Dorian – Updates …

Dorian – Updates – Sept. 2nd to 26th:
(Please note that updates to this blog will be at the end.)
Thank you all so much for your emails, texts, facebook messages, etc. We are overwhelmed by your love and concern. This morning brought good news for us. Our houses, and all of Casuarina escaped the worst. Our good friend and neighbor, Buddy Pinder, drove around and checked the neighborhood and the people who stayed through the storm, and he reported that everyone is OK, and the houses at Casuarina Point have minor damage.
 
Elmer & Cathy Bongon and their children have been staying in Kokomo during the storm, and they have sent some pictures and reports.  They tell us Kokomo, Abaco Palms, and Camp David seem fine.  We have some minor damage to Calypso.  More detailed inspections will come later, because the wind and rain continues.  
I didn’t want to wait to publish a few pictures as I promised earlier, but I realize that the pictures I have so far do not show very much.  I will add more as I receive them.  These 4 pictures were all from late morning on Monday, the 2nd.
Kokomo’s Beach around Noon on Monday, September 2nd

As you see above – our sea oats are still there – at this point anyway.  So very minor beach erosion at this time.  AMAZING!

Kokomo’s street side yard.

Roof damage at Calypso. A minor damage. Have not been inside to check yet.
Behind the boat you can see the 5 ton a/c condenser fell off its platform, but the boats are fine from what we hear. 3 are at Calypso and 2 in the yard at Abaco Palms.

The other 2 pictures I have that I can share now are from Sunday, September 1st around 4:30.  All our pictures are from Kokomo so far, because Elmer and family are staying there and can’t get out.

September 1st around 4:30 pm – Kokomo’s beach
Kokomo’s beach again on September 1st around 4:30. Surprising that the palm fronds are still on the tiki hut.

The 2 pictures above are not as clear because the rain is blowing on the windows.

I will post more when I know more.

Please pray for Marsh Harbour and the rest of Abaco that was devastated, and for Grand Bahamas and everyone in the possible path of Dorian.  Thank you for caring about us and Casuarina Point!

Monday, September 2nd – video from 5 pm in Abaco:

I am writing this at 10 am on Tuesday, the 3rd, and I do not have any new news yet.  I hope to be able to post more later today.

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Wednesday, September 4th – around Noon

We just spoke to Elmer Bongon, one of our caretakers, who is staying in Kokomo with his family. They are fine! The sun is finally shining, and he has checked all our properties inside, and everything is fine. Even though we lost a small part of our roof at Calypso, there is no water in the house. Pretty amazing! Some of our shutters blew off Abaco Palms, but the windows are intact. Guess we should have left the lexan shutters off? One of the dining light fixtures in Abaco is broken, and that is IT for damage inside for us! We are SO thankful! He says our beach is not eroded, and he will send pictures soon. I will post when I get them. Through a good friend, we are directly involved with the Crisis Response team from Samaritan’s Purse (a Christian humanitarian aid organization, whose president is Franklin Graham – Billy’s son), and the team is on the ground in Nassau with a DC8 full of supplies for Abaco. The plan is for them to stay in our houses. We hope this will be a small way we can help when we feel so helpless. I will update with pictures as soon as we receive them. Thank you all for your concern, prayers, and support! We are so blessed with friends who care! Love and appreciate you all! ❤️

Pictures to follow as soon as I have them….

Thursday, September 5th:

I received pictures from Elmer yesterday, but our life has been a whirlwind as we try to coordinate with our relief group (Samaritan’s Purse) and other emergencies that have been called to our attention.  This is the first chance I have had to work on an update, and here are some pictures Elmer sent yesterday.  These pictures must have been taken at low tide, and we have been having extreme (King) tides – so this must be and extreme low, but you can still see that we gained sand – we did not have any erosion or flooding on our beach.

This is the only pictures he sent of Camp David, but it has had a close inspection, and the report is that everything if perfect!

The next few pictures are of Abaco Palms:

Abaco Palms in the distance. Again, you see the extreme low tide and no erosion.
The Christmas Palms look surprisingly healthy. Small coconut in the front didn’t fare as well.
LOTS of seaweed on the beach in front of Abaco Palms – but that is temporary…
Looking west from deck of Abaco Palms.  Lots of palm branches down, but the trees look OK so they will recover.
Looking straight off the deck of Abaco Palms. Sand has collected in the grass – and lots of seaweed, but plenty of beach.

The next group of pictures will focus on Calypso:

Calypso viewed this direction looks perfectly fine.
This side has the damaged roof on the west dormer, but everything else looks fine.
Straight shot from the street side – you see some of the tin that came off the roof.  Our Jeep looks OK under the house.  Our Suburban was at the airport and is probably ruined.

This last group is of Kokomo:

Looking at Kokomo from the street side. Looks like we might have lost a few of the small coconut trees, but everything else looks good!   My miniature date palms (on the right) look happy!
Kokomo & Calypso viewed from the beach.  The coconut trees look surprisingly good after 3 days of strong wind.
This fence between Kokomo and the neighbor looks good.
Our small fence sections that we were using as trellises are down.

SO….as you can see, our houses are in great shape considering 3 days of hurricane and tropical storm force winds, with thunderstorms and heavy rain!

We are still working with Samaritan’s Purse and look forward to all the help they will provide the people of Abaco.  They have the experience, equipment, and funding to be able to make a huge difference.

We have so many wonderful friends who have reached out, and all your prayers mean so much!  Some have been in a position to offer direct help.  We believe we were successful arranging an urgent medical evacuation for tonight, through a friend of a friend who was flying in supplies from Nashville.   We feel overwhelmed and grateful for all of you!  Please pray the evacuation goes as planned!   I will continue to post if I have and news to share.

Thank you for your prayers for Abaco and the Bahamas.  They are appreciated more than I can express.

I want to end this section with a Casuarina sunrise picture that our dear friend, Cindy Pinder, took this morning.

Sunrise at Casuarina Point – September 5, 2019

Monday, September 9th – Update:

The terrible news out of Marsh Harbour is still hard to comprehend.  Although I am back in Talladega, Dorian continues to dominate my life.  I want to update you on a few things that are positive.

Our church in Marsh Harbour was a shelter during the storm.

Wonderful news! Many of you know that we have been terribly worried about our Abaco church, St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, in Marsh Harbour, because it was a shelter for many (300-400)during the storm. Our church has a Mass in Creole in addition to the English Mass, and has a large number of Haitians in our congregation, and they take shelter there during hurricanes. The church is on top of a hill and was the area that took the direct hit of Dorian. I am SO relieved and happy to report that everyone survived at the church! There was some damage, and it was a terrifying experience for them, but the church looks amazingly great to me! It is still a shelter from some, and the Miami Herald posted a video from the church where they interviewed a man and his daughter on Saturday. Prayers answered!   This is the short video clip:   https://www.miamiherald.com/news/article234837827.html

Our other best news today is that the main power plant in Abaco is not damaged.  They plan to replace the 50 poles that are down between the power plant and south Abaco, and they say we should have power in 2 weeks!  That is faster than the last report of 3 weeks when we were expecting them to open the old power plant in Sandy Point and power us from the South.  The generator for the Casuarina Point water station is working now, but the pumps are not – so they are working on it.  Hopefully the neighborhood water will be back on soon.

The Samaritan’s Purse group found housing in Marsh Harbour, so they are not using out houses at this time, so we have offered them to Team Rubicon, another relief organization, but we don’t know yet if they will need them either.

Samaritan’s Purse checked out Casuarina when they were determining the best place for them to stay, and they were very kind to share a fly over video with me.  It was wonderful to see that our whole neighborhood looked good!  Click on the link to watch the one minute video clip.

Flyover of Casuarina Point after Hurricane Dorian

If we are allowed, we will return as soon as the power is on.

Thank you all for caring!

September 26, 2019

As I check Google Analytics I have noticed that many of you are looking for updates on this page, and I appreciate your interest and concern.  I apologize for not posting news earlier.  As I continue to read stories of survivors and their experiences it is hard for me to write about our good fortune.

Casuarina Point and all of South Abaco were spared the wrath of Dorian, sustained minimal damage, and will be key to the rebuild of Marsh Harbour and the Cays.  Bahamas Power & Light has replace the broken poles between the Wilson City Power Plant (the main power plant on Abaco) and Sandy Point, and the damaged power lines have been replaced.  A new generator was delivered to the plant on Tuesday (September 24th), so the power should be restored to all of South Abaco within a few days.  That will be a game changer!    The small water plant for Casuarina Point is being run by a generator, and they have been turning it on for about 5 hours, twice a day, to conserve fuel, which had been in short supply until very recently.   While I was typing this I received a call saying the power should be on today or tomorrow!  YAY!!!  Once the power is on, water will be on all the time again.

Starting yesterday, gas can be purchased in Marsh Harbour, and soon gas will be available at the Big Bird Chicken Farm (~5 miles north of Casuarina Point).  Very soon Big Bird is also planning to open a convenience store in the building that was their office.  This will be wonderful for our neighborhood!

Bahamas Air has had regularly scheduled flights from Nassau to Marsh Harbour for the past few weeks, and charters from Florida have already been allowed to land in Marsh Harbour.   The US Air Force delivered a mobile, state-of-the-art Control Tower for the Marsh Harbour airport last week.   We expect commercial flights from the US to start soon.

Maxwell’s Supermarket has announced that it will reopen as soon as it is able to receive goods through the port.  So far the Marsh Harbour port has opened to commercial shipping in a limited way, but regular commercial shipping is supposed to begin next week.   Currently, our Casuarina Point Fire House is a Relief Supply Center for our neighborhood.  Cindy posted this video a few days ago showing the supplies available for our neighbors:

Casuarina Fire House Video Link

We are so happy that our special friend and gardener, Julian Fortulien, returned to Abaco (from  Cap Haitien, Haiti) on Tuesday!  He was visiting his family there before the hurricane, and we are so thankful he was in a safe place.  Our wonderful Casuarina neighbor, Bob Sundeen, met Julian at the airport and took him to Casuarina.  He is staying at Abaco Palms and was able to get the supplies he needed from the Fire House, including the solar lantern that also works as a phone charger for him.  Julian is continuing the clean up that Elmer started, and with time he will have our yards looking great again.

One Marsh Harbour rental car company is open for business already and limited taxi service is available.

I do not believe there is a bank open in Abaco yet, but I hope that will happen soon.  Right now there is no place to get cash on the island.

One of the reasons I have not updated earlier is that the news seems to change hourly!  Gary and I plan to go to Abaco next week, and I will post some videos of our houses and neighborhood then.

Thank you for checking in…

 

38 thoughts on “Dorian – Updates …”

    1. Just saw this Jeff. The news for South Abaco is that it will be up and running soon. Casuarina has water now and will have power within a few weeks. Amazing!

    1. Thank you so much! I am so sorry that I just saw this. We appreciate the prayers! Please continue to pray for Abaco and Grand Bahama.

  1. So glad to hear everybody & houses came thru storm ok. Our family spent a wonderful week at Camp David a few yrs ago..think of it often..& the local doggy who adopted us!! Prayers being sent for everybody in the Abacos.

    1. Thank you so much for writing, Candi. I hope you have continued to check the updates on the ‘Dorian’ page. We would love to have you back some day.

  2. So glad to get your report. Some relief for our deep concerns. The people of Abaco have been in our prayers for days and will remain in our prayers. ! Hoping that all remain healthy and safe.

    1. Rex and Judie are safe in Florida now. They stayed through the storm, and their roof leaked, but they are OK. Sorry I just saw this! I hope you had already found news of them somewhere else.

    1. Thank you so much for writing to check on us. I am so sorry that I just found these messages. I hope you have been following my updates on the ‘Dorian’ blog on this site. You can see pictures and a flyover of Casuarina. Our whole neighborhood was spared with minor damage. Hope you will come back again some day.

  3. Hello,
    We are so glad to hear everyone in Casuarina is ok. I offered 10,000lbs of fish to The Abaco club to help the people of Abaco and no one has responded.
    Maybe someone can speak to someone there? My number is 401-592-0600

  4. I feel much better knowing that you and Gary are fine and were not on Abaco when this devastation occurred. I am also thankful that your properties did not suffer what so many others did and are standing tall. I have been thinking about you and them ever since the hurricane hit and stayed and stayed. I just kept hearing the words Abaco and when you don’t really know the island(s) all you can do is pray. The pictures were very reassuring for everyone. Many thanks to your friends for taking the pictures and you for taking the time to write about what was and is going on and putting them on your site for all to see.

  5. We are so glad to hear that y’all were so fortunate and there was little damage to the properties our visit in 2013 was wonderful and thank you for the Kindness your family is showing to the island and it’s people

  6. So so happy to view and read this Kathy!
    Your family, your friends, your “still beautiful, still so special” island are in our thoughts and prayers for a quick and healthy recovery.
    Tim and Kim Socha, New Hampshire

    1. Thank you so much Kim & Tim! SO glad you found the blog. I apologize for not seeing this and answering. South Abaco will be back up and running soon. Hope you will come back. That is a great way to support the recovery in Abaco.

    1. I just saw this Roy. Do you know Anna’s last name? You can key it into DorianPeopleSearch.com, and I hope you will find good news of her. I am sorry, but I do not know her. Please update when you find her. Thank you.

  7. Kathy – I have been thinking about Abaco Palms, the Abaco community, and you and your family ever since I heard of Dorian’s destruction. If you remember, I hosted my now sister-in-laws bachelorette weekend at Abaco Palms back in Feb of 2016. Us ladies have been reminiscing on the amazing time we had ever since that trip, and have been scouring the internet for any news on your properties since the storm – needless to say, I was thrilled to stumble upon your blog this morning!
    All the best from Chicago,
    Kate

    1. Thank you so much for thinking of us and writing to let me know, Kate. Yes, I remember you and your group. I do hope you will come back some day. That will be the best way to help Abaco recover. The hospitality workers needs jobs, and South Abaco will be back in business very soon. Please help spread the word.
      Kathy

  8. So glad to hear the houses did not have major damage. We have been praying for Abacos and especially marsh harbor. We loved our time there and plan to come back!

    1. Thank you so much, Kirstin and Jon! We appreciate SO MUCH your love of Abaco! Thank you! We are so thankful that Casuarina Point was spared! We expect our power to be restored in a week or 2, and we will go prepare for our Thanksgiving guests who still plan to come. Amazingly, South Abaco will be back in business soon and will be the center of activity for the rebuild of all of the Abacos. Abaco needs the guests to return to support the recovery. I do hope you will return some day soon. We appreciate your past business and look forward to having you back again.

  9. It is heartbreaking to see all the damage across the island. I’m very glad that Casuarina Point and south was spared. My 5th anniversary is coming up in February and we are supposed to return. Any idea if there are car rentals or gas stations? Even a place to buy groceries. Sounds like Pete’s Pub is ok and Nancy’s in Sandy point. Maybe it’s too soon to have any idea.

    1. Hello Roy – Thank you for checking on Abaco and Casuarina Point. We are still expecting guests for Thanksgiving. Our power should be restored this week. If you need accommodations, please inquire through our contact form, and I will be happy to tell you what we still have available. We have many guides in Abaco who are ready to fish! 🙂 South Abaco needs guests to return to help support the rebuild of the rest of our wonderful island. We would love to have you or recommend another rental at Casuarina Point.

  10. We are so happy to read that Casuarina has been sparsed in this devastion. We were visiting at Casa paradiso in july this year and fell in love with the Island and Casuarina. Thank you for posting, we followed your updates and was so thankful to be able to read what was going on at Casuarina.

    1. Hi Monica –
      We continue to receive good reports from Casuarina and hope to be able to return NEXT week (week of September 30th). I plan to report again on this web site once we are in Abaco again. I am happy to hear that you loved Casuarina and I hope you will visit there again.

    1. Hi Karen –
      Pete’s Pub and ALL of South Abaco were spared the wrath of Dorian. We are all SO THANKFUL! Pete’s Pub has announced that they plan to open on schedule – the first weekend in November, and we plan to to host our first guests the week of Thanksgiving. We are so thankful that South Abaco will be back in business soon. Thanks for your concern.

  11. So good to hear, Casuarina Point and Marsh Harbour has been on our hearts and in our prayers 😇 we pray for continued restoration

    1. Thank you so much for your prayers! I know you both love Abaco and Casuarina Point. I will be able to send better updates once we are able to return. Hope to be there at the end of next week. We will update after we are there. 🙂

  12. So happy to see Bea’s house looking pretty good. We’ve been worried about her and have not been able to get any news until now.
    Hi to Bea from Pam, Dennis, Aimie and Cyrillic from Michigan

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