Former Royal Latin School pupil’s account of ‘evil force’ Hurricane Matthew which battered her Bahamas home

Fay Knowles' picture of a petrol station roof which was toppled over by the storm

Fay Knowles' picture of a petrol station roof which was toppled over by the storm

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A former Royal Latin School pupil who moved to the Bahamas has described the dramatic scenes she witnessed amid the devastation of Hurricane Matthew.

Author Fay Knowles, who grew up in Buckingham before moving to the Atlantic islands, has written a number of romantic stories.

Author Fay Knowles

Author Fay Knowles

But her account of what she witnessed from her home in the capital Nassau is a dramatic insight into the sheer devastation in that part of the world.

Hundreds of people were killed by the storm in Haiti last week before winds or more than 115mph swept through the Bahamas and up the Florida coast.

“It was like an evil force determined to get through our walls and blow us and everything inside out into the elements,” said Fay, who frantically packed family photos and important items into a suitcase the night before.

Fay and her husband Erskine rushed around their home placing pots and pans underneath countless leaks from the roof as they checked online reports and listened to the local radio station. They were without power for 56 hours.

Fay said: “After Hurricane Matthew stormed away from here, looking for more victims to wreak havoc on, we ventured out of our apartment.

“We were not surprised to see the trail of destruction Matthew left behind. Many of our roof tiles had blown off, which had caused the leaks, but some people actually lost their roofs.”

She added: “Of paramount importance is that we have had no loss of lives here due to Hurricane Matthew, except sadly when a man died from a heart attack while he was securing his home.

“The Bahamas and its people are resilient though. They will rebuild their lives and in decades to come old Bahamians will tell their grandchildren about Hurricane Matthew, the devastating hurricane of October 2016.”

Fay lived in Buckingham with her parents William and Joy Johanson, who owned Saxby’s, a watch repair and jewellery store on Castle Street.

Having written since the age of nine, Fay’s writing blossomed in Buckingham when she wrote a complete children’s adventure story book at age 11.

She has had numerous short stories published in The Lady, her fiction has appeared in American literary journal The Broadkill Review, and poetry in Evergreen magazine.