In November, AbacoEscape.com, Abaco's premere website guide, started emailing on a regular basis, offers of free advertising to the many vendors who have advertised with us over the years and also to some who have not. Their banner ad on our pages will also serve to notify visitors that the vendor is, or is soon to be, open for business. And for a complete listing to date, click below.
The Storm, Relief Efforts & Donations
Many "GoFundMe" sites have been set up often reflecting a geographic area. Needless to say ALL AREAS HAVE BEEN HARD HIT IN ABACO. Still I will list a few for which I have some familiarity.
YouTube version of our Green Turtle slide show originally made in 2006 with original song and lyrics.
A pastor; "Thank God for the Americans" (7 Min)
Hurricane Dorian, a Catagory 5 Hurricane, made landfall Labor Day, Monday Sept 1, 2019 at Marsh Harbour, the Abaco Islands commercial hub and the Bahamas third-largest city. It then moved on to Grand Bahama, which includes Freeport, the 2nd city in the commonwealth. Here it sat for over 24 hours as a cat 5 resulting in the SHUTTING DOWN ALL OF ABACO and parts of Grand Bahama. From the early images that stared showing up, plus the blogs and facebook accounts of Bahamian friends, Dorian has to be the most calamitous Hurricane ever to hit the Abacos. Two words repeated most often on the many blogs were 'Devastation' and 'Catastrophic' !
A housewife; "Odor stench bodies everywhere" (5 Min)
Sandy Estabrook Visiting Abaco since '73 when it was still part of the UK.
Prime Minister HubertMinnis said, “Thousands of homes were believed to have been damaged or destroyed and where at least five deaths. October 28th the figures were revised to 67 deaths and 282 people still missing.
To put things in perspective, here is a Canadian Video of the same date.
From the early images, plus the blogs and facebook accounts of Bahamian friends, Dorian has to be the worst Hurricane ever to hit the Abacos. The two words repeated at numerous sites were 'Devistation' and 'Catastrophic'! From what I saw, I concur, having seen first hand the results of a half dozen hurricanes from Floyd to Sandy. They were nowhere as severe and I don't remember any causing death.
On a personal note; a friend of my brother in law had a home & rental home on a creek on Marsh Harbour Eastern Shore area. He was an advertiser on our website and passed along this message from state side. "Lost 2 houses, two cars, and 2 boats and Never Going Back”.
On the positive side, I’ve always been impressed by the Abaconian Joie de vivre, the willingness & enthusiasm to rebuild as witnessed in earlier hurricanes. But as a few voicers pointed out, this wont be a rebuilding, it will be a starting over - a new beginning.
Another positive is the fact that many many people have now heard of The Abacos that have never heard the name before. The number of hits this website saw in September, was four times our highest month and tells me tourism should come back strong.
It will be quite a while before there will be any semblance of normalcy in Abaco. Yet in the gloom of it all by November businesses are springing to life. Infrastructure will take some time for those without a generator. As in the past, rebuilding relating to the tourist industry, Abaco's life blood, is given priority to get "cash flowing" and folks employed. By November these efforts are going full swing. Aiding in the rebuilding process is the governments suspension of the VAT for Abaco through June 2020.
Vicki Hatfield a longtime Abaco visitor and who has a home on Great Guana Cay has been a contributor to our website in the past, has posted this account of her return to her island home. It's a must read with great images too.
Here is a collection of over 500 aerial hi-def .heic images if you want to poke around. Turn on slide show.