Local non-profit returns from the Bahamas, reflects on relief efforts

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A brewing tropical storm system is posing a new threat to the Bahamas after getting hard hit by Hurricane Dorian.

After spending the past few days on the islands to help with relief, Nashville-based non-profit Aerial Global Community left on Thursday ahead of the weekend storm.

It was a four-day mission that Britnie Turner and her fellow volunteers spent carrying out their mission to help with immediate relief of some of the hardest hit areas of Hurricane Dorian.

“The race against time was – get in, find somewhere to stay, really connecting with the church to be able to distribute all the relief we brought,” said Turner on the phone.

A doctor who was part of the group explained the setup of their free clinic.

“We’ve set up a little area, where we can do exams, see the patients, take care of wounds, take care of things when they need to lie down,” said the doctor.

Partnering with Watts of Love, the group also helped to hand out solar lights.

“What we found is there are still a lot of opportunities to still get involved,” Turner told News 2. “There’s much need.”

Turner described Dorian’s destruction.

“Abaco is smashed, completely leveled in most areas,” she said.

In Freeport, standing homes mask the flooding.

“It was so flooded, that all things inside the home was gone,” said Turner.

Much of the group’s work has been possible with the help of locals.

Their driver shared insight into the death toll.

“They said when it’s all over, it’ll probably be around 10,000 dead,” said the driver.

He said much of that loss comes from hard-hit Marsh Harbor in Central Abaco.

“So they’re taking big tractors, pushing the bodies and debris into piles and burning it because if they don’t, then there will be an outbreak of TB and everything else,” said the driver.

But even with the grim outlook, locals who’ve survived Dorian helped with the group’s outreach by sorting and handing out supplies, sharing just how lucky they feel to be alive.

“I loose everything in my house, under water,” said a volunteer. “So I’m happy to do this.”

Turner said this was the first of many trips to help with relief in the Bahamas.

Their long-term plan is to work with the Bahamian government to come up with a master plan to rebuild.

If you’d like to help: https://www.aerialglobalcommunity.org/

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