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[ACNS, by Rachel Farmer] As Hurricane Dorian leaves a trail of devastation in the Bahamas, the priest at St Stephen’s Anglican Church in Grand Bahama has asked for prayer for all those affected.
Giving an update on a local TV station, Kirkland Russel, said the slow-moving Hurricane Dorian had been lingering over the island, bringing a threatening storm surge and trauma to many people.
Grand Bahama is the northernmost island of the Bahamas archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean.
The clergyman said his community had no electricity, and the water has been turned off. He asked for prayers and support for all those suffering and the families of those who have already been killed.
He said: “We are getting a lot of rain and driving wind, but the main problem we are having right now is the storm surge coming from the north, and a lot of people’s homes are getting flooded out. They are trapped on their roofs or scrambling out of their homes trying to find shelter.”
The storm surge was estimated at anywhere from 15-23 feet. “Most hurricanes, when they pass through, move at 10 -13 mph. This hurricane has been doing 1 mph for almost 24 hours,” Mr Russel said.
The priest said he believed people will have lingering trauma after the storm passes. “A lot of people will need counselling and will need just to speak to somebody who knows what’s going on,” he said.
He said some church halls were serving as shelters. Talking to the World Council of Churches he said: “I appreciate your concern and just ask that you continue to keep us in your prayers. We are going through a lot right now.”
Satellite images showed large areas under water, including the Grand Bahama International airport and the town of Marsh Harbour on Abaco Island.
At least 30 people are known to have been killed but the death toll is expected to rise.