Owan Joseph: "Sir, it was terrible"
Maria story #5: By Carlisle Jno Baptiste
Owan Joseph was part of the maintenance staff of the Fort Young Hotel on the night of September 18, 2017 when Hurricane Maria, a category five storm barreled into Dominica
"It was a horrible and terrific experience," Joseph said.
When he arrived at work that day, Joseph said he did not expect things to turn out the way it did.
"It was a normal day at work but we knew about the hurricane and so started to make the necessary preparations…we prepared the guest in-house (about 20) and set the ball rolling," Joseph said.
"I heard about Hurricane David, I did not see it since I was not yet born but trust me, from what I have experienced, Hurricane Maria clearly was far worse.
"It all started just past 7pm as the winds howled and we started to get our guest out to safety…Sir, it was terrible, I was scared; I was frightened but with the help of a great team we did it all; I never slept that night.
"Sir, it was terrible, I have never in my life experienced such before but I can tell you I braved the weather and did it, if I have to do it again I will not…this was a monster storm.
"We had to get the entire guest to safety, I was up all night with my team and it was terrible and scary, but I did my job and I am proud…we worked right through the night; it was terrible. Imagine having to get guests to safety during the peak of the storm. Some staff were also caught in the storm and we had to ensure that they were rescued.
"God was with us and we just did it. We had the support of a team, and we did it praise God for that. Also I want to thank management, who during the ordeal was locked (in a room) and we had to rescue them, for the support they gave to us.
"The guests and all were great. They responded to the call; we had a hurricane shelter plan and it was executed to the "T".