Long Islanders tell of 'the worst storm they have ever seen'


RESIDENTS of Long Island, among the hardest hit southern Bahamas islands by Hurricane Joaquin, have described the Category 4 storm as “the worst we’ve ever seen”.

Loretta Butler-Turner, the Long Island MP, said the storm could not have hit her constituents “much harder”. She said the centre of Joaquin travelled the entire length of the island, so named because it stretches for 100 miles.

Revealing that she lost communications with Long Island at 1.30am on Friday, Mrs Butler-Turner said members of its Disaster Preparedness Committee had spent the previous night rescuing islanders from damaged or destroyed buildings.

Estimating the numbers who had to be rescued at “not more than 20”, she said: “Up to 1.30am this morning, the Disaster Committee team was out rescuing individuals who found themselves in compromised buildings or buildings that had been totally destroyed.”

Mrs Butler-Turner said most of the rescues took place in south Long Island, after Joaquin’s turn shifted the storm’s centre towards its northern end.

She added that some of the island’s hurricane shelters were forced to close after water started leaking in, forcing people to seek refuge in homes belonging to other islanders. Residents living in low lying areas also had to be evacuated due to flooding.

“Right now, I can’t say what level of devastation they’ve endured,” Mrs Butler-Turner said. “The individuals I’ve spoken to have said this is the worst they’ve ever seen it, with 100 mile per hour-plus winds. The sea surge and high tide has not helped the situation. They could not have been hit much harder, with the economic depression and now this significant and relentless storm that hovered over them for 36 hours. It could not have been much worse.”

Mrs Butler-Turner said she was working with businesses and private donors to secure relief supplies for her constituents, promising that she would fly to Long Island from the Bahamian capital, Nassau, to assess the damage as soon as the weather allowed.

She added that the US embassy in Nassau was also working to co-ordinate reconnaissance flights over Long Island and other islands in the central and southern Bahamas that had born the brunt of Joaquin.

The storm is expected to turn towards the north-east and leave the Bahamas during tonight and Saturday morning, after dropping up to 25 inches of rain.

Pedro Rolle, president of the Chamber of Commerce on Exuma, said conditions on the central Bahamas island were better than it appeared on satellite images of Joaquin.

Exuma seemed likely to be spared the worst of the storm. Mr Rolle said: “The conditions are unlike the reports. Whenever you look at the radar, it looks a whole lot worse than what we’re experiencing. It’s not as bad as it could have been. We don’t have any flooding from rain in central Exuma, which is good, and even the wind itself at the moment is not too bad and not causing any destruction.”

Mr Rolle added: “At this point we’re doing OK. We’re getting reports of what has happened in Crooked Island, and we’re not experiencing anything like that on this part of mainland Exuma.”

He said Exuma, though, had received little warning of Joaquin’s approach and likely impact, leaving people with little time to prepare.

“This came upon us so suddenly that most persons were ill-prepared or unprepared for this, and a lot of the normal stuff they do did not get done in terms of securing their homes,” Mr Rolle said.

Craig Gomez, president of the Bahamas Red Cross, said it was “moving expeditiously to provide assistance” to the islands worst hit by Joaquin. He added that it was organising food, medical and other supplies, working alongside NEMA and other government agencies.


John 8 years, 1 month ago

Despite the situation this country is in I was coming home from work today and the "punk a$$ " police stop me "under suspicion of drugs". They search my vehicle in the rain and wet road looking for "drugs". Whilst half the country is drowning under sea surge and being battered by sea surge. The Babylon system is in full effect still!


Cobalt 8 years, 1 month ago

I should have known that you fit the profile and physical characteristics of a drug totting criminal. If you didn't fit these attributes, police officers would have never felt compelled to stop you. And the fact that they conducted this search in hurricane conditions only supports the idea that based upon your "looks," they were certain that you were a criminal that warranted a closer look. One only need read most of your post to determine that you're a typical dumb Bahamian, who grew up in the ghetto, never receiving a meaningful education, nor conducting any discipline in an institute of higher learning.

Like any ghetto-born Bahamian, crime, murder, poverty, and, law enforcement seems to be the only social issues that intrigues you. Thus, these types of stories seem to be the majority of what you choose to discuss on a daily basis.

It also amazes me that you post all of this religious jargon and quote scripture; yet when police officers accosted you, you now resort to using language that's not conducive to the Christian faith. Once again..... typical Bahamian. Using foul language one day, quoting scripture the next.

You're nothing more than a convoluted contradiction.


John 8 years, 1 month ago

The facts are that while the five states in the US that have legalized marijuana for recreational use are "white population ". The average person in the Bahamas (and other Caribbean countries cannot move from home to work and vice versa without being harassed by the police about drugs! Wat be wrong wit dat pic still!


Cobalt 8 years, 1 month ago

I swear..... you would truly be better off keeping your mouth closed sometimes. Here you go again with your inferior ghetto way of thinking. Black people this... white people that! You need to understand that there are educated people out here that read this site and your ignorance is on display for everyone to see.

In case you haven't realized, California which has legalized recreational marijuana, is not a "white population." Actually, Hispanics and Latinos are the majority.

In typical ghetto-mentality fashion, you attempt to use race and color to rationalize your one-track, ignorant mode of thinking.


John 8 years, 1 month ago

Ppl drowning in the sea surge and roofs getting blown away 114 murders and you coming home from work and the police strip you down in the rain and say they looking for drugs. "Welcome home folks"


Baha10 8 years, 1 month ago

Long Island does not even get a mention on the Local TV News in connection with this Hurricane notwithstanding being one of the Islands hardest hit, preference being to cover Others miles away from the true devastation. So much for One Bahamas, they must truly be an "Out" Island vs. "Family"?!?


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