2019-09-04 13:01:59

Islands Devastated by Dorian Are on the Frontlines of a Dying Planet

It is a scene of utter devastation after the Category 5 Hurricane Dorian ravaged the Bahamas.

Residents of the United States, including residents in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas are now bracing for the storm, which has been downgraded to Category 2. The official death in the Bahamas is at seven but is expected to rise.

On the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama, as many as 13,000 homes have been destroyed or heavily damaged. Rescue efforts have been hampered by widespread flooding. Some reports say 70 to 80% of the affected areas remain underwater, including the Grand Bahama International Airport.

The Bahamas Red Cross and other relief groups are scrambling to help survivors.

From Freeport in Grand Bahama, Democracy Now! speaks to Crystal deGregory, professor at Kentucky State University’s Atwood Institute for Race, Education, and the Democratic Ideal.

deGregory states that the devastation from Hurricane Dorian will have a lasting effect on the islands, and how her family was affected by the storms as well.

It is devastating. The toll of the hurricane is truly indescribable and unprecedented. Much of the island is under floodwaters. Professionals and deputized citizens alike are still out in the field attempting to rescue those in distress.

And again, it’s just pretty mind-boggling, because this is not supposed to happen to these areas. These are inner community. They are suburbs, if you will, not sea-facing properties. And so, we really otherwise thought them to be safe.

They also speak with Sam Teicher, the founder and chief reef officer for Coral Vita, which is based in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

Tiecher, who was on the island when the hurricane hit the Bahamas, said that this will have a lasting effect and how this is proof that climate change is real.
I mean, this is a climate emergency right now. There’s hundreds of islands throughout the Bahamas, often very low-lying. And the whole reason I’m down here with my team is because we’re at a state where we have to grow corals to restore dying reefs.

Obviously, the best thing to do is to stop killing them and other ecosystems, not only for their ecological wonder and supporting marine life around the world, but in cases like hurricanes, they shelter coastlines from storms.

A healthy coral reef reduces wave energy on the average of 97%. So, we came down here to build our first coral farm. It was totaled.

We’re going to have to rebuild it. Obviously, the priority right now, though, is helping people.

Hurricane Dorian is about 100 miles off Florida's east coast. It could reach the coasts of the Carolinas later in the week.

Abaco Islands Amy Goodman Bahamas Bahamas Red Cross Climate Change Climate Crisis Crystal deGregory Democracy Now! Florida Free Speech TV Freespeechtv Georgia Global Warming Grand Bahama Hurricane Hurricane Dorian Natural Disasters North Carolina Sam Tiecher South Carolina

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