After being almost wiped out in September 2019 by Hurricane Dorian, the Abaco Islands of Bahamas are showing signs of improvement although they are still struggling to recover before the next hurricane season hits.
Volunteers and work crews for one are cleaning streets, rebuilding homes and repairing roofs in Marsh Harbour. However, in some parts of the town, the only signs of life come from stray dogs and the deafening quiet is only disturbed by distant sounds of a chainsaw.
According CNN, there are still some areas in the islands that are abandoned and remained untouched since the hurricane's land fall on September 1,2019.
In a report by Bahamas Disaster Reconstruction's Katherine Smith, she said that utilities have little by little come back and that they expect power to be restored in Abaco by early summer, this year.
She also added that the urgency to recover and rebuild the place also comes from the thoughts of the coming 2020 hurricane season.
In September 2019, CNN's Paula Newton covered the aftermath of the hurricane and said that there was 90 to 100 percent damage of properties during the hurricane's hit.
With the damage that it brought and the homes destroyed much of the population either displaced or evacuated leaving few people to living on the island which is not to completely rebuild the islands in a faster pace.
The Bahamian government has also provided dome structures that served as temporary housing for the residents who wanted to return to their homes in the islands.
Furthermore, the government is also launching a Home Repair Program to try to prepare the homes and get them ready for the coming hurricane season this year.
Debris brought by the hurricane's aftermath are still piling up along the streets of the islands which may be dangerous and deadly if the wind picks up in the coming hurricane season a few months from now.
Aside from the Abaco Islands, Grand Bahama was also severely devastated by hurricane Dorian. Vast parts of the island were submerged by almost 20 feet high storm surges which caused swamping of more than 4,200 homes on the island.
According to American Red Cross spokesperson Katie Wiles, one of the top needs on the island is a long term shelter due to the fact that although some homes are still partially standing they are not safe to stay in.
The storm surges also affected Grand Bahama's water supply, increasing its salinity causing the shortage of drinkable water in the island.
According to Bahamas' State Minister for Disaster Management and Reconstruction, 65% of households had their water supplies compromised when the water became salty in the aftermath of storm surges. He, however, emphasized that this number should significantly go down by the end of the summer.
On a brighter note, electricity is already back in most areas of Grand Bahama.
However, the hurricane's devastation has crippled the island's economy due to infrastructure damage. The unemployment rate shot up and remains high at the moment and there are infrastructure damage that is beyond repair making living difficult aside from meeting day-to-day needs.
Many international charities are still on the ground in the Bahamas after responding to Dorian's hit trying to rebuild the islands after the hurricane that almost wiped them out.