Virginie Bertrand-Granger and Rémi Granger, owners of Cabrits Dive Center, Dominica, and Deb Quick, of Louisville, remove debris blown far and wide by Hurricane Maria from a reef in Toucari Bay in Dominica. (Karl Froyd / Courtesy Photo)

Karl Froyd and his wife, Deb Quick, scientists who live in Louisville, spent their holidays diving in the Caribbean nation of Dominica. But it wasn’t to study the ocean life.

Instead, Froyd and Quick worked as part of a small team hauling out corrugated roofing and other refuse that had been cast upon the ocean reefs by the catastrophic Hurricane Maria. The eye of that storm passed over the island late the night of Sept. 18 just after reaching Category 5 strength, boasting sustained winds of 160 mph.

The storm defoliated nearly all of Dominica’s vegetation, damaged the roofs of nearly 100 percent of its buildings, killed dozens and wiped out its agricultural sector, ravaging out its banana and tuber plantations, as well as a large portion of its livestock and farm equipment.