Current Bahamas Hurricane On-The-Ground Updates
Update: Deep Water Cay Family
The latest news is that the status to qualify for charitable donations is underway. The Deep Water Cay Family Hurricane Relief Effort, a Florida Not-for-profit corporation has 501(c)(3) designation pending. All donations past and future should qualify as charitable donations.
If you have already given, we thank you. If this charitable status allows you to donate again, please do.
The good people of Grand Bahama have made Deep Water Cay what it was for the last 60 years. Watch our latest video here, which includes some of our family who met us on the Cay last week. Now they need your help. The Deep Water Cay staff and their families have lost most everything on Grand Bahama - their homes, their communities, and temporarily their place of work. This fund's purpose is to help them rebuild their lives.
We are in contact with our people many times a day and are continuing to learn of urgent needs and major losses. We are making another supply flight today and meeting some of them in Freeport who will help distribute to other DWC families. These supplies have been donated and are not being paid for out of the fund.
The good people of Deep Water Cay will be very grateful for your gift. If you would share the news of the charitable donation status with your own contacts in an effort to maximize giving, we would appreciate that beyond words.
With much appreciation and gratitude.
Paul and Joe
UPDATE: North Riding Point Club
We are so grateful for your overwhelming support of North Riding Point Club and its employees. Your outreach has been amazing. Our special staff and I truly appreciate all the emails and calls expressing your worry and compassion.
In the aftermath of Dorian, with relief efforts underway, we continue to be greatly concerned for the wellbeing and living conditions of NRPC employees. While the recovery process has started, their struggle is deep and unprecedented. The process of rebuilding their homes and lives will be difficult. It is going to take years. Fortunately, our NRPC family is resilient and steadfast. The staff is sincerely thankful for all your well wishes, provisioning, and funding. Your support together with their can-do attitude is the fuel that will power the recovery.
Now is the time to start rebuilding and healing. All of our employees have either lost their homes or are left with houses requiring major reconstruction. Some, most unfortunately, have lost family. All need financial aid to build new or repair their housing and provide a source of income until the Club reopens in December.
The Club is very fortunate to have a 501(c)(3) through which we can direct assistance allowing your donation to be tax-deductible. Issue checks to Amiable and mail to Amiable, Inc., c/o Mark Andrews, 755 Johnnie Dodds Blvd, Mt Pleasant, SC, 29464. Alternatively, if you would like to wire funds email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will forward wiring instructions for Amiable's 501(c)(3). Mark is a dear friend of the Club and has volunteered to handle all aspects related to the receipt and transfer of the relief funds, including notifying each donor by email of the receipt of the contribution. 100% of funds will go directly to this relief effort as directed by Management with approval of the NRPC BOD.
Thank you so very much. Your support is fueling the hope of the NRPC team.
UPDATE: The Delphi Club and Abaco
These are the latest developments at the club and on Abaco more generally.
Overall, the situation on North Abaco and Grand Bahama remains precarious. Search and recovery efforts continue and, sadly, bodies are still being discovered every day. While the official death toll is currently below 100, many people on the island believe that the death toll could rise to several hundred or more. Over 1,300 people are still reported as ‘missing’.
At Delphi, we are delighted that our lodge manager, Max has now returned to Abaco and is back at the club. Our summer caretaker, Dan, has now returned to the US and departs with our sincerest thanks for watching over the club during the storm and in Max’s absence. Our Dorian / Delphi Relief GoFundMe has attracted close to $140,000 in donations and, together with other generous contributions made to the fund outside of the GoFundMe channel, we now have close to $200,000 at our disposal to fund ongoing relief efforts.
A large shipment of emergency supplies (clothes, shoes, canned foodstuffs, hygiene kits, flashlights, etc) was delivered by air earlier this week and has been distributed to our staff and guides where it was needed the most. A shipment of 10 portable generators was scheduled to depart from Florida yesterday but the boat may now be delayed a few days due to further bad weather forecast for the Bahamas for this weekend. We hope to be able to get this shipment to Abaco by early next week. Further shipments of relief supplies are also in the works.
The Lodge is still being used to house several members of our staff who lost their houses to the storm. We are investigating the possibility of renting accommodation in Sandy Point to provide a longer term solution for them and are hopeful that we can rent a 5 bedroom house there in the very near term. We have inventoried our other staff and guides’ houses which were damaged but not destroyed. Many of these are in Crossing Rocks and Cherokee Point. We will need building supplies and tools to repair these houses and are working on plans to buy and bring these in. It may be a while before regular shipments to the island can resume so we are also investigating chartering a boat. We are coordinating with other establishments like the Abaco Club at Winding Bay and Pete’s Pub, who have similar needs for supplies, to see whether we can pool our efforts.
Apart from these relief efforts we are reviewing what needs to be in place before we can re-open Delphi for the season. The most critical of these are the restoration of electrical power and a steady supply of food, fuel and other supplies. Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) has publicly stated that they hope to restore power to South Abaco (which includes Delphi) in 3 weekswhich would be good news. We are also hopeful that regular supplies of food and fuel will resume in the same time frame but we are also working on becoming self sufficient in this regard by establishing our own supply lines, possibly in coordination with the above mentioned entities. Some of our staff evacuated to Nassau but we are confident that all those who left will return when Delphi re-opens.
It is still too early to determine when Delphi will be in a position to reopen. Other establishments on the island have set opening days in late October. We are encouraged that they think this is possible. We will be working day and night to hopefully get Delphi back open not long after that.
In closing, we would like to reiterate our huge thanks to all those who have given so generously to the relief fund. There is still much to do, not only for our own staff and fishing guides but for the many others on the island who have been left destitute by this storm of the century.
Please let us know if you have questions, comments or suggestions.
With best regards,
Andrew & Robert
UPDATE: North Riding Point Club
Greetings to all,
As many of you know, I left for Grand Bahama on Saturday, September 7th and returned last night. Grand Bahama continues to have no power or water. Crews are working on restoring electricity starting in Freeport and making their way east. Currently there is cell service in Freeport but not beyond the city. Island phone lines and internet services are out. Certain local food and supply stores and a few restaurants are open for business. The Freeport International Airport is closed to all flights except for relief planes and GB Port is now open. Samaritan’s Purse has an emergency field hospital operating in Freeport.
I have personally contacted all North Riding Point Club employees to include Stanley. Many are understandably in shock and are feeling overwhelmed after the harrowing experience of going through the storm. The destruction left behind in their communities is disheartening. All remain on the island except for Stanley, Meko and his family and Ricky and her children who are now in the US.
Tragically, Dorian claimed many victims on the island of Grand Bahama. It is with great sadness that I must tell you that one of our staff members, Henilee, along with her mother were taken by the storm. Other victims of the NRPC family are Donny’s wife, daughter, and grandson, along with Kenneth’s (Kay) brother. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all families and loved ones.
Please know that we are committed to reopening NRPC as soon as possible with a projected operational date of December 1, 2019.
Thank you for your generous donations to support NRPC employees. Some funds have already been disbursed to staff. Going forward, should anyone wish to contribute, please mail checks to:
North Riding Point Club
2541 N Pleasantburg Dr, Box 285, Greenville, SC 29609
UPDATE: Lodge Status
Abaco Club at Winding Bay – Closed indefinitely
Abaco Lodge – Completely destroyed
Delphi Club – Fine, but closed
Deep Water Cay Club – Catastrophic damage
East End Lodge – Completely destroyed
H20 Bonefishing & Pelican Bay Resort – We think H20 will be fine, but that’s still unconfirmed.
North Riding Point Club – We’re still waiting to hear back
UPDATE: East End Lodge
This past weekend we had the honor of making two chartered trips to take initial relief supplies for the people of East end Grand Bahama.
We could not have done so without the generous support of so many people. Thank you to all that have prayed, given, called and made what took place this weekend possible. This was truly a team effort.
Among the supplies were things such as propane stoves, generators, lanterns, batteries, power tools, canned foods and so much more. And of course hot sauce, who could forget hot sauce? (a creature comfort that would no doubt lift spirits) ;)
Supplies were separated into lots of 60. As a result, we were able to provide initial relief to 60 different families.
Most of these people have lost everything. The road ahead will no doubt be long, but together we will help them get through this difficult and trying time.
During this time, let’s continue to pray. Ask that God continue to display His hand through what we are doing and that His hand and presence be felt more so than ever before.
We have additional trips planned for this week. We will keep you guys posted.
UPDATE: Deep Water Cay Family
As best as we can determine all of the current DWC family is accounted for. This doesn't mean that some haven't lost family members.
Many of our staff have lost everything, not only in East End hometown communities of Mclean's Town and Sweetings Cay but in Freeport, as well. We can't imagine the struggle these folks are dealing with daily, having lost their homes, their communities, their place of work, and their entire way of life.
We have 50 Deep Water Cay staff members and have as of today raised a little over $60,000, for which we are very grateful. Our goal is to continue raising funds in order to evenly distribute the funds to our 50 staff members. They urgently need these funds in order to begin the challenge of rebuilding their lives.
Here in the south Florida community, there have been abundant supplies donated for immediate needs. The most urgent items are in place or on their way and we continue to determine needs and are scheduling flights.
We are truly grateful for the generous donations we have received to date.
We respectfully ask you to become an advocate, talk about and share this need and the GoFundMe page with your friends, family, and colleagues.
This is a long road, so please continue all your efforts in sharing our story, our goal for our staff, and the overwhelming challenges they now face.
With much appreciation and gratitude.
Paul and Joe
Bahamas Air - Public Notice - IMPORTANT NOTICE - ABACO - As the airports in Treasure Cay and Marsh Harbour have become functional, Bahamas Air has resumed flights to the region for evacuation purposes only.
These are courtesy services and is not an indication these airports are open to the public (fixed wing or rotary aircraft) for landing or fuel services. Please insure safe and effective airlift by complying with all restrictions or government/rescue operation requests.
UPDATE: We just contracted two charter flights to Freeport this weekend to deliver much needed food, cooking stoves, satellite phones and baby supplies to the East End of Grand Bahama. This was possibly only through your generosity and we’ll continue to provide updates as further relief efforts unfold.
UPDATE: Thank you everyone that donated to receive a limited edition @repyourwater and @yellowdogflyfishing bonefish hat. We’re excited to announce they’re all out the door and none are left. All contributions will be going directly to the guides and families that need it most.
Pictured to the left is the road to the east end of Grand Bahama.
As some may know, this is the only road in and out of east end. This breach has made it quite challenging to get to the east side of the island.
As of now, we simply have some aerial footage that has been shared with us. Everything we have seen can be summed up into “total and utter devastation”.
The good news is that all our staff has been accounted for and everyone is safe. But the people of east end need our help more than ever. Most are homeless and literally have nothing to go back to. If it wasn’t for the concrete slabs of some of their homes it would be hard to know there was ever a home where some used to be.
Thank you to everyone that has donated. It has been truly humbling to see your outpouring of love through your giving.
I can not stress enough though how much the people of east end Grand Bahama need our help.
The first set of care packages with immediate supplies are being prepared as we speak and they will be delivered this weekend.
Owner - East End Lodge
7:53 AM - Pictured left: What’s left of Abaco Lodge
From Deepwater Cay:
“Deep Water Cay has apparently sustained catastrophic damage. We are working with our DWC team members and homeowners to get a closer fly over and to soon land on our beloved Cay. More importantly, we are still attempting to reach all of our DWC staff. One thing we are sure of is that they and their families will need all the help possible to put their lives back together.”
News from Oliver White of Abaco Lodge:
“Abaco Lodge is gone. Total and complete devastation, and there is literally nothing left standing. On a positive note, we have now accounted for all of our staff, guides and employees, and so far, everyone is safe. News of other Abaco Lodges is that Delphi Club and Black Fly Lodge are intact. However, Abaco has announced that the international airport will be closed until at least December to all commercial flights. Expectations are for a mass, government-organized exodus of citizens from the island, as the infrastructure of the island is absolutely wrecked.”
From the Hope Town Sailing Club - 1 PM: From Hope Town Volunteer Fire Department...Quick update-relief efforts are being coordinated and the damage assessments using the video footage are being compiled. A satellite phone is now in the hands of HTVFR and communication has been accomplished.
From the US Embassy, Nassau: You can help relief efforts by only sharing verified information from trusted sources. Please share this widely.
U.S. Coast Guard continues search and rescue operations in the Northern Bahamas, now with support from Customs and Border Protection as well.
They have been welcomed by people in Abaco and Freeport who need help. There have been no reports of violence against USCG or CBP operations.
As of 8:00 pm on September 3, they had successfully airlifted 61 people from the Northern Bahamas to Nassau over two days, including three people from Freeport.
9:15 AM: From Paul Francis Aranha, who flew over the Abacos:
“After flying over Marsh Harbour Abaco and the surrounding areas today, I can safely say that we have never in our history experienced a disaster of this magnitude. The size and scale of this hurricane and the response required will be tremendous. I would like to caution aid groups and relief workers that running in this headfirst without proper planning and coordination you may add to the problem. The reality on the ground is not an instagrammable moment, but one that is riddled with risks and is still an active evacuation zone. There are still many ways to get involved and support our trained first responders and coordinate with them prior to any action, you do not want to become a victim while trying to help.”
All photos courteous of the U.S. Coast Guard
11:15PM: From the Hope Town Sailing Club via the Hope Town Volunteer Fire Department
Elbow Cay - 30% of structures demolished. 70% of structures severely damaged. Most docks destroyed and unusable. 99% of boats sunk.
Man O War Cay - All docks destroyed and every boat sunk. 90% of structures severely damaged. 10% of structures destroyed.
Dickies Cay - All docks destroyed. 50% of structures destroyed. 50% of structures damaged severely damage
We are closely examining the footage house by house and will release our assessments as soon as we have it compiled.