FREEPORT, Bahamas – Editor's note: Fox News reporter Alison Barber submitted this first-person report Saturday from Grand Baham Island, where Hurricane Dorian landed earlier this week.
When we arrived in Freeport, Grand Bahama The island's largest city and large port, the first thing we noticed was the debris. An airplane at Grand Bahama International Airport was sitting on the side of the road to access the airport, with a torn front. He appears to be thrown through four lanes.
Most homes in Freeport are upright, and many buildings seem intact but severely damaged by water. People hung clothes over fences and in trees in an attempt to dry them. Other items damaged out of use ̵
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Within seconds of stopping a dwelling on the road in the first quarter we reached, our wife had a drink. We threw her the only Powerade bottle we had in the back of our truck.
A few houses down, another man cleaning up debris from his house threw his hands up and shouted, "Help us! Please! ”
Dorian made huge gaps on the roads here. First responders say this is a major barrier to getting help for people. Along the way, someone has drawn a path to work around the gaps. We followed this trail along with other locals who had stopped without knowing how to cross.
In a village about 25 minutes from Freeport, maybe two houses were alive. Neighbors were coming in and helping to clean the homes.
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The first woman I spoke to was She and her family stayed up all night and huddled in small parts of the safety room. As we talked, the woman's 7-year-old granddaughter, Amelia, took toys piled up in the front yard. She chose a doll and a small dollhouse to take with her to the neighbor's house, where they would stay, at least for now.
"It was said, the house," says Amelia. "There were many memories from my games. She died."
Two houses down we met Renee Cooper, who was staying with four other families in a neighbor's house. She said her husband and sister were at their home when Dorian came. When the house flooded, Renea got on the roof and sat there for eight hours.
Finally, as the storm started, Renea heard someone shout, "Hey! Are you there? "It was her cousin and her voice to Raney was" the sweetest sound I ever heard. "
As the house was still flooded, Renee, her cousin and others in the neighborhood formed a human chain through the water and made it to the house, which was still intact. That's where they are now.
Renea told us that she was not sure what to do next. She has not been in contact with anyone for days because she has no mobile service. I ask if she wants to use our satellite phone. He uses it to call his sister in Atlanta.
"Hello, Judy. Yes, this is Raney." I could hear her sister getting excited from the other end of the line.
"I'm good, I'm good. I lost everything, but I'm alive. "
East of Freeport, in the town of Bevans, one home was completely gone, the toilet and bathroom tiles were all over. Another house was torn apart and full of debris. The books were still on the shelf. Family photos and wedding photos were framed on another shelf where the wall was torn apart. What was supposed to be a closed room was open to the world. You could reach out and pick up a book if so inclined. There was also no roof.
I asked a local if anyone had heard where the families living here were going. He wasn't sure, but said people living in the area were not told to evacuate. He was also not sure if they would leave.
To the east, in High Rock, we were met by a man named Cecil, a local pastor who told us that 17 people had died there. He knew all their names. Some were in their teens, one was a child. One man lost his entire family. Most of the victims died when the house they were in collapsed. Click Here to Get FOX NEWS App When he finally stepped outside, he saw a neighbor clinging to a tree. Cecil approached Richard's man and told him to jump. They let go, but Cecil just grabbed his neighbor and told him not to let him go. Cecil said he was an experienced diver, but he needed all his experience to fight being swept away by wind and water.
I asked Cecil and his daughter if they wanted to use our satellite phone. His daughter wanted to call her daughter, who lives in Florida.
"Josie! This is Mom!" she said. "We lost everything, but we're alive. Tell the family."