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Forsyth local already helping in the Bahamas
Bahamas home damage
Courtesy Paige Colwell Building after building in the Bahamas now has stacks of debris piled outside as residents try to determine if anything, even the structures, can be saved

A Forsyth County Battalion Chief is already on the ground in the Bahamas, helping with relief efforts.

Paige Colwell, an avid diver, travelled to the Bahamas on her own time to assist in the rescue efforts underway.  Colwell, who has been regularly posting requests for help and updates to her Facebook account, says the damage in some areas is devastating, but the people are working together. “There is no violence here on this particular island. People stand in line and wait for water, wait to be evacuated and exchange stories and smile. This while standing in the heat the entire day .”

 Colwell says that appearances in the area are deceiving because some structures that are still standing were roof deep in salt water for days, likely ruining everything inside, including the plumbing and wiring. 

Bahamas Hurricane Damage

Video Courtesy Cristina Zenato/Paige Colwell. Driving through neighborhoods in the Bahamas shows block after block of ruined homes. While the structures are still standing, days of being under saltwater has ruined everything inside, including the plumbing and electrical.

Colwell is also working with a private pilots organization called AeroBridge that is bringing in supplies to a private airstrip that has opened.  You can find out how to assist them at www.aerobridge.org . She also urges everyone to get involved with the humane society, which is currently working to bring abandoned animals back to the U.S.

Cristina Zenato, a cave diver and shark expert who lives in the Bahamas, is also posting about the situation, saying the damage to the businesses is hitting especially hard, “Most of the industrial area was flooded so key business selling goods to repair and rebuild are closed and damaged making it hard to find anything.”

Zenato echoed Colwell’s comments about how the people are banding together after the disaster, saying, “It was hot, it was sticky, it was busy everything was late and yet people hugged and smiled with each other, asked about each other, and chatted while patiently waiting. Same as we drove from one location to another while witnessing destruction we also only witnessed calm and gratefulness for any help provided.”

As with any other disaster, one thing people can always do is help financially. A verified GoFundMe campaign has been set up to be used to provide direct disaster relief on the island through Zenato.

This story will be updated.