Bahamas

Joletta Silver / Shedd Aquarium

On a vast, wind-battered bank wedged between Florida, Cuba and the Bahamas, scientists studying the troubling decline of queen conchs have discovered some rare happy news: a thriving conch republic.

Among the highest ever documented in the Caribbean, researchers believe the herds grazing on Cay Sal Bank provide a lifeline to overfished Bahamian waters miles away.

Hurricane forecasters and the models they depend on failed to anticipate the strength and impact of last year's deadliest storm. Hurricane Dorian caused catastrophic damage to islands in the Northern Bahamas, killing more than 200 people and causing billions of dollars in damage.

Daniel Rivero / WLRN

FREEPORT, GRAND BAHAMA — A few days after Hurricane Dorian, Amanda Kellowan rummaged through what was left. She had just spent 36 hours in the attic of her home, fleeing from the 30-foot storm surge that swept over her island home of Grand Bahama last September.

Tom Hudson / WLRN Public Media

Great Abaco Island remains beautiful but scarred. It is scarred from the seemingly endless hours of winds and water from Hurricane Dorian in September. Its economy is quiet — quieted by the worst storm spawned from warm Atlantic waters ever to hit the Bahamas. And its residents are few. Thousands forced off the island because they have no homes any longer. 

 

Healing from a hurricane, especially one as strong and devastating as Dorian, will be measured in years. 

 

Tom Hudson / WLRN Public Media

Four months after Hurricane Dorian devastated parts of the northern Bahamas, the government’s new head of reconstruction says they need to speed up recovery efforts. 

“One of the big priorities is this debris cleanup in Abaco,” says Katherine Smith, managing director of the Bahamas Disaster Reconstruction Authority during a bus tour Tuesday of parts of Great Abaco Island. “It’s really a big problem because of the scale of the hurricane and the damage it did in Abaco.”

More than a month after Hurricane Dorian ripped through Mash Harbour in the Bahamas, the debris —smashed pieces of wood that used to be houses, cars flipped on their sides and boats washed up in people’s yards — is strewn everywhere.

Just over a month after Hurricane Dorian slammed into the northern Bahamas, parts of the island nation are still in ruins, thousands of people remain displaced and rebuilding has only just begun.

"We are moving as quickly as we can to get up and running," says Michael Jones. "But when that will be is anyone's guess."

Editor's note: This story includes images that some readers may find disturbing.

Sherrine Petit Homme LaFrance was crying on the side of a road when China Laguerre spotted her.

Hurricane Dorian destroyed LaFrance's newly constructed house in Great Abaco Island on the northern edge of the Bahamas the same night she moved in. That was on Sept. 1.

Nirmal Mulaikal/WLRN

Miami activists and a Hurricane Dorian survivor called on the Bahamian government Thursday to suspend immigration enforcement actions that threaten to deport undocumented migrants living in government-operated Bahamian shelters. 

 

Nadege Green / WLRN News

A little over a week after Hurricane Dorian made landfall and ravaged parts of the Bahamas, students at Florida Memorial University joined together for a prayer service.

Brea Rolle sat in the front pew with her head bowed.

Rolle is from Grand Bahama, one of the areas hardest hit by hurricane Dorian. Her mom sent her a message on Whatsapp saying she’s ok, followed by solemn news— their home is completely destroyed.

Daniel Rivero / WLRN

It’s been more than a week since Hurricane Dorian decimated parts of the Bahamas. The death toll has climbed to at least 50, and according to some news reports, 1,300 people are reported missing — a drop from an initial figure of 2,500.

Thousands of Bahamians face a difficult decision in the days, weeks and months ahead: whether they should stay to rebuild, come to the United States for awhile, or aim to start a new life in America.

Bahamas And Florida Are In The Path Of What Could Be Tropical Storm Humberto

Sep 13, 2019

Just weeks after Hurricane Dorian ravaged the northern Bahamas, the same parts of the island nation are under tropical storm warnings as a potential tropical depression brews in the Atlantic and forecasters issued a tropical storm watch for the coastal parts of Central Florida.

Jacqueline Charles / Miami Herald

Madeline Fox / WLRN

Palm Beach County has found temporary homes for the last of the Bahamians who arrived at the Port of Palm Beach on Saturday.

Most of the 1,100 residents of the Bahamas who landed in Riviera Beach on Saturday morning went to stay with friends or family — some in South Florida, others a longer drive or plane ride away. 

In the Bahamas, the damage Hurricane Dorian wreaked on roads, airports, communication grids and other infrastructure is presenting a logistical nightmare for emergency responders and aid workers trying to get basic supplies to the neediest storm victims.

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