After the hurricane blew the roof off his house on Abaco, the real challenge started for Brent Lowe.
Lowe said he waded through chin-high water to reach safety while the storm raged around him. He had to carry his 24-year-old son, who has cerebral palsy and cannot walk. And Lowe is blind.
“I was terrified,” Lowe told CNN. “I didn’t realize the water was that deep. I was thinking maybe knee deep. It wasn’t until I stepped off and I realized, oh, I wonder if it gets deeper because that means I have to swim with him, you know what I mean.
“But thankfully it didn’t get over my head.”
The Bahamas took a beating during Hurricane Dorian, with Category 5 winds thrashing the islands and leaving at least 43 people dead, though authorities think the death toll will rise.
Lowe, speaking from Nassau, said he was huddled in his house with his son, his sister-in-law, other relatives and some neighbors while the storm pounded Abaco. Then the roof came off.
“At that time it was raining and raining hard,” he said. “So I picked him up, threw him on my shoulder and when I stepped off my porch, my front porch, the water was chin high, up to my chin. … We all had to walk out into the water and into the wind to the neighbor’s house.”
It was at least a five-minute walk, he said, but felt much longer. They finally made it to the neighbor’s house, where he and his son stayed until they could be taken to a shelter, he told the New York Times.
Now, having been evacuated to Nassau, Lowe says he’s receiving the dialysis treatment he needs to stay alive. His son, meanwhile, is being cared for by his sister-in-law, he said.
“He is with her right now,” Lowe said. “I really hope to get in contact with him because I really miss him. I want to see him.”
The future is uncertain for Lowe and his family. The destruction on Abaco was so complete they won’t be able to go home for a long time.
“You know, I’m 49 years old. My son is 24 years old. I’ve been disabled for 11 years. And all the time I’ve never asked anybody for anything. I just went about me and my family and took care of my family, me and my kids with the help of my ex-wife and we did it.”
Lowe said that on Abaco, a live-in caretaker looked after his son when Lowe went to dialysis treatment. Post-hurricane, they don’t even have a home of their own.
“We need a place to go,” Lowe said. “I don’t know exactly what we are going to do. We need help.”