Pointe Michel's pain
Hurricane Maria hit Dominica hard but the southern village of Pointe Michel felt the hardest blow
That dreadful night of September 18, 2017 will long be etched in the minds of all Dominicans. But the people from the southern village of Pointe Michel, where Hurricane Maria left more death and destruction than anywhere else, will remember that day forever.
They will remember that as Hurricane Maria, a category five storm, approached Pointe Michel was preparing for the annual celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Salette, the patron Saint of that village, on September 19, 2017. Every year, many pilgrims gather in the village for a nine- day novena followed by a huge celebration.
But in a few hours Maria transformed a happy village into one of extreme sorrow. To date 10 people are missing and eight have been found dead. As the Sun goes to press, there are reports that more limbs were being found among the debris.
Among the dead and missing are a family of nine from the Green Valley area near the Siboulie Ravine. That family's loss encapsulates the pain and destruction that Maria unleased on Dominica on September 18, 2017. That's one of the reasons why the Sun features that family's loss.
Speaking to the SUN earlier this week, Safiya Caprice, the daughter of 52 year-old Ann Languedoc, recounted her last chat with her mom.
"I was the last person to speak to my Mom. When I called her the night of the storm, I told her that I was in the bathroom bathing the kids. It was 8.19 pm and I told her that the winds were strong and it was better that she left the place. She told me that they were safe for now and that the ravine was low….then the service just cut off and that was it," Caprice said.
"That is where I was living with my mom but I left home that day to be with my boyfriend that Monday morning… Mom told me my room was leaking and that being with my boyfriend and the kids was safer," she said.
She continued: "My brothers (Danny and Dave) then came to my home at 6am on September 19 asking me for Mommy. I told them I don't know. Then they said that they were looking for Mommy and the rest and they could not find them. In fact they said that the house had gone. It was then that I was told that they have been searching for her since 3 am and cannot find them," she recalled.
"Then I was told that they had found the body of Murray and this sent me screaming. I was shocked and disoriented…I had lost my Mom, brothers, nieces, sister and nephew…it was hurting. I felt weak and empty. I started to scream and throw things all over the house," Caprice said.
Davidson Andrew, the father of Landguedoc's son said the night of the storm he tried his best to persuade her and the rest of the family to leave but to no avail.
"She was adamant that they were safe and could be okay," he said.
The nine who perished in the house were: Jerome Daniel, 13 years old; Murray Delmore, (14); Nadora Williams (31); Gershawn Baron (Nadora's boyfriend); Morry-Ann Landor (Ann's daughter); Jahilaire Lawrence (10), Nadora's daughter; Garvin Francis Jr (6), Nadora's son and Joy-Ann Francis (6), Morry-Ann's daughter.