TREASURE CAY, Bahamas — Food, water and other humanitarian aid began pouring onto Abaco Island on Saturday as private pilots and charter companies ferried in supplies and carried out hurricane survivors.
Hurricane Dorian destroyed or heavily damaged what appears to be the majority of homes on Abaco, from Marsh Harbor to the Treasure Cay marina area, leveling entire neighborhoods and leaving thousands of people without shelter.
“Some people lost their lives. Some people lost everything they had,” said Cooper’s Town resident Kevin Pritchard, 44.
Formal disaster response efforts by the Bahamian government and US-based rescue took days to begin, as teams waited for government permission to bring in doctors and equipment, gas, chainsaws and generators.
The hurricane destroyed the island’s power grid and halted cell phone service for all but a few people near a battered government building in Marsh Harbour, complicating relief efforts, which were largely being conducted via satellite phone.
“We need generators, we need fuel. We’re going to be without power for a long time,” said Darnika Farrington, 32, as a military vehicle driven by British commandos rumbled past.
The hurricane destroyed Farrington’s house, and she found a bed at her grandmother’s undamaged home.