'A never-ending nightmare': Canadian man stranded in Bahamas after Dorian
Published Friday, September 6, 2019 6:46AM EDT
A 25-year-old Toronto man is stranded in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian ravaged the Caribbean islands earlier this week.
Christian Szurma says he rode out the hurricane in his family's vacation condo in Freeport as the then-Category 5 storm lashed and battered the island of Grand Bahama.
"It was literally like being in hell. You didn’t know when it was going to stop," said Szurma in video call with CTV News Toronto. "It felt like a never-ending nightmare."
Hurricane Dorian stalled over Abaco and Grand Bahama, pounding the islands for a day and a half with winds up to 295 km/h and torrential rain. The Grand Bahama International Airport has been destroyed in the storm, cutting off a critical hub for aid and leaving thousands stranded.
Szurma said he'd been without running water for five days, and had about two days' worth of bottled water and canned food left. He said he does not know what he will do once his supplies run out and is scared that the lack of aid will lead to looting and riots.
"People are running really low on supplies, and it's just getting crazy," he said. "I'm in Coral Beach right now which is pretty much the only place on the island that didn't get too much flooding. Being lucky is an understatement."
Szurma has been on the island since early August and was scheduled to return to Toronto next week. He says he has no idea when he will be able to return home.
"The worst feeling is I know my mom is really worried," said Szurma. "I just really want to see my family."
Two Ottawa couples are also among those stranded in the Bahamas following the hurricane. A family member told CTV News Ottawa that they're alive and safe.
Hurricane Dorian has claimed the lives of at least 30 people in the Bahamas and the death toll is expected to rise. A family member confirmed to CTV News Windsor that a 27-year-old Ontario woman is among the hurricane victims.
Global Affairs Canada issued a statement to CTV News about the death saying, “Our thoughts and sympathies are with the loved ones of the Canadian citizen who has died in the Bahamas in the area affected by Hurricane Dorian. Canadian consular officials are providing assistance to the family at this difficult time.”
Global Affairs Canada said shortly after the hurricane hit that it was aware of 220 Canadians in the Bahamas at the time. Two flights out of Nassau landed at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport Thursday night, with some of those Canadians aboard.
Early Friday morning, Hurricane Dorian began lashing North Carolina's barrier islands as a weakened Category 1 storm.
With files from CTV Toronto, CTV Windsor and The Associated Press