My name is Eloise Stephen and this is what is left of my beautiful historic home after Hurricane Dorian swept through The Bahamas on September 1, 2019. Grand Bahama, having not experienced a major hurricane in 12 years, has suffered its 2 strongest storms ever in the past 3 years (Matthew-2016 and Dorian-2019)
My house was built in the early 1950’s. My late husband and I purchased it in 1986 and began a grueling but fun restoration process. There was no roof and quite a large tree had taken up residence inside what would become our living room. My husband became ill not long after that, and after he passed away in 1992, I continued on alone as best I could. In 1998 I was finally able to move in. I closed my eyes, smiled heavenward and said to my husband wherever he was, “I made it”.
The impact on the house has been devastating and now, at aged 72, I am unable to restore my home without financial assistance. Dorian lifted portions of the roof off, allowing the winds and rain to move freely through the house. There are now holes where the floor has caved into the basement. The foundation of the house took the brunt of the damage. Hairline cracks from Hurricane Matthew now reflect huge chunks of missing mortar and exposed, rusty steel.
There were not many places you could stand in the house when it rained without getting wet. My beautiful open ceiling now looks like an ocean of blue stars as the sun shines through the tarp on the roof.
I’ve had three contractors look at the house and I’m told that I need a new roof. All the exterior walls have to be chipped and the steel in the beams have to be cleaned and re-poured. One third of the flooring inside has to be taken up and replaced as the beams below have suffered too much damage.
My home is literally crumbling beneath my feet and I am in desperate need of some help. Any assistance no matter how big or small would mean the world to me and help bring back my home to its former glory.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story.