ASHLAND (CBS) — A brief and anguished voicemail told Sandra and Susan Cove that their brother and all of their family in the Bahamas are safe.
“Sandra, this is Andrew. We’re out here, the place, basically, everything is destroyed. Um, we’re all alive,” the voicemail said Tuesday afternoon after the island was hit hard by Hurricane Dorian.
“Susan and I just looked at each other and cried,” Sandra said.
The sisters from Ashland and Bahamian natives waited days to hear from their dozens of relatives who still live on the tiny island of Man-O-War Cay in the Abaco Islands region of the Bahamas. The Abaco region was directly in the path of Dorian as it struck the Bahamas as a category 5 storm.
“Awful, awful, frozen. Frozen in fear. Worrying, worrying all the time,” Susan said.
Before hearing from her brother, Susan said, “I ended up going to search and rescue site and I just posted on has anybody seen my family or know if they are okay.”
The sisters said they are finally relieved to hear that everyone is okay but still shaken by the images of devastation from the nearby Abaco region of Marsh Harbour. They have found no photos from Man-O-War.
“It’s gone. It’s gone. It breaks my heart. Everyone has lost everything and I don’t know where you go from there,” Susan said.
Every summer, Susan and Sandra leave their dental practice in Ashland to help their 88-year-old father with his practice in Man-O-War. Now, they worry that nothing is left.
“My father is elderly and I know that this is going to take a toll on him, definitely to lose everything at this stage. I just want to let him know that we’re here and he has tons to live for,” Susan said.
The two plan to wait until rescue and recovery operations are over before returning to their storm-ravaged island.
Susan said, “I want to get there as soon as I can. I just want to hold my family.”