A Memory of Maria
It has taken me over 4 months to find the courage to write about our Category 5 Maria experience. Everyone has their stories. Mine are no different but I share with you as part of my healing.
The day after, we opened our front door after sloshing through the water, leaves, mud, and sodden personal effects that carpeted our home at Eden on Sea, Wesley, Dominica. Broken trees and piles of branches were everywhere. Our gate was torn down on one side and hung precariously from the gate post on the other side.
At our front door is a pink hibiscus tree and it was completely stripped of all leaves. Aphids had given us a hard time in the months prior to Maria, and we had repeatedly sprayed the tree to get rid of them with little success. Maryann regarded the tree, and her first words to me were “now would be a good time to spray for aphids”.
A call greeted us, and looking up we saw walking towards us, cutlass in hand, that champion of a friend, Mr. Julien Jeremy.
Jeremy, as we affectionately call him, had walked down our 2500ft “labou” road to check on us. “Well, you will not be going anywhere soon” was his comment. We were totally blocked in, as our 500 ft cedar canopy was piled 6ft high on our access road. “Wesley is gone” was his stark comment.
Our main roof sustained minor damage to the corners where galvanize had lifted, but the 20x10ft veranda roof was gone. Our interior walls and ceiling were covered with mud and leaves. Brown replaced green on the landscape, and our trees; those that survived; had no branches.
First order of business was to sweep water, mud and leaves out. Maria had broken our seaside French doors open during the night and entered with a vengeance. Our after storm morning was spent sweeping water out and then applying a mop with little avail. Muddy floors would be a feature of our lives for the next 3 months.
Luckily, we had removed the 3 solar panels from their aluminum frame the day before Maria. Next on the agenda was re-installing the panels, but first we had to locate one side of the frame which had been blown away. We cleared a path through broken branches and the frame was soon located halfway up a cedar tree 100ft away, and in good shape. One hours work to secure the frame, another half hour for Maryann and I to attach the panels, and magically we had electricity.
About Cyril Volney:
Cyril Volney is a retired banking professional and a proud Dominican. He is also a family man and comes from a lineage of distinguished individuals. Cyril now lives with his wife of 40+ years at their home in Wesley, Dominica.