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Among the helpers was the British model and entrepreneur India Hicks, who lives on neighboring Harbor Island with her partner, advertising man Executive David Flint Wood

Among the helpers was the British model and entrepreneur India Hicks, who lives on neighboring Harbor Island with her partner, advertising man Executive David Flint Wood

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Among the helpers was the British model and entrepreneur India Hicks, who lives on neighboring Harbor Island with her partner, advertising man Executive David Flint Wood

There the little baby was too dehydrated to move.

The girl who had lost everything saved the older father by her side and the woman so battered by the elements that she could barely walk.

A dazed boy clung to a breakfast box while families were haunted by memories of rooftops torn from their homes.

They staggered, traumatized and disoriented, off the boats – all victims of Hurricane Dorian, the worst natural disaster that hit the Bahamas.

They had traveled ten days ago from the Abaco Islands in northern Bahamas to the northern port of Eleuthera Island, where they were greeted by a team of about 60 volunteers who dressed wounds, offered clothing and mouths that had not received any food for five days. .

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The volunteers' efforts were all the more remarkable as few were previously involved in disasters. In three days, they helped rescue 600 of the total of 5,000 evacuated Bahamians.

It has been more than two weeks since Hurricane Dorian struck. It was a category five, the most serious possible. Houses were flattened by wind gusts of 185 km / h and allegedly drowned families even standing on their counter

It has been more than two weeks since Hurricane Dorian struck. It was a category five, the most serious possible. Houses were flattened by wind gusts of 185 km / h and allegedly drowned families even standing on their counter

It has been more than two weeks since Hurricane Dorian struck. It was a category five, the most serious possible. Houses were flattened by wind gusts of 185 km / h and allegedly drowned families even standing on their counter

Among the helpers was the English-born model and entrepreneur India Hicks, who lives on neighboring Harbor Island with her partner, advertising man Executive David Flint Wood.

This part of the Bahamas – a collection of small islands off the east coast of America – escaped the worst storm, which unleashed its anger on the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama, 70 miles to the north.

"I feel very emotional," says India, 52. "Everyone in our community was desperate to help.

We all shared the feeling of how incredibly happy we were that this could have been us. It was simply by a blow of the will of Mother Nature that the hurricane was misdirected. "

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Three local men – Scott Aranha, Will Tomlinson and Steven Cartwright – gathered a fleet of borrowed boats to travel the treacherous two-hour journey to collect evacuees.

The volunteers' efforts were all the more remarkable as few were previously involved in disasters. In three days, they helped rescue 600 of the total of 5,000 evacuated Bahamians

The volunteers' efforts were all the more remarkable as few were previously involved in disasters. In three days, they helped rescue 600 of the total of 5,000 evacuated Bahamians

The volunteers' efforts were all the more remarkable as few were previously involved in disasters. In three days, they helped rescue 600 of the total of 5,000 evacuated Bahamians

And the charity New Providence Community Center raises money to help with the housing crisis.

India sounds shocked – and rightly so, given the current state of emergency of the Bahamas, with 76,000 people (one fifth of the population) homeless.

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"This will be the bigger crisis," says India. "Where are home, jobs and education for those people? I have no idea. & # 39;

It has been more than two weeks since Hurricane Dorian struck. It was a category five, the most serious possible.

India says: "Nothing has ever been compared to what Dorian did. The destruction is beyond everyone's understanding. "

Houses were flattened by wind gusts of 185 km / h and allegedly drowned families even standing on their counter.

It was not enough to protect them against the 20 ft tsunami wave that drove the storm to land.

India & # 39; s sons Felix and Amory help with the assistance. India's first thought when the hurricane struck was for her eldest son, Wesley, 22, who adopted David and India when he was 12 and lives in Grand Bahama
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India & # 39; s sons Felix and Amory help with the assistance. India's first thought when the hurricane struck was for her eldest son, Wesley, 22, who adopted David and India when he was 12 and lives in Grand Bahama

India & # 39; s sons Felix and Amory help with the assistance. India's first thought when the hurricane struck was for her eldest son, Wesley, 22, who adopted David and India when he was 12 and lives in Grand Bahama

Cars and boats were thrown through the air like kites and bodies were swept to the sea.

The official death toll is 50, but that figure will certainly rise because so many people are missing.

& # 39; Normally, people who come here by water taxi fly across a small bay to the Harbor Island where they start their beautiful vacation & # 39 ;, says India. "Suddenly that place was an evacuation camp."

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People are used to hurricanes – but Dorian was on a different scale.

India adds: "We fill our bathtubs to ensure that we have enough fresh water. We have canned goods. Everything that could become a flying object – apart from furniture, plant pots – is brought in. & # 39;

Although many newer properties have been built to withstand damage, the home of India and David lack advanced security.

She says: "We have hatches that we bend with slats – old-school but still very effective."

This part of the Bahamas - a collection of small islands off the east coast of America - escaped the worst storm, which unleashed its anger on the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama, 70 miles to the north

This part of the Bahamas - a collection of small islands off the east coast of America - escaped the worst storm, which unleashed its anger on the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama, 70 miles to the north

This part of the Bahamas – a collection of small islands off the east coast of America – escaped the worst storm, which unleashed its anger on the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama, 70 miles to the north

Her first thought when the hurricane struck was for her eldest son, Wesley, 22, who adopted David and India when he was 12 and lives in Grand Bahama.

India managed to get him to her home on a small plane to the capital Nassau.

& # 39; It was incredibly happy & # 39 ;, she says. "It would be frightening not to have any communication with him."

As Hurricane Dorian came closer, India and David joined themselves with Wesley, their other sons Felix, 22 and Amory, 20, and their daughter, Domino, 11 (their fifth child Conrad, 16, was in a rugby camp in England).

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"The pattern was all too familiar. India says: "Angry outbursts of torrential rain, rain that hurts your face. The screams of the wind are deafening and can last for hours. & # 39;

She says her older boys have become accustomed to the frightening nature of hurricanes, but for 11-year-old Domino it was & # 39; nerve-racking & # 39 ;: & # 39; the wind and the shutters start to thump, it makes you nervous. You don't know where the eye of the storm will strike. & # 39;

But in the end it only boiled down to a "wild storm" over the Harbor Island and instead traveled north to the Abaco Islands.

A program was organized with local MPs. The three organizers of the rescue campaign were accompanied by two local brothers, Will and Ben Simmons, who opened the doors to a community center where the growing group of volunteers met.

India says, "I said," What can I do? Give me a job. "" About 20 residents offered to use their boats – from speedboats to fishing boats – to travel to Abaco.

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No planes came in and out. People there were not fed and had no medical assistance. They were stuck. & # 39;

Cars and boats were thrown through the air like kites and bodies were swept to the sea. The official death toll is 50, but that figure will certainly rise because so many people are missing

Cars and boats were thrown through the air like kites and bodies were swept to the sea. The official death toll is 50, but that figure will certainly rise because so many people are missing

Cars and boats were thrown through the air like kites and bodies were swept to the sea. The official death toll is 50, but that figure will certainly rise because so many people are missing

Her son Wesley was in the first boat on the dangerous journey across the debris-filled waters. "I was very worried," she says. And proud? "That was me, but I hope my children were brought up to respond in such situations."

The boat returned with 68 evacuees crammed. Wesley told India that the level of destruction & # 39; exceeded everything & # 39; that he had ever seen.

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India and other volunteers set up a rehabilitation area at the dock. A church donated benches and a hotel provided tents for shade from the burning sun.

She worked with a hotel to make 900 ham and cheese sandwiches, which her sons Amory and Felix helped distribute.

Their sister Domino, who is in school in England but was home before the summer, drew hearts on the paper food bags. Without running water, volunteers cleaned the survivors with baby wipes.

The volunteers put 150 evacuees on a boat to Nassau, where some had family. Others went to stay in church centers.

India was "humiliated" by the gratitude of the evacuees. A mother's dried-up baby was reluctant to let India change its diaper.

"His mother said," Don't be afraid, she's family now, "and handed the baby.

Emergency desks have now landed on the Abaco Islands and those responsible for the rescue have moved north to help those in Grand Bahama.

India is still full of hope. She says: "This was a huge natural disaster and yet the human mind triumphs."

New Providence Community Center is a charity that raises money for the housing crisis caused by Hurricane Dorian (www.npcconline.org/hurricane)

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