WPTV flew into Abaco Saturday while many residents on the devastated island are looking to escape the storm-battered island. Hurricane Dorian has turned the tropical paradise into a post-apocalyptic vision.
Huge stretches of homes and businesses reduced to rubble, a power system so many heaps of useless wire now, trees that once swayed in tropical breezes turned into splintered husks.
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A woman named Natasha sat at the side of the Treasure Key airfield with her crying toddler, hoping this day might be her day to leave. And hoping for more food and water in the meantime. People are listening. A lot of them. A virtual private air force from our community is making its way to Abaco every day. Kevin Mahoney is the pastor for Family Church in West Palm Beach and he is flying in and out constantly.
Pastor Mahoney said, “I brought in 1,000 pounds this morning. We are staging out of the North County Airport.”
WPTV hitched a ride into the heart of a once buoyant Treasure Key community with the North Abaco fire chief, Colin Albury. His fire trucks were broken apart like toys and every mile revealed new desolation. “We need help,” Albury told me through tears, “if you guys could get together and help us. We need it.”
A contingent of Royal Marines is on the ground with heavy equipment. It’s welcome but only the smallest of starts in a recovery effort that boggles the imagination.
Keathan Stuart is just thankful to have a chance to recover. The home he stayed in was turned inside out -- almost literally. Imagine taking every stick of furniture you own, every possession big and small, and sticking all of it in a giant blender. That’s his gutted home now. He pointed out ceilings ripped away and said, “As we were trying to get out we were here in this bathroom.”
A resort manager on Treasure Key, Joshua Stivers did leave today with his dog, Clyde.
Survival seemed a very unsafe bet as they tried to hide from Dorian’s winds. But survive they did. And then he found out immediately how lucky he had been.
Stivers said, “We had a dead body on the road (that) we covered and put blocks around her. It was devastating. Something you never forget.”
The fortunate then are leaving now, while other survivors wait their turn. And an entire island ask for help that will be the ultimate test of the human spirit and cooperation today, tomorrow and for years to come.