By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
RESIDENTS in Hudson Estates, Grand Bahama, are very concerned about the large piles of debris that have been left in that private subdivision since the passage of Hurricane Dorian seven weeks ago.
They complained that the mounds of debris and garbage lining their streets pose a serious health and environmental hazard for families there. They say they are being overrun by rodents, flies, roaches, and mosquitoes.
After surviving the worst storm-related flooding in their homes in decades, Hudson Estates residents lost all of their possessions. Damaged furnishings, appliances, and mattresses have been thrown outdoors.
The area - made up of three subdivisions - was among the hardest hit areas on Grand Bahama.
"My concern is that there is a lot of garbage, and no one coming to move it," said a resident who asked to be identified as Ms Davis. 'It is getting ridiculous because we have all kinds of flies, roaches, (odour) - everything is coming out because of the garbage piled up around here."
The elderly resident thinks the debris should have been removed by now.
"It's over a month now and I think someone should come and do something for us. We are under attack by rodents that are coming now - everything coming now because of the garbage."
Ms Davis has lived in Hudson Estates for over a decade. The flooding she experienced with Dorian was something she had never seen before.
"The water was to my neck in my house - that's how high it was. We could not get no rescue and then the sewerage was in the water in your house," she recalled.
"We had (a) baby and everything and - we try to go in the manhole but it break down. So, we had to swim through the water. I fall in the water five times and somebody had to come lift me, and tote me, so I would not drown - that's how high the water was. I never seen nothing like this before in my whole life," Ms Davis said.
Another Hudson Estates resident, who gave her name as Ms Gilbert, is also frustrated by the situation.
"It's too long and something needs to be done - we have an infestation of rodents and flies and something needs to be done," she stressed.
"We did not want this storm. You think we wanted to throw away our stuff and have to replace it? Many of us cannot afford to pay to have these things removed so we need someone to come in and assist us in moving these debris, like now."
Ms Gilbert, who has lived in the community for 30 years, is very concerned about the safety of the children.
With refrigerators and other appliances outdoors, she said rainwater can settle in them and breed mosquitoes, which "spread all kinds of diseases."
"Then, there are rodents coming into people's homes through the windows - it is really bad," she said.
Ms Gilbert had four feet of water in her house. "We had to sit and wait in that water and sewerage for two days, and we lost everything, including two vehicles and two trucks."
She also said the debris is obstructing the road, making it difficult to drive in the area.
Another resident, Ms Pinder, said that the general appearance of the area is "depressing."
"Coming home to it is very depressing, and now the scent of it is unbearable. So, we really need someone to help through here to move the debris," she said. "I don't know who is responsible. They say this is a private area, but the developers don't seem to be interested in garbage removal, so we are appealing to someone to help us."
Ms Gardiner, a resident of 19 years, said this is her third hurricane since living in the area. She and her neighbours are eager to have some sort of normalcy again, if not in their homes.
"Since Dorian no one has come to pick up anything. It is a hazardous situation because we have asthmatic children and lots of elderly residents who are diabetic and hypertensive living here - it is just not healthy."
She also had four to five feet of flooding in her three-bedroom home. "We have to have our houses open to combat the mould, and so we have to leave our windows open, but with the debris so huge it is a big concern. We need debris removal as soon as possible."
According to Ms Gardiner, the developer claims that residents are not paying their service charge in the Hudson Estates Subdivisions.
"At this time, I don't think it is a service charge issue, it is a government issue. Hudson Estates is a big subdivision, we have one, two and three. All the sections were flooded," she explained.
"I lost every piece of furniture in my house, and I stayed two days after the hurricane, just crying and praying and throwing (things) out. And normalcy is what we want. Right now, if we can't get the normalcy in your house at least we would like it to see some normalcy in our surroundings," she said.
Ms Gardiner indicated that the debris also poses a fire hazard.
"After battling the hurricane, we had to battle with fire, and we almost lost four houses on my strip where people's cars were burnt. So, if we can get the debris removal, it would be a big relief."