Last year, I had the pleasure of staying at The Abaco Club. The hospitality was unending and the clear warm water and blue sky embraced me. I wrote to my friends there to ask how they are coping after Hurricane Dorian and how we can help and they sent this report.
Hurricane Dorian barreled through the islands of the Abacos and Grand Bahamas as a category five storm, the worst tropical storm on record in The Bahamas. Winds upwards of 180 mph and gusts up to 200 mph ravaged the islands. Our property, The Abaco Club on Winding Bay, weathered the storm relatively well with damage that is to be expected from torrential rains and high wind, including downed trees, flooding in low-lying areas, and missing roof shingles, siding, railings, etc. Our new Yacht Club and Marina slips also made it through without incident aside from minor damage. However, the same cannot be said for other parts of the Abacos which experienced widespread and catastrophic destruction, and most sadly, loss of life.
We’ve taken critical action to provide immediate and ongoing assistance to the people of Great Abaco Island through the Abaco-Winding Bay Relief Fund, (501(c)3 status pending). All funds are being used to provide assistance specifically to the people of Abaco in the form of food, shelter, medical aid and supplies, and assistance in the island’s clean-up and rebuilding efforts. (GoFundMe.com/f/AbacoDorianRelief)
Miraculously, all 178 of our staff members made it through this horrific storm and we have accounted for everyone. All have suffered, and most are traumatized in some form or another.
Since Dorian devastated the island, we have secured a reliable fuel source to help us reach distressed individuals on the island and provide shelter and supplies. With active generators, we’ve been able to resume some Club operations, which currently include housing, feeding, and caring for staff and their families as well relief workers and volunteers, and displaced island residents seeking employment and shelter.
We’re in the process of evaluating those staff members’ homes that suffered only limited damage and are working to secure furnished temporary housing units that will collectively provide housing assistance to approximately 100 people. We are also in the process of acquiring a mobile medical unit to bring to the island since the clinic of the island doctor, Dr. Jim Hull, was destroyed in the storm.
It will be a long time before Abaco is once again the tidy island paradise it was before Dorian, but there is a strong and shared desire on everyone’s part to bring a semblance of normalcy back to life on the island, and we’re making good progress to that end.
Your Friends at The Abaco Club