“We’re not giving up on Abaco,” say Abaco Neem farmers
By Diane Phillips
Sep 10, 2019 - 8:51:01 PM

Daphne DeGregory and Nick Maioulis

For five blistering hours, Daphne de Gregory held her own against a raging hurricane, using her body like a concrete block to keep a dormer door shut while her husband, Nick Miaoulis, did the same with the adjoining door. All that stood between them and the howling 220 mile an hour winds of Hurricane Dorian was a sheet of glass. Together, they prayed, minute after minute, hour after hour. When one was nearly worn out and on the verge of collapse, the other prayed louder, offering up encouragement.

Back and forth it went until the wind finally subsided and for the first time in what seemed an eternity, Nick and Daphne breathed.

“Daphne is my hero,” said Nick. “She was so strong.”

The couple had survived the storm atop the second floor of their Marsh Harbour, Abaco, business, Abaco Neem. Today, they said they were among the luckiest. Theirs was one of the few businesses left standing.

“We’re not giving up on Abaco,” they said.

“We lost 40% of our farm, but we had over 10,000 trees and I can always plant more trees,” said Nick. “I’m a farmer. I’ve been planting trees for 27 years.” Some of their equipment was damaged and the cover over that equipment ripped into shreds.

While the founders of Abaco Neem were in Nassau for business Tuesday, meeting with their insurers and those who retail their products and later sharing their story with a Toastmasters group, they said they will never fully understand why they were spared.

“Why God let our building stand, why God let us survive, we will never know,” they said. “We just trust that good follows good.”

Abaco Neem farm after Hurricane Dorian, the worst is behind them as farmers mark 25 years

Abaco Neem store in Marsh Harbour, Abaco, is one of the few stores that could open for business following the passage of Hurricane Dorian that left a path of devastation in its Category 5 wake. The owners spent five hours as human barriers against the wind pounding the upstairs glass dormer windows, praying.

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