BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Weeks after Hurricane Irma devastated the nation of Antigua and Barbuda, one of their top leaders was in Baltimore discussing the damage.
Thursday Governor-General Sir Rodeny Williams of the two-island nation said he was in Baltimore to strengthen ties with Johns Hopkins to create better access to healthcare for the people of his country, especially after this catastrophic storm.
Earlier this month the region took a pounding from Hurricane Irma. The prime minister said the island is barely habitable.
For storm survivors, the days following Irma were both physically and emotionally challenging.
“We’re not coping. We’re definitely not coping,” one survivor said.
All of the residents were eventually evacuated and now for the first time in 300 years, the island is vacant.
A number of people are now living on neighboring Antigua.
“Of course the problem now lies with how we rebuild,” Williams said.
Williams discussed the current reality for many after the storm.
“Hurricane Irma devastated Barbuda and we had to evacuate all the Barbadians to Antigua and so you have to put programs in place to deal with that situation,” he said.
Williams is hopeful the nation will rebuild stronger than before and that Johns Hopkins will lend a hand when it comes to healthcare.
“We’re hoping to have exchanges of physicians, of medical students, health technicians and have access to the quality, high quality of service Johns Hopkins offers,” he said.
Williams said a lot of Barbadians are eager to return home but there’s really no telling when that might actually become a reality.
The cost of the damage is still be calculated by estimated to be in the hundreds of millions.