Andy Carter: "I heard my neighbour scream: 'Papa Bondié help! Wii Papa Bondie'"
Hurricane Maria Story #3 : By Carlisle Jno Baptiste
Andy Carter of 12 River Street, Roseau describes his Hurricane Maria experience as "terrifying, scary and traumatic."
A lawn tennis coach, commentator and retired public servant,, Carter has been residing at 12 River Street for decades.
"I have never seen this before," he told the Sun.
"The river came down very high…In fact that is the highest that I have ever seen it. When I tiptoed to my door I could see the river passing in rage and my jeep, which was parked outside my door, was already gone.
"That night I was home listening to DBS radio giving details about the impending hurricane, and then the lights suddenly went so I left my drawing room and went to my bedroom to take a rest and to get prepared for the wind which I expected to maybe take my roof.
"But that was not the case. While on my bed I was taken by surprise by the river which had burst into my dwelling house. The wind outside was howling and I never for one moment expected the Roseau River to be in my house.
"When I caught myself I was already in water which was already waist high so I grabbed by main certificates (I had already prepared a parcel with my documents in case of emergency) and then into the drawing room I went but I was blocked.
"Everything in my house was floating like you are in space- my fridge, bureau, washing machine all in the air. I would see the water climbing fast and wondered, 'Oh God what's next'. ..I watching the table to sit on it but it started to float.
He said that at that time the key for his door fell into the water.
"I make a kool la mer…(a hand grab); I got it but couldn't open the door. The water was to the height of the key hole. If I had opened that door I would have gone like my jeep. It was just like a miracle from God; water was up to my neck, the post of the door broke and the tongue of the lock came out and the door was banging back and forth…water started to go out.
"In the meantime, the back of his house was getting a lashing from water and broken trees, which burst the concrete at the back door.
"I heard my neighbor scream 'Papa Bondié help! Wii Papa Bondié'. I was shocked and helpless. I sat on a cooler. But I couldn't help him because I myself in trouble. I put my hand between my legs in a corner like an old fowl; wind howling, banging outside and I remained helpless through the night.
"In the morning, I was flanked by two huge logs in my house. It was scary and to survive that I give thanks to the Almighty," Carter said.
At the end his house was destroyed so he sought shelter at an emergency shelter.
"I spent several weeks at hurricane shelter at the Dominica Grammar School. I had to adapt. I am an old fighter, an old solider too; I was able to adapt," he said.
Carter said that the day after Hurricane Maria he started a clean-up exercise but then he became sick; on October 1st his strength was renewed.
"Only God knows," he said.
"But after that for 15 days I shoveled dirty out of my house. Alone. I don't know how I did it, I did 98 percent of it, got a little help because I was drained and dying. I paid a small change for help at the back but I was like superman.
"See here I am now back in my house...my faith and belief in God is now higher since I have seen the wonders and miracle of the Lord Almighty. "As you can see the only sign that survived in my house reads: 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ…and thou shall be saved'."