with permission of the Sun-Sentinel Company and South Florida
Interactive, Inc., per Bob Rountree, News Editor, Sun-Sentinel.com
FOR MORE SOUTH
FLORIDA NEWS, VISIT
Message Board a link
to stricken islands
residents, family members find each other through message board
PAZDERA Staff Writer -- Web-posted: 12:44 p.m. Sep. 16, 1999
Abaco Girl, are
you out there?
Her family and
friends think she is safe, but no one has heard anything from
Cheryl Christ, aka "Abaco Girl" since Tuesday morning.
Christ lives on Guana Cay, Abaco.
On Tuesday, as
Hurricane Floyd howled outside her home, she was able to post
a few dispatches to a computer message board about hurricane
activity in the Bahamas.
Her last message,
posted just before 10 a.m. said,
bending the trees over. Structures are still standingWe have
a backup plan to go to the little phone company here - - all
block structure. So far, our homes are good. a few shingles off.
It's howling out there."
mid-morning, the phone lines went dead and Christ's dispatches
slept and am half sick from not hearing anything," wrote
Shirley Kelley, Christ's mother.
virtually shut off, the message board on the Caribbean Hurricane
Page is the only link many people have to their loved ones or
out to each other via the Internet to offer any piece of information
an amateur radio operator based at the National Hurricane Center
in Coral Gables, reported what he had heard through a Ham radio
operator on Green Turtle Cay:
been no reports of loss of life on Abaco. But there is very severe
damage to the buildings and infrastructure."
What makes the
limited communication especially distressing is that the radio
networks can only handle emergency traffic for relief efforts,
be patient and stay optimistic," Ripoll said. "It may
take a few days for specific information."
indicate there were no deaths related to the storm, but the Bahamian
government said one person is missing on Grand Bahama Island.
in Nassau, Paradise Island and San Salvador are open, although
the airport in Freeport will stay closed until Friday because
of flooding, according to a government news release.
Many of the islands
are reporting major structural damage and no water, telephones
appeared to have gotten through the storm with little major damage,
many people reported flooding in buildings, between six and eight
feet deep, along with collapsed and roofless buildings. There
were reports of satellite dishes flying past during the storm,
and unmoored boats lying in the streets.
One person reported
that Elbow Cay was cut in half by the storm, and Marsh Harbour
suffered a lot of damage.
government reported that most of the country's 700 islands weathered
the storm, solid information about the fate of Eleuthera, San
Salvador and Abaco was difficult to come by.
The prime minister
was expected to fly over the affected areas on Wednesday afternoon
and report back about the damage, according to a news release
from the Bahamian government.
an alarm company worker from Nassau, tapped out a missive on
Wednesday morning using a computer at a nearby shop powered by
Knowles had heard
radio reports of widespread looting throughout Nassau. He confirmed
this with his own personal experience as he drove around on Tuesday
were) many teens in groups walking around in what seemed to still
be about 60 - 80 mph gusts, and heavy rain, at about 2pm Tuesday.
They were breaking in shops, smashing windows and causing distress.
One shop merchant on Bay street was standing outside his shop
with a shotgun as there was very little show of police."
Despite the limited
access to the islands, Gulfstream International Airlines has
coordinated flights to bring goods to the areas of Abaco and
Eleuthera as soon as the airports are operational .
to donate canned goods and other necessities should do so at
Gulfstream's warehouse : 5925 Ravenswood Road, Bay 16, Ft. Lauderdale,
FL 33312. Telephone (954) 266-3000 receptionist 200.
BY DONNA PAZDERA,
Staff Writer Web-posted: 3:40 p.m. Sep. 15, 1999
Her mother still
hasn't heard from her, but it looks like Abaco Girl made it through
Hurricane Floyd unscathed.
aka "Abaco Girl," lives in Guana Cay, Abaco in the
Floyd bore down on the island, Abaco Girl posted messages on
an Internet bulletin board, describing the effects of the storm.
When the power was knocked out and the island's already shaky
telephone service failed, her missives stopped.
That was mid-morning
on Tuesday. Aside from amateur radio operators giving brief reports
or people finding creative ways to get messages posted on the
Caribbean Hurricane Page, information about Abaco and many of
the smaller out islands has been minimal.
mother, Shirley Kelley, the vigil for a phone call or news from
her daughter is something she has grown accustomed to, but not
know those hurricanes are coming, I live on the edge and follow
them on the computer," Kelley wrote via e-mail to a reporter.
"We all have computers and keep in touch with each other.
She gives us a blow by blow description of what to expect. This
Floyd came fast and we lost communications early (Tuesday) morning.
I cried and I felt sad all day and didn't sleep at night. This
was the worst I had worried."
Christ is a registered
intensive care unit nurse who moved to the Abacos five years
ago from her hometown of Johnstown, Pa. Last month, she married
a man named Vince Vittoria, with whom she rode out the storm.
Kelley's 69th birthday.
afternoon, Kelley spotted a posting from the people at Nipper's,
Guana Cay's large locals bar. It said that everyone on Abaco
Though she still
hadn't heard from Christ, Kelley said, "I got the greatest
gift from the word from Nippers that all the people were OK."
Article posted with permission of the Sun-Sentinel
Company and South Florida Interactive, Inc., per Bob Rountree,
News Editor, Sun-Sentinel.com Copyright 1999, Sun-Sentinel Co.
& South Florida Interactive, Inc.