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Students share impact of Dorian on their homeland, the Bahamas

For days predictions of the strength of Hurricane Dorian captured the attention of millions. But for several Lipscomb students, the impact of Dorian hit home.

Cate Zenzen  | 

Hurricane photo

The impact of Hurricane Dorian was felt by millions, including four Lipscomb students who recently shared their story.

For nearly two full days last week, the violent Hurricane Dorian hovered over the Bahamas, home of four Lipscomb students. In The Gathering on Tuesday, Sept. 10, these students spoke about their home country and the impact the storm had on the islands. 

Students Kati Fernander, Nadja Simon, Jordan Forbes and Celea Brown are all from the island of Nassau in the middle of the Bahamian islands. Fernander explained that while much of the country was inflicted with heavy rain, the two northernmost islands, Grand Bahama and Great Abaco, were greatly damaged. 

Simon shared that the intensity of the storm was unexpected and sudden. She said the National Hurricane Center issued a warning in the Southern Caribbean for what was originally thought to be a tropical depression. Six days later the danger turned into a category five hurricane with wind gusts over 200 mph and storm surges between 15-23 feet above normal tide levels.

Dorian remained stationary over the islands of Grand Bahama and Great Abaco for nearly 40 hours. The telephone systems crashed, and social media became the only method to call for help. Simon went on to describe the devastation after the storm. 

Flag of the Bahamas

The flag of the Bahamas

“As I present this, more than 7,000 persons have been left homeless or displaced in Abaco alone,” said Simon. “The death toll is unofficially in the hundreds and rises daily as bodies have not been accounted for yet. Many of our people have been left without food, water, electricity and even their homes. Thousands have been evacuated from these islands and relocated. We have had an influx of support already, but there is still much that has to be done. These islands have been left in shambles and need to be rebuilt. The estimated damage is in the billions and the estimated time of recovery might be decades to come.”

Brown led the student body in prayer for the country and Forbes presented ways for their peers and classmates to help in this recovery. 

After chapel, members of the Black Student Union and Collegiate 100 stood at the doors of Allen Arena with collection buckets and hosted a table in Bennett Campus Center to accept cash donations. While the Bahamas are thousands of miles away, the witness of these four students made the devastation of the storm real and personal for their peers. 

“Thank you in advance for donating or wanting to help rebuild our beautiful Bahama land,” said Forbes. 

Click here to donate online.