An elected representative in the Caribbean released a disturbing video of flooding caused by Hurricane Dorian on September 2.
Bahamas Minister for Agriculture and Marine Resources Michael Pintard recorded a home video of water surrounding his home at Grand Bahama, 14 miles northwest of Freeport.
The images filmed from inside of the property appear to show ocean waves splashing against windows as a result of the category five system. The minister estimates the windows are up to 20 feet above ground level.
“That is the water hitting my front room window, which is extremely high,” Pintard can be heard saying on the video obtained by CNN. “That’s my kitchen window that water is hitting and that has to be a minimum of about 20 feet off the ground.”
Furniture can be seen stacked up against the wall and a bathroom window that could easily be mistaken for a small aquarium.
“I am already completely flooded out,” Pintard said. “This is the water by my bath door and the glass.”
Another window can be seen with water gently splashing against the frame.
“That is coming from the canal,” he said. “That height has to be about 25 feet.”
He moves to an empty room that he describes to be his bedroom where waves can be seen moving outside of the window, quickly giving viewers the impression that he is completely surrounded by seawater.
“That’s my bedroom and the waves hitting there. That is over 15 feet from the ground,” he said. “This is what I am facing at the moment.”
Hurricane Dorian clocked life-threatening wind speeds of 180 miles an hour, making it one of the most dangerous winds in recorded history for the northwestern Bahamas, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Pintard acknowledged many of his compatriots have suffered much greater damage.
“I have neighbours that are in a far worse position than me and my family,” he said.
The storm tore off roofs, overturned cars, and removed power lines while islanders took refuge in schools, churches and shelters, The Associated Press (AP) reported.
In the northern stretches of the archipelago, hotels were closed and residential homes boarded up as officials hired boats to move people to larger islands. Floodwaters rushed through the streets of an unidentified town at nearly the height of a car roof according to a video Jibrilu and government spokesman Kevin Harris claim to be sourced from Abaco residents.
Authorities have urged people to find floatation devices and use hammers to break out of their attics, if necessary. The storm is believed to have claimed at least five lives in what the country’s government calls “unprecedented and extensive” devastation.
“We are in the midst of a historic tragedy,” Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said, according to AP.
Officials confirmed receiving a “tremendous” number of calls from people in flooded homes. One radio station received more than 2,000 distress messages, including reports of a 5-month-old baby stranded on a roof and also a grandmother with six grandchildren who cut a hole in a roof to escape rising floodwaters, according to AP.
A group of eight children and five adults meanwhile were stranded on a highway and those who sought refuge in two storm shelters were still flooded.
Police Chief Samuel Butler confirmed rescue crews would arrive once weather conditions have improved.
“We simply cannot get to you,” he told Bahamas radio station ZNS, according to AP.
Weather forecasters fear the hurricane could create a storm surge of up to 23 feet.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.