Hurricane Dorian has stranded thousands in the Bahamas after destroying the only airport on the island of Grand Bahama.
“After two days of trying, we’re finally able to get into the Freeport airport,” reported CNN. “It’s gone. … The level of devastation is actually breathtaking. There are no walls left at the airport. The ceiling has come crashing.”
For two straight days, the category 5 storm leveled buildings and homes in the Bahamas, leaving at least 7 dead, including an 8-year-old boy, in its wake.
“Nothing compares to what we went through the past two days. Almost 48 hours now with nonstop carnage,” said survivor Michael Hynes.
The storm is now making its way up the East Coast of the United States. Meanwhile, those Bahamanians who can are volunteering in search and rescue efforts.
“Some people, they were exhausted. Some we had to carry,” said storm survivor Rochenel Daniel. “Some couldn’t even make it.”
Daniel found his brother clinging to a tree after Dorian’s winds had died down. The search is still on for his sister-in-law, however.
“We hope that she’s OK,” he told CNN.
The storm warnings have subsided, but parts of the Bahamas have been completely leveled. Where once stood shops and homes is now rubble and dust.
“There is tremendous human suffering,” said storm chaser Josh Morgerman. “These people really need help. They’ve lost everything.”
Rescue efforts will likely continue for days, and rebuilding efforts could potentially take years. The storm has passed, but Bahamanian residents are far from safe just yet.
“We can expect more deaths to be recorded,” said Bahamanian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis. “Our priority is search, rescue and recovery.”
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Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.