Wrecked Island Races to Evacuate Children Before Next Hurricane – Bloomberg

Neil Dickinson and his two helicopters are in a race against time, shuttling children, the elderly and the sick off Barbuda before it’s hit by a second major hurricane in three days.

A man surveys the wreckage on his property after the passing of Hurricane Irma in St. John’s on Sept. 6.

His company, Caribbean Helicopters, is working to evacuate the small island of 1,600 people before Hurricane Jose arrives on Saturday. The island was already devastated by a direct hit from Hurricane Irma, which destroyed or damaged 95 percent of homes and killed one child. An unknown number of people remained on the island as of Friday afternoon -many fewer than 1,000, Dickinson estimates- with hardly any shelter to protect them from Jose’s 125-mile-per-hour winds.

“Nobody in Barbuda was spared, from the most basic houses to the full-blown resorts. It was Armageddon,” Dickson said, speaking by phone from Antigua while his chopper was being loaded up with food and water for another run. “We are going to put in as many flights as we can to get people out, right up until the storm.”


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