Kokomo’s street side yard.
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.
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.
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.
The next few pictures are of Abaco Palms:
The next group of pictures will focus on Calypso:
This last group is of Kokomo:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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…