NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — Thousands of hurricane survivors are filing off boats and planes in the capital of the Bahamas, facing the prospect of starting their lives over but with little idea of how or where to even begin.
A week after Hurricane Dorian laid waste to their homes, some sat in hotel lobbies as they tried to figure out their next step. Others were taken by bus to shelters jammed to capacity. Some got rides from friends or family who offered a temporary place to stay.
“No one deserves to go through this,” 30-year-old Dimple Lightbourne said, blinking away tears.
Dorian devastated the Bahamas’ Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands, leaving at least 50 dead, with the toll certain to rise as the search for bodies goes on.
Lightbourne’s mother, Carla Ferguson, a 51-year-old resident of Treasure Cay, walked out of a small airport in Nassau with her daughter and other relatives late Monday afternoon and looked around as the sun set.
“We don’t know where we’re going to stay,” she said. “We don’t know.”
Ferguson and her family had one large duffel bag and three plastic storage boxes, most of them stuffed with donated clothes they received before leaving their tiny, devastated island.
The government has estimated that up to 10,000 people from the Abaco islands alone, including Treasure Cay, will need food, water and temporary housing. Officials are considering setting up tent or container cities while they clear the country’s ravaged northern region of debris so people can eventually return.