A man from the Bahamas says he witnessed his wife drown as floodwaters from Hurricane Dorian filled his home.
“My poor little wife got hypothermia and she was standing on top of the kitchen cabinets until they disintegrated and then she just drowned on me,” a heartbroken Howard Armstrong recalled in an interview with CNN.
Armstrong said his wife’s final words to him were: “I’m not gonna—I think I’m going to die.”
“I said, ‘no you’re not.’ And that was it. She took a little mouthful of water and that was it,” he recounted. “It was just so quick. It was so quick. I didn’t believe it had happened. It was horrible.”
Armstrong, a crab fisherman, managed to escape his home and drove his boat to his neighbor’s home, where he heard loud shrieking.
“They were shouting to me because I put a light on this morning and she, I heard somebody call me and I say, ‘I’ll get over there when it gets light.’ And I got over there, she was already, she’s dead,” he said.
He said he will later recover his wife’s body when conditions are safe.
Bahamians rescued victims of Hurricane Dorian with jet skis and a bulldozer as the U.S. Coast Guard, Britain’s Royal Navy and a handful of aid groups tried to get food and medicine to survivors and take the most desperate people to safety.
Airports were flooded and roads impassable after the most powerful storm to hit the Bahamas in recorded history parked over Abaco and Grand Bahama islands, pounding them with winds up to 185 mph and torrential rain before finally moving into open waters Tuesday on a course toward Florida.
People on the U.S. coast made final preparations for a storm with winds at a still-dangerous 105 mph, making it a Category 2 storm.
At least seven deaths were reported in the Bahamas, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.
Over 2 million people along the coast in Florida, Georgia and North and South Carolina were warned to evacuate. While the threat of a direct hit on Florida had all but evaporated, Dorian was expected to pass dangerously close to Georgia and South Carolina — and perhaps strike North Carolina — on Thursday or Friday. The hurricane’s eye passed to the east of Cape Canaveral, Florida, early Wednesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.