An eerie silence hangs over the leveled neighborhoods. There is little chattering now from the parrots these islands are known for.

The Category 5 storm destroyed thousands of homes on Great Abaco and Grand Bahama, and was the strongest hurricane on modern record to hit the Bahamas. The damage, now coming into view, appears calamitous.  Read more >>