When Logan Frazier took a boat off the hurricane-ravaged island of Dominica on Friday afternoon, she spoke to her family in Maryville for the first time since the storm on Monday night.
“I’ve never been so scared,” she told her uncle, Rob Storey, of the nine hours she spent in a bathroom while Hurricane Maria hit the island with sustained winds of 160 miles an hour. When she finally ventured out of the bathroom, she found the door to her room open and saw the building’s generator flying through the air.
“I can’t wait to get to church,” said Frazier, a 22-year-old who arrived on the island last month to attend Grandview Baptist Church in Maryville.
“She made videos for all of us because she didn’t think she’d see us again,” said Storey. However, on Friday afternoon she was able to speak to him, her uncle Derrick Hopkins, grandmother Anita Storey, and one of her sisters.
At least 15 people have been reported dead after the hurricane hit the island, which is less than 25 miles long and about 12 miles wide. The roofs of many houses on the island have been blown off.
Frazier lived on the top, third floor of the Portsmouth Beach Hotel, which also houses students like the ETSU alum who attended Ross University School of Medicine on the island.
The roof stayed where it stayed during the storm, but an open-air restaurant and bar next to the hotel are gone, Storey said.
She was on the first boat Ross University chartered to bring students from their Dominica campus to the island of St. Lucia on Friday. From there they fly to Miami, and then the university plans to arrange their flights home.
Ross University posted an update for families on their Facebook page on Friday stating that the ocean water is still rough due to the hurricane. “We expected this could be the case and we have taken precautions, including providing all passengers with Dramamine and working with our captains to travel more slowly to limit discomfort as much as possible,” the school officials wrote .
Frazier cried when she spoke to Rob Storey and said, “I’m on a rickety pirate ship.”
Leaves almost everything behind
Frazier took some things with her when she left the island.
The first was a pillow her grandmother had given her, made from a blanket Frazier’s mother took to softball games when the girl was pitching for Heritage High School before graduating in 2013. Dawn Frazier died two years ago and the words on the pillow read, “I always look over you. “
“I think she was,” said Rob Storey Friday.
Logan Frazier also brought two necklaces from the island. One was a series of pearls belonging to her great-grandmother Dorothy Chastain, who died just four days before the young woman left for medical school last month. The other was a gift from her youngest sister, Eden Frazier, who says: “Future MD”
Logan also kept the last dress her mother bought for her, leaving her other belongings behind.
“She said the Dominica people needed their things more than they did because the vast majority of them had lost everything,” Hopkins said. “I’m very proud of her, but not at all surprised. Logan has always been a very compassionate and caring person. “
“This is Logan,” agreed Rob Storey.
“These people have a tough life there anyway,” he said. Storey had traveled to Dominica before his niece left and tried to prepare her for life on the island. Among the things they packed was a battery operated lamp when the power went out.
In the days following the hurricane, Frazier credited three teachers to the school for helping keep students alive. “They slept on the floor in an auditorium,” said Storey. “The water has been rationed.”
Mudslides are common on the island even after milder storms, and Hurricane Maria cut off electricity. “She had to jump over a lot of power lines and she was afraid she would be electrocuted,” Storey said.
In the days following the hurricane, he slept little and contacted the university, the State Department and the US Embassy in Barbados for more information.
The family also spoke to the mother of a California student who contacted the Daily Times after seeing the story about Logan Frazier online. Frazier didn’t know the other student by name but knew who she was since she was in the auditorium at the shelter because the other young woman has a cat.
The first boat the university charted to leave the island brought mothers with children, people in need of medical assistance, and single women. Since the other woman is traveling with an animal, she is expected to be one of the last boats to evacuate students this weekend.