South Florida

Bahamian Family Stranded in South Florida After Hurricane Dorian

Twenty-three members of the Gibson-McIntosh clan are stranded in South Florida because Hurricane Dorian destroyed everything they own in Marsh Harbour.

They're singing happy birthday, they're having lunch, they're sitting around chatting.

It looks like a normal family gathering, everyone together, but it's not a holiday or a joyous occasion. The Gibson-McIntosh clan is stranded in South Florida because Hurricane Dorian destroyed everything they own in Marsh Harbour.

"At any moment you could be told you have to leave the country and where you gonna run back to when you have nothing left to run to?" said Randolph Gibson, who works for the electric company in Abaco but so far, has been unable to go back home to work.

So now he's one of 10 adults and 13 children living in an Airbnb house, with no idea of when they'll be able to go back home to Marsh Harbour. To make matters worse, they can't work here without work visas so their money is running out.

"You're living day to day, hour to hour, that's a life of uncertainty, nothing is normal no more," Gibson said.

"It's a constant mental battle," added Avia Bethell, Gibson's niece.

Bethell, her husband and their kids rode out the storm as their roof collapsed. They are still traumatized from the experience. Like the rest of Abaco, their neighborhood is all rubble and debris. Bethell was stunned when she walked outside after the storm passed.

"Water was everywhere, boats in the road, ships that be in the ocean were on land, cars were everywhere, bodies were everywhere," Bethell said.

"We're grateful to be here, you know, to be together, knowing that everybody's alive," Gibson added.

The family is thankful for the generosity of strangers. Yesterday, a local private air service invited the family to take supplies donated for hurricane relief.

Eight of the kids are enrolled in school here. The younger ones, of course, have no concept of what's happening. They won't remember the stress, the trauma and they don't know their grandmother, the family matriarch, can't sleep at night and spend her days worrying about everyone.

"I don't want my children to see," said Naomi Roberts-McIntosh, 76, through tears. "Because I am their mother, I am their grandmother, and I cannot tell them what I can do to help them."

The family has a GoFundMe account, which you can find here if you'd like to help them ride out the storm after the storm.

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