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Acklins evacuees ready to go home

  • A portion of a roof rests on several bushes in Salina Point, Acklins yesterday. Photos: TORRELL GLINTON

  • A piece of wood from a home is suspended in a tree in Salina Point, Acklins following the passage of Hurricane Irma.

Guardian Staff Reporter

Published: Sep 12, 2017

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Some Salina Point residents who were evacuated to New Providence by the government ahead of Hurricane Irma are “anxiously waiting” for the government to send them back to Acklins as more news of destruction and flooding on the island is being reported.

Andrew Williams, 47, a fisherman in Salina Point, Acklins, is among those calling for the government to “speed up the process” of returning evacuees to their islands.

Williams said a neighbor told him that his house may be uninhabitable. He told The Nassau Guardian that he is eager to return home to see how bad the damage is.

“They said my roof is gone and about several sheets of plywood came off my roof,” Williams said yesterday.

“Only me and my kids live there.

“I just want to get home to assess the damage to see how bad it is and to see what condition it is in.

“The only thing I can do is look at the damage and see how it is.

“I don’t think it would be suitable to live in.

“I left everything in that house, including a lot of clothes.”

Williams lives with his three children who are 13, 17 and 21.

He said he has no idea where they will live when they get back to Acklins but he hopes the government will assist his family and other Salina Point residents.

“I don’t have any money right now,” he said.

“As a fisherman, sometimes you have good days and sometimes you have bad days.”

Though his house has sustained some damage, Williams said he’s been told his fishing boat is fine.

However, that is not the case for another Salina Point fisherman who lost his boat in addition to his home sustaining major damage during Irma’s passing.

“I lost my boat and some shingles off of my roof,” Joseph Emmanuel told The Guardian.

He has lived and worked in Salina Point for 47 years.

He lives with his 16-year-old son.

“I haven’t been able to get there to see what else has happened,” he said.

“They sent photos so I could see the damage, but I don’t know what else happened because they can’t get through the settlement because of flooding. I’ll have to check my roof and my whole house to see what happened but we need the government to allow us to travel.”

Emmanuel said his mother lost her house during the storm.

Her roof was blown off and what was her house is now rubble, he said.

He now has to find a place for her to stay in addition to fixing his house that he believes may have flooded.

“Only a few people were left in our settlement,” he said.

“[The government] needs us.

“They need the manpower.

“Only five people were left in my area.

“We just want to go home to find out what we need to fix so that we can get to work.”

Audrey Hanna is also eager to get home to check on his property.

He does not believe that his house had any major damage but he wants to help to rebuild his community as quickly as possible.

He said he cannot do that sitting around in New Providence.

“My house was secured,” Hanna said.

“I mean, I live in a wooden building and there are some parts that may not be sealed as good [as others] and water may have gotten in but nothing too bad.

“But I am very worried about people who have lost more than me.”

During Hurricane Matthew, Hanna’s home sustained major damage.

He said he knows what it’s like to have to build out of pocket and hopes the government assists his community in the near future.

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis and officials from National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) traveled to islands that were impacted by Irma yesterday to do damage assessment.

The government is expected to say when evacuees will be sent home early this week.




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