NCCU student returned to native Bahamas so mom wouldn't be alone during Hurricane Dorian

This is not how Kimberly Mullings expected to begin her second year of classes at North Carolina Central University in Durham.

Mullings arrived back in Durham on August 21 for the start of the semester when she quickly got word of the massive Category 5 Hurricane Dorian bearing down on her home back in her native Bahamas.

So she got back on a plane last Friday -- just ahead of Dorian's arrival -- and flew the 653 miles from the Triangle to Freeport, where she was born and raised, to ride the storm out with her mother. She didn't want her mom to be alone.

Dorian proceeded to park itself over the Caribbean island chain for a day-and-a-half leaving behind unspeakable devastation.

Relief workers called parts of the island "apocalyptic," that "it looks like a bomb went off."

In the meantime, Mullings took to Twitter to post videos and information on how to help.

Her house on Grand Bahama was spared much damage. But as she drove the streets with family members Tuesday to help with relief and recovery, there was flooding and damage all around.

She snapped photos inside Freeport's Rand Memorial Hospital. Hallways were flooded. Even exam rooms appeared overcome with water.

On the phone with ABC11, Mullings said the worst part of Dorian wasn't the fierce 185 mph winds. She said it was the storm surge.

"The (storm) surge was the problem for people -- the tidal waves reaching up to 20 feet," she said. "Just imagine that, being in a three-story home and you're on your roof."

Mullings said the waters have started to recede. But residents haven't been given the all-clear.

"We're still rescuing people now," she said. "Today was a much better day to get out to people than yesterday."

She said she's not sure when she'll return to the Triangle for classes at NCCU -- there's just so much to do. And, she's encouraging everyone that can help - to do it.

To make a donation toward relief efforts in the Bahamas, please click here for the Red Cross.

In this Monday, Sept. 2, 2019 photo released by the U.S. Coast Guard, boats litter the area around a marina in the Bahamas after they were tossed around by Hurricane Dorian.

U.S. Coast Guard Station Clearwater

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