Editorial: In The Face Of The Worst, We Show Our Best

AS we write this, Grand Bahama is facing the worst possible scenario.

Hurricane Dorian reached the island then slowed to a stop, sitting over the land as it tears into the buildings and communities below.

The stories we hear from both Grand Bahama and Abaco are heart-wrenching. Equally heart-wrenching is the anxiety of family members and friends trying to find out if those they love are safe after the storm has passed over the northwestern islands.

Right now, we don't know the cost to The Bahamas. We don't know it in terms of property damage, and worse, we don't know the cost in terms of lives.

We know that five people have died in Abaco, as confirmed yesterday by Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis. We sincerely hope that is all, but we fear it will be worse - and every moment Hurricane Dorian sits unmoving over Grand Bahama, our fears intensify.

What we do know is that there is much to be proud of in the way in which The Bahamas is responding to the storm.

Police officers, defence force officers, medics and emergency personnel of all kinds have been doing their best to help those driven out of their homes by the magnitude of the storm.

NEMA has been responding as the storm's demands shifted - opening shelters last night as a wash of rain and flooding hit New Providence, all these miles south of the impacted islands.

Government officials have been working hard too to try to put resources where they are needed most - even as some of them are caught up in the disaster themselves, such as Michael Pintard, who found his East Grand Bahama home flooded and himself in need of rescue.

We are proud too of our Tribune team, working across the islands of Grand Bahama, Abaco and here in New Providence to bring the news of the storm's impact to readers.

Across the country, citizens have also taken up the burden and started reaching out to help - either by helping to share information of relatives who have been found safe and well, or starting to co-ordinate the volunteer response of gathering supplies to take to those who will need them.

From farther afield too, there have been offers of support - from world leaders to music stars such as Rihanna, from charities gearing up to help those left without a home to the likes of chef José Andrés whose team is already swinging into action with "kitchens ready to go".

We fear there will be difficult days ahead as the full extent of the damage to the northwestern islands becomes clear - but it is this determination on the part of the Bahamian people that will see us through.

Across social media, it has been clear there is an emotional cost too as people struggle without knowing what has happened to friends and family.

The journey in the wake of this storm will be long, but we will undertake it knowing that every step will be one that can help our brothers and sisters.

Hurricane Dorian appears to have been an unstoppable force as it has struck our Bahamas - we must now show that as a people we are an immovable object. We shall remain. And we shall rebuild.


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