KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Bahamas have been overwhelmed by incredible destruction from Hurricane Dorian, which took at least 20 lives.
The hurricane pulverized the islands for two days, hurling catastrophic winds and relentless rain. It was the strongest storm ever to make landfall in the country.
Residents that FOX4 has spoken to say even though the winds have calmed down now, rescue teams are still going strong.
“We need help,” resident Frankie Williams said. “Water is a big one, gas cans, jugs, anything you can think of because these people ran for their lives; they grabbed nothing.”
The Bahamas native said the islands weren’t prepared for Dorian.
Although they saw warning signs on the news, they didn’t have the means to prepare for a hurricane of this magnitude.
“I’ve heard folks say, ‘Well, why didn’t they evacuate?’ No! It`s not as easy as it is in the states where you can just drive from one state to the next. No,” he said. “You have to get your entire life on a boat and chug it across miles of water, like ocean. You know?”
William’s showed FOX4 the windows on his and others houses, saying their homes just weren’t built for those winds. He believes global warming is the cause for this natural disaster.
“I’m not jumping on any sides, but it’s been extremely hot here on the island, and now with this hurricane, it’s never been his way,” Williams said. “People are dying in Abaco. We never thought this would happen here.”
However, he said the focus has shifted to rescuing victims and rebuilding.
“People here organized bunch of guys with jet skis. They would reverse them into the water, head north,” he explained. “It’s been crazy. People have been hiding in their roof, holding onto whatever they can. I’ve seen kids, older people, everyone is in need right now.”
Williams shared videos and photos of the different islands with FOX4, saying that he fears his town will have a hard time rebuilding.
“We are proud people and I believe we will get through this, but it will be heard. A lot of people are out of a job,” he said.
Boots are already on the ground from Kansas City to the Bahamas. Heart To Heart has a medical team that is currently responding to those in need.
“They are stationed in Nassau but making trips to other parts of the island,” said Brian Sink, Heart to Heart vice president. “By tomorrow 450 of our hygiene kits will have reached the island.”
On Thursday, the team in Kansas City will work with volunteers to make even more of those kits.
“If people are interested in helping we have more availability on Thursday and Friday. They can come to put kits together,” Sink said.
If you’re interested in helping, you can check Heart to Heart’s Facebook page for more information.