ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Dwaine Adderley and his girlfriend Shakendra Russell have witnessed hurricanes batter their home country for decades, but for a harrowing 36 hours at the start of the month, the Bahamian couple wondered if Hurricane Dorian would be their last.
“You couldn't go anywhere, you couldn’t see anything, it was just white because there was so much rain and water in it,” Adderley said. He recalled running to another location during the eye of the storm because his apartment’s door, initially covered with plywood, blew off.
“It was like nothing we expected,” Adderley added.
This weekend, the couple breathed a sigh of relief, as they watched Tropical Storm Humberto steer wide of the archipelago – though this time Adderley and Russell observed the storm from a distance at Kathy Shearer's home in northeast Atlanta.
“I can't do it for everybody, but I can do it for one person and help them get on their feet,” Shearer said. “And they can help other people, and I guess that's what I can do, and I hope other people would do the same.”
Estimates suggest the behemoth Category 5 storm left 70,000 people homeless in the Bahamas.
“My mom, my grandma, my aunts, all of them are still in Abaco,” Russell said. “Sometimes I start to think, ‘What if they run out of water or food? How are they going to survive for so long on that island by themselves? People are only going to help for so long.’”
Even those with a place to rest their head struggle to get sleep with the 50-plus deaths weighing heavily on their minds.
“It's a small place,” said Adderley. “Everybody knows everybody, so I literally know everybody that died there.”
Despite the utter devastation to the Abaco Islands, Adderley remains optimistic and eager to return to his hometown to start rebuilding. He is working with the Shearer family to take back a boat full of supplies.
If you are interested in helping Adderley, you can visit his GoFundMe Page.