Zhivargo Laing has lived in the Bahamas all of his life.
“I grew up on Grand Bahama,” says the Freeport, Bahamas resident.
Just a week ago, Hurricane Dorian made landfall as a Category 5 storm, flattening homes on the islands.
“This level of damage to all of these structures, we have not seen before,” Laing says.
Laing and his nephew, Ellison Laing, are still dealing with the devastation the hurricane left behind.
“The water came to our waist, inside the house,” describes Ellison Laing.
More than 4,800 people have been evacuated, and more people are waiting to be evacuated. Shelters are over max capacity.
One woman in the shelter is not only grieving the loss of her home, but her loved ones as well.
“I had three people pass in my family: my brother and my mom and my [cousin],” she says.
Fifty people have been confirmed dead following the hurricane. There are still 1,300 people missing.
In Freeport, located 50 miles away from Abaco, the majority of homes are without power and running water, making it difficult to begin the rebuilding process.
“Yeah, they said it’s contaminated, says Ellison Laing of the water.
“When the water came up, so did the septic, actually came up, too.”
So, for now, the family has to wait. Once they can start rebuilding, they know Bahamians will step up to help one another.
“If you would have been out there, you would have seen people helping people, whether living or dead,” says Ron Rickson, an Abaco resident.
Because through tragedy, the Bahamian people are strong.