On October 3, 2020, more than thirteen months after Hurricane Dorian slammed into Abaco, Pastor Chris Berner of Marsh Harbour’s New Vision Ministries drove through Abaco’s business hub, snapping photographs.
I’ve had a lot of queries lately from readers, wondering how Marsh Harbour’s recovery is coming along, so Chris has given me permission to share these images with you.
Marsh Harbour has come a long way in a year.
When Tom and I first arrived there in October 2019, giant debris piles lined many roads. The only activity was at the port, where the freight boat had just arrived, at The Mudd, where rescue workers continued searching for storm victims, and at the one open gas station. But much of town was so still, it was eerie. The only sound was the wind.
Today, much of the debris has finally been removed. Repairs are underway and businesses have begun to reopen.
But as you can see in Chris’ photos, recovery has only just begun. Countless houses have yet to be repaired and many people are still living in tents. Hundreds of Abaconians who were evacuated in the days after Dorian have been unable to return home because they simply have nowhere to live.
Of the businesses that have reopened, very few are “back to normal.” For example, here’s what K&S Service Station looked like in October 2019.
And below, here they are a year later. They’re open, which is terrific. But, like many other local businesses, they’ve got a long way to go to get back to “normal.”
Frankly, given all they’ve faced between Dorian and the COVID epidemic, Abaconians have worked miracles to have come as far as they have. But the reports out of Nassau that Abaco is “largely recovered” are more than a little disturbing. You can see for yourself that’s nowhere near true.
Thanks to Chris, both for sharing these photos, and for everything he’s doing to help with Abaco’s recovery.
His wife Andrea, a childhood friend of mine, says Chris has been working with several relief organizations, including BoldHope.org, which has partnered with local pastors to help meet Abaconians’ needs for food, shelter, employment and education. They’re also providing physical labour, donation distribution and various community outreach programs.
If you’d like to assist with Abaco’s recovery, please consider making a donation to BoldHope, and specify that the funds should be earmarked for Abaco.
For other ways to help Abaconians, see How You Can Help.