‘Roofs flying through the sky like birds’

By Holly Frew, Emergency Communications Manager

Florkensia Laguerre was home when the winds and rain from Hurricane Matthew started. It began as any other storm, but as night set in, the winds started blowing with incredible force. As the howling intensified, so did Florkensia’s fear. Her whole house shook violently, then suddenly, her iron roof flew off, exposing her and her husband to the storm. Terrified, Florkensia and her husband sought refuge in a pastor’s concrete house nearby.

“As we ran for cover, I could see roofs flying through the night sky like birds,” said Florkensia. “I watched my house destroyed before my eyes. It was so dangerous and scary.”

Florkensia feels lucky that she and her husband survived the storm, but like so many in her community, they have lost everything and struggle to pick up the pieces. “I’ve never been through something like this, and I’m struggling to collect my thoughts,” she said. “I’m hungry and I need food.”

She lives in Moron, a community of 31,000 people located in the Grand’Anse department where the brunt of Hurricane Matthew hit, destroying roughly 90 percent of Moron’s homes — and leaving most of its residents homeless. Despite the risk of cholera — which rises in overcrowded conditions where water may be contaminated and hygiene practices are lacking — 200 of them have found shelter in the pastor’s house. Ylvens Dominic, his wife and their six children are some of them.

“We have no garden, no money and no home,” Ylvens said. “I’m buying food in the market on credit. We all feel like we are sitting here just waiting for God to help us. I’m so stressed about where to go from here. Where do I even begin?”

In spite of their losses, Haitians like Florkensia and Ylvens do want to rebuild their lives. And during the day, they try to salvage what’s left. But the needs are great.

Ylvens needs shelter to protect his family, tools to rebuild his home and seeds to replant his garden.

To meet immediate needs in Moron, CARE is distributing heavy-duty tarps for shelter so some people can return to their homes. In the near future, we will provide cash transfers, so others can purchase what they deem is more urgent for their families — like seeds for Ylvens’ garden and food for Florkensia’s makeshift table.

Learn more about CARE's work in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew.

You can help provide people like Flokensia and Ylvens with emergency food, hygiene items and shelter.