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Jeremy Stephen grateful to be alive after Hurricane Maria

Barry Alleyne in Roseau, Dominica

Jeremy Stephen grateful to be alive after Hurricane Maria

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Barbadian Jeremy Stephen is thanking his lucky stars to still be alive in Dominica after Monday night’s passing of Hurricane Maria. Now he’s looking for a way back home.

Stephen, a former president of the Barbados Economic Society, was in the Nature Isle to deliver a lecture last Friday. After fulfilling his commitment came the bad news that LIAT had cancelled all flights into Dominica as the country braced for the storm.

Stephen was surprisingly upbeat, but told a startling story of how he rode out the hurricane season’s second largest storm, noting that the speed with which it escalated “caught a lot of Dominicans by surprise.”

He added that it was just after 9 p.m., the winds really started to pick up with great ferocity.

“It was like a war zone. I had to evacuate my room, which was totally flooded out. I was on the second floor so I didn’t see when the roof blew off, but I could feel the pressure of the water coming down,” Stephen added.

The economist said they had to leave the hotel for safety, walking through flying debris as they sought refuge in a VIP room. “But the roof there also collapsed so we had to seek shelter on the bottom floor and ride the storm out.”

Read more on how Dominica is surviving after the passage of Hurricane Maria in tomorrow’s WEEKEND NATION. Follow the hashtag #nationindominica for reports and photos from our team on the ground in Dominica.