2 Americans reunited with families after Dorian hit Bahamas: ‘They thought we were dead’

Writer: Derrick Shaw
Pam Mobley and Joann Coakley were rescued and flown home Thursday. (CBS News)

Among the harrowing stories of survival from people after Hurricane Dorian flattened parts of the Bahamas, is that of two Americans who were stranded there while on vacation, losing contact with their husbands in the middle of the storm. For 48 hours, their families back home feared the worst.

Pam Mobley and Joann Coakley were rescued and flown home yesterday, but when the hurricane struck, the two best friends were on the phone, Facetiming with their husbands back home in the U.S., when their screens went to black.

“We were terrified; they saw us being terrified, and then saw all connection with us completely go black,” said Coakley.

Mobley described the building they were in being ravaged by the storm: “The walls were literally pulsing,” she said. “We were underneath the table, and then we were in a bathtub, and then we were in a closet, and we were absolutely terrified.”

The two couldn’t get in touch with their family for another 48 hours. “We knew they thought we were dead, and that was probably the worst part for me,” said Coakley.

Back home, their husbands were glued to the television for 20 hours a day desperately looking for answers.

“The last visualization we had was a house coming down on our wives,” said Ed Mobley.

Meanwhile, Joann and Pam, who is a physician, went out in the middle of the hurricane to help treat anyone who was injured.

“It was just a house,” Mobley reasoned, “and I have a home to go back to. But the people in Green Turtle, they don’t. And it’s going to be years before they’re comfortable again.”

Some residents’ entire families were rescued, like one-year-old Reign and her mother, Ostina Dean.

“What kept me going was the child, that was it,” Dean said. “I looked at her and I was like, no, my baby’s not going out like this.”

Fifty-eight-year-old Isaiah had debris-filled water up to his neck, and held onto a piece of wood trying to survive. “I’m thankful, very, very, thankful to be alive, to tell my story, because I know many who are not alive to talk about it,” he said.

Pam Mobley’s husband told correspondent Nikki Battiste the whole ordeal reminded him that it’s not material things that matter – it’s time to focus on what’s really important: family.

Pam, meanwhile, says she is eager to go back to the Bahamas to help once she regroups.

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