I’ve interrupted my originally scheduled blog for today, and I regret if that disappoints you. But my heart has been so heavy regarding Hurricane Dorian and the destruction it brought to tens of thousands across the Bahamas on September 1st. It’s been a whole week since the hurricane made landfall, and I find that hard to believe, because my week has gone by so fast. I imagine, though, to those affected by Hurricane Dorian that there lives have stood still.
“A storm with winds of 150 mph can be expected to produce not double but approximately 256 times the damage of a storm with winds of 75 mph. For a storm like Dorian, with winds of 185 mph, the damage potential — resulting from a combination of winds, storm surge, rain and tornadoes — increases by 1,371 times,” reports the CBS news out of America.
That’s staggering. Some eyewitnesses riding out the storm in the Grand Bahamas reported that Dorian just sat over the island pummeling it for 48 hours. From where I sit, watching the ruination of so many lives and buildings, of entire islands has been numbing. It leaves me feeling helpless. While I try and get my head around it, in the comfort of my beautiful home, I watch news footage, Youtube videos, I read the statistics. They help me come to terms, to make it real.
And Accuweather says, “Over the span of 24 hours, Dorian’s average speed was just 1.3 mph, the slowest speed for any major hurricane since records began in 1851.”
Hurricane Dorian was the strongest storm ever to hit the Bahamas and the second-strongest Atlantic storm ever recorded. It is estimated that more than 75,000 people are in need of aid. Eight tons of supplies have arrived from the UN alone. At this point, officials are struggling to get an accurate number of lives lost because of the hurricane.
Aerial views have revealed the scope of destruction as the waters retreat. The Abaco Islands in the north of the country were the worst hit and some of the last to receive relief. Hospitals, shops, homes, workplaces, trees, all decimated. Damage to the harbor and airport landing strips have frustrated rescue efforts. It is nothing now but an island of debris.
I saw an interview with one woman from Abaco who candidly admitted that she doubted whether the island would ever recover or be rebuilt. It has been totally wiped out. And I cannot imagine the time it would take to remove the wreckage before you could even begin to rebuild.
“One of the storm survivors on the Abaco Islands, Ramond King, said he watched as swirling winds ripped the roof off his house, then churned to a neighbor’s home to pluck the entire structure into the sky. ‘This can’t be real, this can’t be real’, King recalled thinking. ‘Nothing is here, nothing at all. Everything is gone, just bodies,’” reported Al Jazeera.
Hygiene kits, water containers and buckets, plastic sheeting and chain saws along with medicine, water, and food have been flown in. Small flotillas of supplies and volunteers arrive continuously, as well as private boats and planes to take away the wealthy. Some victims of the storm have been evacuated. Some have chosen to stay. Many have no place to go.
“U.S. Coast Guard helicopters Saturday were evacuating the critically injured. And, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line ship Grand Celebration transported more than 1,100 Bahamians to the United States…The ship was in the Bahamas on Thursday and Friday with nearly 300 first responders, 850 boxed lunches and a total of 225,000 pounds of supplies, including food and water, the line stated…Tropic Ocean Airways said it has rescued 80 people and delivered 12 tons of cargo and supplies via 60 flights since Dorian struck the island Sunday.”
Ellison Thompson, deputy director general of tourism and aviation, reported that teams were going door to door (so to speak) to determine if people were stranded but the Miami Fire and Rescue Department stationed in Marsh Harbour stated frankly that they were expecting to find bodies, not survivors.
As many as 7,000 people are missing and the death toll rises, the locals are saying no one can help anyone and everyone should flee. It is mass chaos and people are looting and holding each other at gunpoint for food. It is sorrow upon sorrow.
And just as I did in the midst of Hurricane Irma a couple of years back, I want to stress a couple of points because so many people have questions and some struggle with faith while others get angry at God. The survivors not only need my prayers, they need resources, time, housing. But believe me, I pray the resources come, and I will be looking for a reputable charity to donate.
You might be asking yourself, does any good come out of so much bad?
First, let me say, the climate may be changing. Hurricanes are making landfall with more deadly strength than ever before. Lives are being ripped in two and changed forever. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the earth births things like hurricanes and earthquakes, and other natural disasters because it has already been destroyed. These were NEVER part of God’s plan. Life on earth is temporary.
Bad things happen, because a bad spirit rules the planet. It has nothing to do with climate change. If man’s nature wasn’t so sinful, the earth would not have been destroyed long ago by a flood. If humanity, in general, had any goodness, the people suffering right now would have stood on equal footing even before the hurricanes came and would have had equal chances of escape, recovery and sustenance.
God is not idle, cruel or blind. He promises He will make everything beautiful in time. He will right every wrong, be it destruction from the hand of man or the “hand of God.” He will wipe away EVERY tear. God is good, and His goodness surrounds us. In fact, we take His goodness for granted. We expect life to only and always be good. When it isn’t we aren’t prepared.
Be reminded, life is futile. That is, life here on earth. But this earth is not really my home, so I must keep perspective. A hurricane has just reminded me. Every living thing my eyes see will die physically. That truth is hard to swallow. Please consider, however, this is God’s grace, not His judgment. If the form of every living thing has been destroyed, then its form is no longer perfect, as God first made it. And He has promised to make it new again. Perfect. In fact, He already did, through Jesus. We are just in a holding pattern here on earth. Every living thing. Until the Day of the Lord is ushered in where we will see the broken reformed. A day when heaven heals every earthly sorrow, even the sorrow our eyes now behold. This blog is dedicated to the survivors of Hurricane Dorian. May you meditate in the lap of God and be comforted and quieted in spirit, and may you receive every physical need.
Written by Jori Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…