Ipswich man tells of Bahamas Hurricane Dorian horror
PUBLISHED: 20:25 03 September 2019 | UPDATED: 20:25 03 September 2019
An Ipswich man who relocated to the Bahamas has spoken of the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian.
Chris Wright, 46, who started a family after moving to the Caribbean, said a storm had never caused so much devastation in the country's history. He has experienced at least 12 hurricanes since moving there in 1999.
Hurricane Dorian, rated at category five level with up to 185mph winds when it made landfall, has been responsible for causing five deaths, although thankfully for Mr Wright - his island of Nassau escaped the worst.
For the chartered surveyor and father-of-two, Hurricane Dorian has brought back memories of the Great Storm of 1987, which brought devastation to Suffolk and the southern UK.
Mr Wright said: "I was in Ipswich and still remember the October 1987 storm. Imagine that just hundred times worse.
"The northern Bahamas were hit with a 18 to 23 feet storm surge above average sea level - all single story homes are under water.
"All possessions destroyed. Boats, cars, furniture gone."
His island has seen power outages for up to 48 hours, while pictures have shown water knee-deep in streets as schools remain closed.
Having become accustomed to the realities of hurricane season, which lasts from August to October, Mr Wright explained he has plans in place to ensure his wife Nicola and children Jayden, 15, and Jessica, 12, are safe.
He said: "If it looks like a major hurricane is heading to where we live, we fly the wife and children out - usually to the USA - and we (local friends) stay to board up the houses, secure the boats and possessions and ride out the storm.
"We're prepared with lots of water, canned and non-perishable food supplies, flash lights, batteries, first aid kits, a whistle and don't forget plenty of alcohol to calm the nerves."
Despite the dangers - the family live with the prospect of future hurricanes and the chances of looting and the spread of disease through flooded sewers - Mr Wright said they would "absolutely" not leave their beautiful home.
Mr Wright added he has not lost his Suffolk roots, teaming up with three other Ipswich Town fans on the island to listen to the weekly Kings of Anglia podcast by the East Anglian Daily Times.
A crowd funding page is being largely spread across the country, with those wishing to donate asked to visit here.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the orange box below for details.