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Hurricane causes severe damage in Bahamas

Mon, 11 Oct 1999 - 12:00 AM CST

Many youths throughout the Bahamas have come to the Assemblies of God's Abaco Youth Camp and found fun, stability, and salvation. But Abaco Youth Camp is no more. It became a victim of Hurricane Floyd in late September. Although the Eastern U.S. coast garnered most of the publicity, the Bahamas sustained millions of dollars worth of damage from the storm. Hurricane Floyd pummeled the Bahamas for 10 hours with 190-mph-winds, with gusts reaching 220 mph.

Churches and parsonages in Eleuthera and Abaco sustained $400,000 in damages. All five Assemblies of God churches and one parsonage in Eleuthera were damaged, with roofs being torn off, windows blown out, and carpeting water damaged beyond repair. Five of six A/G churches and three parsonages in Abaco had similar damage.

But it was the youth camp at Abaco that was battered beyond recognition. Nine buildings were virtually obliterated, including two boys' dormitories, one girls' dormitory, and beach cottages. The cafeteria's walk-in freezer and large cooking stove have not been found. Repairs to the camp buildings and equipment replacement will cost around $1 million.

While expensive, repairing Abaco Youth Camp is a project that is essential for young people. Many boys and girls from around the Bahamas have come to the low-cost camp, and it has proven to be a turning point in their lives. Now, kids, some of whom suffered through the trauma of clinging to heavy furniture in their living rooms to keep from drowning, will need the therapeutic youth camp more than ever to repair their shattered lives.

In addition to the wind damage, tidal waves and torrential rains ruined many homes, businesses, and churches. The hurricane hit with such force that roads washed away, concrete block buildings vanished, and steel beams bent like green willows.


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Many youths throughout the Bahamas have come to the Assemblies of God's Abaco Youth Camp and found fun, stability, and salvation. But Abaco Youth Camp is no more. It became a victim of Hurricane Floyd in late September. Although the Eastern U.S. coast garnered most of the publicity, the Bahamas sustained millions of dollars worth of damage from the storm. Hurricane Floyd pummeled the Bahamas for 10 hours with 190-mph-winds, with gusts reaching 220 mph.

Churches and parsonages in Eleuthera and Abaco sustained $400,000 in damages. All five Assemblies of God churches and one parsonage in Eleuthera were damaged, with roofs being torn off, windows blown out, and carpeting water damaged beyond repair. Five of six A/G churches and three parsonages in Abaco had similar damage.

But it was the youth camp at Abaco that was battered beyond recognition. Nine buildings were virtually obliterated, including two boys' dormitories, one girls' dormitory, and beach cottages. The cafeteria's walk-in freezer and large cooking stove have not been found. Repairs to the camp buildings and equipment replacement will cost around $1 million.

While expensive, repairing Abaco Youth Camp is a project that is essential for young people. Many boys and girls from around the Bahamas have come to the low-cost camp, and it has proven to be a turning point in their lives. Now, kids, some of whom suffered through the trauma of clinging to heavy furniture in their living rooms to keep from drowning, will need the therapeutic youth camp more than ever to repair their shattered lives.

In addition to the wind damage, tidal waves and torrential rains ruined many homes, businesses, and churches. The hurricane hit with such force that roads washed away, concrete block buildings vanished, and steel beams bent like green willows.


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