Fayetteville's Caribbean residents worry about Hurricane Beryl's effects

Monique John Image
Friday, July 5, 2024
Fayetteville's Caribbean residents worry about Beryl's effects
"It may seem like life is normal here in the States but it's far from normal back there in the Caribbean."

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Hurricane Beryl was downgraded to a tropical storm after making landfall in Mexico earlier Friday. Still, it wrought havoc on communities throughout the West Indies this week.

"It may seem like life is normal here in the States but it's far from normal back there in the Caribbean," Phillip Cousins said.

Watching this devastation from Hurricane Beryl in his home country of Jamaica has Cousins deeply worried for his older relatives still living there. Cousins said he survived Hurricane Gilbert in 1988, so he has an idea of how hard it will be for his community to come back from this.

"Even rebuilding is going to take a while because local hardware is not going to have all, everything, that everybody needs," Cousins said.

Cousins, and another Jamaican immigrant and owner of SimLo's Island Cafe in Fayetteville, Lopez Atlan, told ABC11 that they haven't been able to contact their loved ones in Jamaica because of the outages. Atlan said he has four sisters, but he hasn't been able to contact three of them.

"I only spoke with one because she had to go to work and that's how she actually gets some electricity," Atlan said.

Atlan and Cousins said they can only wait for the outages to stop. Then they can find out how their families have fared in the storm, send supplies, and possibly help their relatives relocate to the United States or elsewhere.

However, Cousins noted that many in the Caribbean affected by the storm won't be so fortunate.

"A lot of folks don't even have that option. They just have to get tarps, tarpaulin that they call back home, and just try to make makeshift roof for now and just sleep where they can," he said.