JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville woman whose family lives in Freeport, Bahamas, spoke out about the scope of the damage done by Hurricane Dorian.
Sophie Filibert’s sister, Lorna Maxis, and her father survived Hurricane Dorian. She got a glimpse of the devastation the powerful storm caused in Freeport by watching a video sent by her sister.
“It was really bad for many of them. My whole neighborhood got completely messed up. These are the homes they are trying to clean up. You can see straight through as they had to knock down the walls,” Maxis said in the video.
She said she and her family were fortunate to have only sustained minor damage from Hurricane Dorian, the Category 5 storm, but her neighbors were not so lucky.
“They’re trying to salvage clothes. My friend Sandra and her son, they are trying to find clothing and stuff because everything was so messed up. Everyone was really affected by it. It isn’t easy. It’s very touching to me, but we’re helping out as much as we can,” Maxis said.
As Filibert gets updates on the horrific conditions in the Bahamas, she struggles with her emotions but is hopeful.
Filibert said her sister has not showered since the storm, and she's trying to help her with that.
“We’re trying to get them a portable shower unit. That’s a unique need. We know the recovery efforts are going to meet the immediate needs, but we know this is a long-term rebuilding that’s going to happen, so we are trying to get the first unit out there to Freeport,” Filibert said. " Everywhere we go, we can only do so much to help so many people because there are so many people who need help.”
She has collaborated with Adventist Community Services to secure a vendor to have portable shower units shipped to the Bahamas, but they need funding. If you’d like to help the cause, tax-deductible donations for mobile shower units can be made to the nonprofit, Jacksonville Southpoint SDA Church.
The church is also accepting travel-size goods for the Bahamas relief effort. Items can be dropped off at the Jacksonville Southpoint SDA Church on Herring Road.