The devastation that just happened in the Bahamas is heart-wrenching to say the least. It is said to be one of the most catastrophic hurricanes to hit any of the Caribbean islands in a long time.
Why is it being described that way? Because it was labeled as a Category 5 hurricane. It sat on top of the Bahamas for about 36 hours and pummeled it. Most of the islands of the Bahamas were leveled by winds gusting up to almost 200 mph.
The before and after pictures shown on the national and world news programs are staggering. Pictures and videos show a panoramic view of the island dotted with its beautiful homes and then the after pictures showing the same homes that look like someone ran them through a shredder.
Right here is the Delaware Valley, there is someone who has been greatly impacted by the destruction of Hurricane Dorian: Remy Duncomb of Bucks County has been on the local news trying to mobilize anyone and everyone he possibly could into volunteering or donating to help his people in his Bahamian homeland.
“I have been moving a mile a minute, thinking a mile a minute,” Duncomb said as he prepared for another interview. “How can I get in my bed and sleep in good conscience knowing that there are people back in the Bahamas who do not have a roof over their heads or a bed to sleep in?”
He spurred into action upon learning of the wide-spread destruction, and he has not stopped moving since.
Last Sunday, before the storm actually hit, Duncomb was in communication with Barbara Wilson of the Caribbean Festival Committee as she sent him prayers for the safety of his family.
“Thanks for your genuine concern for my family, and friends in the Bahamas as they brace for what looks to be a devastating setback,” said Duncomb.
“I have my relatives on Grand Bahama island and I am in touch with most of them,” he said. “ They are praying and also as prepared as they can be. Some have already evacuated high surging areas near beaches..”.
Although he anticipated that the islands would sustain quite a blow, he did not expect that it would turn into a humanitarian crisis with reports of loss of life escalating. Duncomb said the flooding was severe because the islands are very flat, with many living at sea level.
He said that there were approximately 70,000 people living in Grand Bahama and Abaco, and many of them will need food, water and other supplies.
Duncomb has been in touch with some relatives but there are others he has yet to reach — rising his concern about their well-being.
The Sept. 6 reports had the death toll at 30. Several victims interviewed on the national news said as the water recedes, the stench of death was in the air and expressed concerns about the lack of law enforcement.
“I am only one man and I have my hands in everything,” said Duncomb. “I need volunteers and that is why I am establishing the Bahamas Philadelphia Foundation. Our slogan will be ‘It’s Better with Brotherly Love.’ ”
The first group to jump on board is the Caribbean Community of Philadelphia, which set up a website for cash donations at https://caribbeancommunityphila.wedid.it.
Much needed supplies such as baby items, personal hygiene items, flashlight, batteries, medical kits, insect repellent and the like can be dropped off at these area locations:
CCP of Culture 1315 Walnut St., Suite 320;
Chick-Fil-A, 2421 W Cheltenham Ave.
Central City Toyota, 4800 Chestnut St.
Ardmore Toyota, 219 E. Lancaster Ave, Ardmore
Mt Holly Nissan, 1513 Route 38, Hainesport, New Jersey
Woodbury Nissan, 439 Mantua Pike, Woodbury, New Jersey
Much like the Haiti earthquake of 2010, many families have been left homeless and they do not know when life will return to normal. But, with everyone doing their part and chipping in, the Bahamian people will prevail. This too shall pass.