I am posting 2 articles regarding the situation in the Bahamas. One from SOUNDINGS and one from a person who works for the Red Cross. The info below these articles has been passed to me from Charles Starke and Milt Baker. There is much information regarding damage and the general situation there, however, I have no way of verifying any of the information. Help is surely very much in need, however, I suggest you use your own descretion as to how you provide your help.
Joe Taliaferro Florida Station R/C
USCG to Boaters:
Wait Now, Help the Bahamas Later
By Soundings Editors
Sep 3, 2019
The U.S. Coast Guard is urging boaters who want to help with Bahamas recovery efforts from Hurricane Dorian to keep their boats—and themselves—safe at home until conditions improve, both in the islands and along the U.S. East Coast.
“Right now, for the next week, it’s imperative that boaters stay off the water and pay very close attention to messages being put out by their local Coast Guard sectors,” Ryan Doss, senior chief for the Coast Guard’s Atlantic area, told Soundings by phone on Tuesday. “One of the things that we see after storms are numerous sunken vessels and hazards to navigation. Until teams can get out to assess the waterways, we don't know if it’s safe for boaters to go out. That process can take a few days to a few weeks.”
While Dorian is no longer expected to make a major landfall on the U.S. East Coast, numerous ports have issued notices to mariners that conditions will remain dangerous as the storm churns just offshore and moves north.
As of 8 a.m. Monday, the Port of Jacksonville was closed to all commercial traffic with pleasure vessels advised to seek safe harbor. As of late Monday and early Tuesday, the Ports of Virginia, as well as Wilmington and Morehead City in North Carolina, were advising pleasure vessels to seek safe harbor before Dorian arrives; and the Port of Charleston in South Carolina was urging owners of trailered boats to pull them out of the water ahead of the storm. Florida’s Port of Miami was closed to all vessels until further notice.
And while U.S. ports were making preparations for the storm, conditions in the Bahamas remained treacherous as of Tuesday morning, with Dorian virtually stalled over the islands. The National Hurricane Center continued to report “dangerous winds and life-threatening storm surge” on Grand Bahama Island in particular. While the U.S. Coast Guard’s MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews were able to perform 19 medical evacuations from Marsh Harbour, both the U.S. and British governments were still trying to get a sizable number of assets to the Abacos for reconnaissance as well as search and rescue. Early reports via social media indicated that the Abacos had already sustained catastrophic damage, with Dorian continuing to pound the islands.
The hurricane center expected Dorian—with maximum sustained winds near 110 mph as of 11 a.m. Tuesday—to stay over Grand Bahama Island through Tuesday night. The storm, moving at just 2 mph, was then forecasted to “move dangerously close to the Florida east coast” late Tuesday through Wednesday evening. Dorian was expected to be along the Georgia and South Carolina coasts Wednesday night into Thursday, and over North Carolina’s coast by late Thursday.
How To Help the Bahamas...And How Not To
A Message From a Trawler Cruiser, Who Also Works for the Red Cross
Sean Welsh and his wife cruise the East Coast on a trawler named Vector. They are Red Cross volunteers who have been deployed to assist in relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. He made this plea after reports of people from the U.S. trying to take their boats to the Abacos and Grand Bahama to help the recovery.
By Sean Welsh
The storm is moving on, and the reports are coming in: Widespread destruction. Critical shortages. Inoperative infrastructure. Injury and even deaths. And we all want, desperately, to help, in any way we can.
I am a disaster relief worker. I have hundreds of hours of training, and thousands of hours on the ground. I have been deployed to dozens of disaster relief operations, including multiple Category 5 hurricanes. And I can tell you from experience: If you truly want to help the Bahamians, do NOT go to the Bahamas to help, and do NOT send unsolicited goods to the Bahamas. We in the disaster relief community call this “The Second Disaster” (Google it).
Able-bodied workers with no special training or experience are not needed in a place where the entire population is now out of work, with nothing ahead of them except recovery. And goods and materials sent without a plan to offload them, warehouse them, guard them, care for them, transport them, distribute them, and ultimately dispose of them not only will not be effective, but they will, in fact, divert critically needed attention and manpower from more urgent or effective tasks. I’ve seen it firsthand: piles of donated goods rotting in the weather.
The infrastructure does not exist to support your presence in the affected area. Even if you believe you are 100% self-sufficient, the background support network that all of us take for granted does not exist: if you so much as puncture yourself with a rusty nail you will become a burden on an already overtaxed system. Well-organized relief agencies understand this problem extremely well, and it is why you do not see even trained relief workers flooding into a disaster area the second the storm moves out, whereas genuine first responders, such as the military or Search & Rescue task forces, bring their own ability for self-rescue.
If you truly want to help the Bahamian people, send money. There are a number of vetted relief organizations already on the ground or en route to the Bahamas for relief and recovery (see links below). Dollars spent by those organizations are always more effective than dollars spent by individuals outside of the disaster area on things that are sent in.
If you must send materials (say, because you own a lumberyard or a generator dealership or a bottling company), partner with one of the existing agencies that is collecting them, and only provide what they have asked for (see links). They are building the logistical pipeline to get those materials to where they are needed. I know you read someplace that they need generators, and you have that Honda you haven’t used in two years, but it will be more effective for you to sell it on eBay and donate the proceeds than it will for you to try to send it to the Abacos. Really.
A special note for my fellow captains, credentialed or not: Yes, boats and captains will be needed to provide relief and recovery in the Bahamas. But here again, unless you are partnered with an established relief agency who has explicitly asked you to bring your boat, do not go to the affected area. The Association of Bahamas Marinas has issued a statement imploring private boaters NOT to come. There are no docks or other facilities, the waters are choked with debris, bathymetry has changed, and uncharted hazards abound.
The Bahamas needs your help. Please respect their wishes and help in the ways they’ve requested.
Relief organizations, identified as legitimate, by the Association of Bahamas Marinas:
Many of you have been asking where you can donate. These are legit relief campaigns and websites that take donations. We thank you for all your love and support!!!
Bahamas Red Cross:
Matt Winslow GoFundMe, who will match donations
Patrick Davis Songwriters in Paradise GoFundMe
HTVR PayPal: HTfirerescue@gmail.com
*When U.S. citizens are donating to HTVFR please remember that you can make your contribution of $250 or more tax deductible through PERC. https://www.percabaco.org/
Mark and Patti Gonsalves – Proud Owners of Cruise Abaco
Subject: Re: Man-O-War
Below is an update from the island. We do not know anything of Head of the Harbor, but are assuming there is very little left. It sounds like rendering help directly on the island will be very difficult in the short term other than monetary. I will write again once we have heard about HOH.
AS POSTED ON THE MAN O WAR BULLETIN FACEBOOK PAGE BY LONA HARRIS:
Dear MOW Homeowners:
Sorry for the delayed response, so many caring people are wanting to help. Just been trying hard to formulate a plan to get the most immediate help and long term relief and support to our island.
There are two satellite phones on the island. Angel Cruz has Joe Cammarata’s, Neil Weatherford has mine. Connection is spotty at best, it has been difficult. Most roofs are gone and there are no boats of any use. People are homeless. Here is what we know so far: Everybody has been accounted for and is unharmed. About 80% of the homes on the island have been severely damaged and without roofs, Dickie’s Cay has been hit very hard as well. Both G&L and Albury Ferries have lost all of their boats, in fact there was not a single boat left floating in both Man O War harbours.
Orchestrated efforts have two helicopters flying to MOW Thursday or Friday, depending on weather. On board are immediate relief supplies requested by Angel and Neil Weatherford. We have confirmed that the ball field is cleared for their arrival. A barge of necessary, immediate supplies is leaving FLL Saturday and will arrive in Bakers Bay Monday. The supplies will be guarded and kept safe for disbursement. Some of those supplies are for MOW. There will be a barge going every day to Bakers Bay for a while.
Once the helicopters land on MOW, an assessment will be made of supplies needed for the island. All future barge shipments will have a specific manifesto for MOW as some of the supplies are for other islands in the Abacos.
I just got off the phone with Robert Roberts from Spanish Wells. Thank you Lord, they are sending a fishing boat flotilla of 36 foot Pangas to MOW to assist in moving the barge contents from Bakers Bay to MOW. And bringing their own fuel. They also have a barge of relief supplies of their own leaving Spanish Wells to MOW. If weather permits, their fishing boats should arrive before the barge arrives in Bakers Bay.
I have requested JoAnne Elzner, Seaglass MOW work on a trust account for MOW. She spoke with her attorney today and I don’t have the details yet. Anyone willing to make donations can be assured the money will go to MOW and be managed properly. In the meantime, if you would like to make a donation please do so through Pastor Randy’s organization, Island Outreach https://www.islandoutreach.com/ Pastor Randy Crowe hopes to fly into MH Friday or Saturday and have service on Sunday. He too will be brining immediate supplies, will access the damage and work with Missionary Flights International to get more supplies to MOW.
I will work on Home Depot, Lowe’s and Target tomorrow for a registry for the benefit of MOW Cay. That way, we can have a list for items needed for the island. Anyone wanting to help can go online, see what is needed, click and pay, and the store with deliver to the Port for barge transport. Pray God we can make it that easy. That is the plan. Some of the things needed are:
I have many requests from people wanting to bring over their personal boats loaded with supplies. The hurricane is a real weather factor, there is an enormous amount of debris in the water, it is incredibly hazardous to navigate the waters. There are no docks to tie up to, no electric to plug into, no sleeping quarters, very little water, and no food. There is no fuel to fill up your boat to go back home. Please be aware that you might be a hindrance rather than a help.
Please, please........let’s all try to coordinate together and meet the needs of our sweet little island. I have been inundated with emails and requests......I am doing my best to address those but organizing the initial relief effort has been paramount to me. Everyone has been so kind, incredibly helpful. I am sure I left something out, I will address it as I remember it or as it comes up. Some things may change as we progress, but so far.....this is the plan.
I will pass on to you that the islanders who went through the storm are shattered, they are broken, exhausted and scared. It brought tears to my eyes to hear the relief in their voices to know that help is on the way.
Please forward this to any and all concerned.
Excuse any typos....am a bit brain dead..
On Mon, Sep 2, 2019 at 6:47 AM Bjorn Lee <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I am sure everyone is aware of Dorian hitting Man-O-War directly with devastating force. At this time we know that everyone on MOW is ok and are starting to get reports from the island. The most recent is posted below - unconfirmed, but its what we have. I will update you as I know more about the island, Head of the Harbor, and what can be done to help.
Tim Lee has begun a GoFundME campaign to begin helping. The link is:
thank you, Bjorn
From Neil Bradley Albury - last night. Earlier last night he did say no one has been able to get out to check out anything outside of town because of so much debris.
Good night All,
I’m hesitant to post this as I’m not sure if it’s validity - but ‘I’ll sell it to you for what I bought it for” - as we say....
-Abaco Inn- two villas G and H gone, The Inn pretty destroyed
-Hope Town Lodge- collapsed
-High Hopes in Buttonwood- destroyed
-White Sound Dune- gone
⁃ Tahiti High gone or damaged
⁃ Dan Hill house by Abaco Inn - lost roof
⁃ Sammy Lou House- roof damaged
⁃ Marines Landing Home- severally damaged
⁃ Firefly (many people hunkered down)
⁃ Tip of Tahiti house gone
⁃ Marnies Cove- houses severe damage
⁃ Coffee House (Possibly destroyed)
⁃ Elbow Cay Properties- possibly destroyed
⁃ cracker P - direct hit
⁃ Club Lubb - smashed
⁃ Rogers House Damaged
⁃ The Beach Club (many houses structurally damaged)
Marsh Harbor- under water in many parts
Bahama Palm Shores - most okay. Didn’t get huge surge like others.
Coconut Grove- heavy damage
⁃ big purple house at end by leewood - two men stranded and surrounded by water.
⁃ Brigantine- homes on canal (many gone)
⁃ Sawson House
⁃ Long Bay Homes- gone
⁃ Mega damage, but many okay. Need water, tarps, chainsaws etc. too damaged to go out and assess. 5 foot surge
⁃ Entire beach dune area leveled