PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Bahamians are marking the anniversary of a historic tragedy on Tuesday while dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. The devastating Category 5 Hurricane Dorian first made landfall Sept. 1, 2019 on the Abaco Islands and made a second landfall near Marsh Harbour.
The catastrophic conditions forced residents to desperately want to leave to bigger islands. Some communities seized to exist. Molina Pierre and her family lost their Abaco home, so they moved to South Florida, and they haven’t been able to be back since.
“It was pretty scary for us,” Pierre said. “I mean, I was pregnant; I was five months pregnant.”
The massive flooding forced some to seek refuge in attics and cut holes in roofs. Prime Minister Hubert Minnis told reporters you couldn’t tell the difference as to the beginning of the street versus where the ocean begins.
By Sept. 12, 2019, officials reported 1,300 people had vanished. Months later, Bahamas’ official death toll was 70, but it’s unclear how many people really died because there are still 200 people who are still considered missing.