Family with ties to Bahamas: 'If she doesn't get out of that house she's not going to make it'

Local family says their relatives were nearly killed in the Bahamas

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville family with ties to the Bahamas almost lost a loved one during Hurricane Dorian.

Debbie Tribble, who has family all over the islands, recalls her experience learning about relatives stuck in Freeport just days ago.

"If she doesn't get out of that house she's not going to make it."

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That's what was racing through Tribble's mind after learning that her relatives in Freeport were facing Hurricane Dorian's fury.

Tribble said of the voice text her cousin sent to her family, "You could hear the emotion, about to cry. She says, ‘Amber sent us pictures showing that the water was up to her chest,' and because her children couldn't stand in it, she put the children in the cabinets to protect them and put them on higher ground."

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​​​​​​Moments after that text, all communication was lost and the fear set in, Tribble said.

"You wanted to cry but you wanted to be hopeful. You want to hold onto that hope and hold onto your faith in prayer that God was going to see them through," she said.

Days went by with no updates. Then finally, on Tuesday, her prayers were answered.

"Somebody sent us another voice text, screaming, ‘We found her. We found her. We have her.' I just started crying. I literally started crying tears of joy," Tribble said.

She said Amber and her two children survived by holding onto a nearby tree for a day and half until help arrived.

Tribble said some of her family members are still missing.

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