JEANERETTE, LA — Even though Dorian is outside the gulf, a family inside Acadiana is very close to devastation that hit the Bahamas.
Over the phone, Gene Broussard told me about his daughter, “This girl is tough”.
Boarding up for Hurricane Dorian, Darla Clement prepared at the edge of the Bahamas.
Managing the Leeward Yacht Club and Marina she rode out the storm, but what she faced was the most powerful hurricane to hit the Bahamas on record.
“She’s a tough girl, but I guess everybody got a breaking point”, admitted Broussard.
Dorian stalled over the Bahamas for days, and all communication from the small island of Green Turtle Cay went out.
Clement’s family didn’t know if she was dead or alive. “This has been pretty hard on us”, her father said.
But Tuesday, a message from Darla: “Everything is leveled”, she said. “Community will run out of food and fresh water, please organize relief ASAP”.
Everyone at the yacht club alive, but in desperate need.
In a Whatsapp group, people who owned land on the island were warned not to come home because there is nothing to come home to”.
Quickly help came from in from multiple states. Clement’s sister, Angie Zartler, chartered a boat to bring essential supplies from generators to diapers. It’s expected to arrive later this week, but on Wednesday there was more bad news.
“She’s not doing well. She’s all cut up from the storm”, Broussard said.
Surviving the hurricane left Darla Clement with some cuts. Those cuts are getting infected, so her sister is taking a private jet to the island to bring Clement back home.
Clement’s father says he’s already been warned by friends that the experience might have an everlasting impact, “We can expect Darla to be a changed person. Well, I guess so. If that doesn’t change you, nothing can”.
Gene and Barbara Broussard live in Jeanerette, but they’re willing to fly to any hospital their daughter goes to make sure she’s okay”.
“If they can get there and be with her, that will make me feel much better”, Broussard said. “they’re going to let us know if they can get to her, so we’re waiting any time now for that word”.
I spoke to Darla Clement’s sister briefly Wednesday afternoon. She was too busy to talk for long but said she was waiting for a call from Bahama’s government, so she could get clearance to land.
If the weather cooperates, a full boat of supplies will leave for green turtle cay Thursday or Friday.
You can donate to relief efforts here.