Post Dorian Update from Jerry
Hurricane Dorian was a storm that no one could have anticipated, the strongest in recorded history, a category 5 hurricane with winds up to 180 mph gusts over 200! And…it sat over Grand Bahama for 2 days before moving away. Abaco suffered worse than Grand Bahama but here, we are still counting those that lost their lives, families that have lost 8 or 9 of their loved ones. Most of the eastern end of the island is no more, either residents moved out before the storm or, those that survived have no homes and moved into Freeport to live with relatives.
The stories from some of our recipients are unimaginable…Carlos, wheelchair bound called for help when the water rose above his waist, Nekemea and her eldest son held Mario & Nikito in their arms standing on a bed for hours to keep them above the rising water.
At RAM, Kathy and I, our son Peter and his family together with our workers and their family of 9 weathered the storm in Peter’s 2nd story office with the water rising up the stairs and the wind howling around us for 2 whole days. RAM survived with no structural damage but the tidal surge damaged all of our archives on the lower shelves forcing us to concentrate on restoration and handing over Crossreach and its responsibilities to Stephen Crane supported by Pastor Ken and our Church.
Since the storm passed and the roads became navigable, Crossreach has been in receipt of truckload after truckload and trailerload after trailerload of relief supplies. With Stephen at the helm, these supplies have been off-loaded, sorted, bagged and packed into delivery vehicles by our church members, Crossreach volunteers and off-island relief groups such as Crisis Response International and a large contingent from the Church of Scientology.
Within the past 8 working days, Crossreach volunteers have delivered approximately 1500 bags of food, supplies diapers, cleaning materials, torches directly into the hands of our own recipients and into the hands of anyone who appeared lost or dazed sitting outside their ravaged homes among heaps of sodden and destroyed belongings. (Last year, 2018 was Crossreach’s most successful year when we delivered 613 bags of supplies throughout the entire 12-months!)
Food kitchens and food distribution centres have been located throughout Grand Bahama but there are so many families that have no means of getting to the centres which underlines the importance of LPC & Crossreach teams in delivering the supplies directly into their hands.
Now, the shelves are almost empty, but Crossreach is preparing for the time when the airlifts cease and our people on Grand Bahama continue to be in need of food to survive, tarpaulins to stay dry, and chemicals to combat mold and insects. Our Gofundme web-site has raised some $31,000 allowing Crossreach to source supplies in Florida for future runs.
Pray for our island of Grand Bahama as we all try to help each other in picking up the pieces and putting our lives back together.