COLUMBUS (WCMH) — More than six weeks after hurricane Dorian slammed into the Bahamas, the island nation’s recovery is still just beginning. Right now, the area is getting a little Central Ohio help, one house at a time.
Volunteers come weekly to help in any way they can, including from Columbus.
“We are just trying to get things cleaned up, houses tarped,” Sean Pierson, a Columbus resident said. “We just wanted to give back.”
He is one of seven volunteers in the Bahamas for a week with a program through his employer Coca-Cola Consolidated.
“In terms of running water and electricity there is nothing on the island, it’s all running off generators,” Pierson said.
Coca-Coca Consolidated partnered with Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian relief group, to make the trip possible.
Pierson’s group works on clearing debris and fixing homes that they can. “We are doing some long hours of hard work to get these people into situations where they can live,” Pierson said.
The category five hurricane did about $7 billion in property damage and killed dozens of people when it hit the Bahamas on the first week of September.
Today much of the area is still in ruins.
Commerce is non-existent and the storm wiped out most boats, leaving those who have not been displaced, without a way to get around.
“It’s a hard life right now when you don’t have much to do other than just clean up your house and put your life back together,” Pierson said of residents of the Bahamas.
The people though remain in good spirits, according to Pierson, and volunteers like him hope to make a difference.
“It is rough down here, but I am glad I was here, to help out as much as I could,” He added.
Pierson will spend a week volunteering on the island nation. Volunteer organizations like the Red Cross are still helping the area recover, last month the Red Cross committed $4.5 million to support those affected.
But returning the island to the glorious paradise it once was, will take time, effort and help, “If you have the resources, the opportunity, I definitely encourage you to reach out and donate to these people down here,” Pierson said.
You can donate to the victims of Dorian through the Red Cross here: Hurricane Dorian Relief and Recovery
To learn more about Samaritan’s Purse’s work in the Bahamas: