Bahamas still recovering after Hurricane Dorian devastation
COCOCAY, Bahamas – After Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas, families are desperate. Many have lost everything, but they know they are alive, and they have each other.
"It was a disaster. Glad we make it through the storm, and make it safe," said Tanayo Hart, a Grand Bahama resident.
Tanayo has seen more than a 12-year-old should. He and his family huddled together as Hurricane Dorian churned through Grand Bahama, destroying their home.
"I am thankful for life, and I hope that somebody can please help us," said Tanayo.
Tanayo, his mom and his baby sister were selected by the government to get on the Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas.
On Saturday morning, the ship stopped in Freeport and picked up 261 passengers, feeding them and giving them showers, blankets and a place to rest. The ship dropped them off in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas.
Some evacuees were able to link up with relatives. Others have to go to shelters and start from scratch.
"Trying to get a job. Trying to get them in school. Two things I need to do for them," said Akela Moxey, a Freeport resident.
Moxey has five kids who now have to make a new life with no home to return to.
Help is here in the Bahamas, but resources are spread thin, making it hard for victims to find out what's next. There are three government-run shelters in Nassau, but the military wouldn't let us in to check on the conditions.
The families we met that caught a ride on the cruise are just thankful to be here.
"They allowed me to sleep. They took my kids to eat with them, they even had a party for my daughter. So I really appreciate it," said Moxey.
There are still tens of thousands of people on the smaller islands trying to get off. They don't have running water, power or safe places to stay. The U.S. military is helping, but it's a long process.
People from the worst situations are trying to get to the bigger islands with more resources. It's some relief for them, but it's far from ideal
Three-year-old Alicia came with her dad and her pregnant mother, who was taken to the hospital in town. Their home was destroyed.
There is an ominous situation at the port with more victims coming in. Many of them with just the clothes on their backs, fleeing horrific conditions.
"You still have multiple bodies in the water. A lot of people died in their homes, and they couldn't swim because the water is so high. People are killing you right now for water and bread. My friend got killed last night over water and bread," said Steven Dottin, an Abacos resident.
When we were at the ferry stop, we didn't see any police or government helping, just volunteers, fellow Bahamians with supplies and information.
"We're all human beings, we all need help. Let's always be there for one another," said Joyce Arty, from the United Association of Haitians in the Bahamas.
"We are helping hundreds now. They keep coming," said the Rev. Dr. Antoine St. Louis, the president of the United Association of Haitians in the Bahamas.
Relief groups are asking for donations. Money is best because shipping supplies is hard. They do need air mattresses, baby food, diapers and toiletries.
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