Montreal

Quebec woman's parents stranded as Hurricane Dorian slams Bahamas

A Quebec woman has been putting out calls for help on social media, hoping for news of her parents who are stranded in the Bahamas.

Last she heard, Denis Dudley and Sharyn Laughlin were taking refuge in a flooded home's attic

The Ottawa couple, Dr. Denis Dudley and Dr. Sharyn Laughlin, were visiting friends when the Category 5 storm hit.  (Submitted by Kristin Dudley)

A Quebec woman has been putting out calls for help on social media, hoping for news of her parents who are stranded in the Bahamas.

The Ottawa couple, Dr. Denis Dudley and Dr. Sharyn Laughlin, were visiting friends and couldn't get out before Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 storm, hit. 

The airports were closed quickly and there were no other options for escaping the island. So, the group collected what provisions they could, including fuel for an electric generator, and hunkered down.

Last Kristin Dudley heard, her parents were taking refuge in an attic. She got them on the phone just as the eye of the storm hovered overhead at around 5 p.m. Sunday.

The roof had partially collapsed, the windows were blown out and the home was surrounded by water that was flooding the first floor, she said.

"My parents and two friends are trapped in a big purple house with a white roof on Leeward Beach in Treasure Cay, Abaco," she wrote on Facebook early Monday morning, pleading for news.

Diabetic in need of medication

Dudley, a resident of Greenfield Park on Montreal's South Shore, worries her parents have no access to food or water. And her father is a diabetic in need of medication.

"The entire main floor is under water, the ocean — they're surrounded by ocean — everything is flooded," she said. 

"The car is washed away, everything's washed away so they were taking refuge up in what is the third floor, my sister's bedroom. It's in the attic."

While she waits on the edge of her seat, hoping for news, she said she is trying to alert authorities on the island to the situation.

"We're trying to get the awareness that there's four people in this house that are stranded and that need rescuing," she said. 

Dorian to pull away Tuesday

Dudley's family has been going to the Bahamas for some three decades. Her father is from Jamaica, but they've never experienced a storm like this one.

Forecasters said Dorian will likely begin pulling away from the Bahamas early Tuesday and curving to the northeast parallel to the U.S.

Though it may miss Florida, if it does land there, experts warn that it will hit with catastrophic force.

Hurricane Dorian is viewed from the International Space Station Sunday in a still image obtained from a video. (NASA via Reuters)

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the arrival of Dorian poses "a life-threatening situation," with hazards that will cause "extreme destruction."

Winds have been clocked at 285 km/h, but at times reached gusts of more than 354 km/h.

Global Affairs is advising Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel to Florida and avoid all travel to the Bahamas, where the storm surge Sunday was between five and seven metres.

With files from Verity Stevenson and CBC Montreal's Daybreak

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