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Tears in Salina Point after Irma

  • An infant's crib rests among the ruins of a home in Salina Point, Acklins destroyed during the passage of Hurricane Irma. TORRELL GLINTON

Guardian Senior Reporter

Published: Sep 12, 2017

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Salina Point resident Jeffery Forbes was in tears yesterday as he looked at the devastation in his community.

Hurricane Irma ravaged the settlement of Salina Point, Acklins.

Many of the homes in the community suffered roof damage. Weaker structures were blow down, only leaving the foundation.

Five residents stayed behind to ride out the storm after others were evacuated ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Forbes said he attempted to leave the island with his wife and grandson before the storm hit.

“We left to catch the plane but we were 15 minutes late because the ride was so long,” he said.

“We ended up spending the night at the community shelter in Spring Point.”

The nearest settlement to Salina Point, which is on the southern end of Acklins, is 47 miles away.

Forbes, 75, said when he returned to his home after Irma passed, he couldn’t believe it.

“I hardly didn’t want to look around,” he said as tears streamed down his cheeks.

“I walked the beach yesterday and I walked this morning. All I can say is that God is good.”

Kayshell Coakley was one of the five residents who stayed behind.

She said she was not afraid but actually enjoyed the storm.

“I wasn’t scared,” she said. “It was fun. We battened up and all that and I prayed for the building.

“When we came out again after the storm passed we couldn’t walk and we couldn’t drive because the land was covered with water. Houses were covered. Cars were covered.”

Asked why she didn’t leave, Coakley said, “I believe in God. I said He would keep me straight through, no matter what.”

David Williams, who also rode out the storm in Salina Point, said if he had to do it again, he would leave.

“I don’t think I would take the chance again,” he said. “It was too tough.”

Williams said he wasn’t afraid when Irma moved near Salina Point.

“This isn’t my first time with a hurricane,” he said.

“We figured that here would be the safest place for us. We just didn’t want to move.

“Even though we were told to move, we said no.

“After we survived the storm we realized why we were asked to move. This whole area was the sea. It came in.”

Moses Forbes, another resident, said the damage is unbelievable.

“I didn’t think it would have been like this,” he said. “Most of all we didn’t have any connection [to the road] coming into Salina Point because the whole thing was sea. We waded through to come and see what the situation was.”

Forbes braved Irma at the shelter in Spring Point.

The rest of Acklins fared much better than Salina Point though.

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, members of his Cabinet, members of the opposition, officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the media visited Ragged Island, Acklins and Crooked Island yesterday.


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