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The Bahamas still recovering one year after Hurricane Dorian

Reporter: Nicole Gabe Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

One town torn apart, another washed away—Dorian made its landfall on Elbow Cay, Great Abaco in the Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane one year ago. The widespread destruction saw many families separated, many lives lost.

Tanique Brutus rode out the hurricane with her family at their home in the Abaco Islands.

It’s her biggest regret.

“It’s just so hard to talk about, I’m not going to lie,” Brutus said. “I have a son, and when the water started to come and part of the roof started to go, I started thinking, ‘What am I going to do? And how do I save him?’ I’m responsible for him. I felt helpless.”

Looking at how much work remains to be done a year later, she still feels that way.

“All of the resorts and everything that was in this area is gone,” Brutus said. “Not damaged; it’s pretty much flattened. It has to start over and it’s been surreal.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has proved an obstacle to continuing recovery efforts.

“It’s been really complicated trying to move forward with the pandemic on top of the storm,” said pilot Mark Steinberg. Steinberg used to fly supplies from Southwest Florida to the Bahamas for months after Dorian struck.

That’s over now.

“After a year and many of those areas still don’t have electricity, still don’t have running water as the water lines were ripped up,” Steinberg said. “The income of most of those families were somehow derived from tourism.”

Most visitors are staying away until the Bahamas are rebuilt, adding to people’s economic pain.

“There are so many people that have been impacted,” Brutus said, “and once again, even with trying to getting back on our feet it’s been very difficult.”

Any donations for Bahamas relief can be mailed to:

P.O. Box 60811
Fort Myers, FL. 33907

Please note “Bahamas relief” on your check.