Raleigh man from Bahamas raising funds for those struggling after Dorian’s destruction

National News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The Bahamas is in serious need of supplies and donations as they suffer a humanitarian crisis.

It’s been almost a week since Hurricane Dorian made landfall there and caused catastrophic damage while staying over the islands for more than 24 hours.

One Bahamas-native who now lives in Raleigh is trying to rally up support for his home country.

“At some point, I was like ‘man, I think I’m going to lose a lot of family members’,” said Joseph Styles.

For three days, Styles watched Hurricane Dorian terrorize the islands where he grew up.

All he could do was pray his family and friends in the Bahamas were safe, as he desperately tried to reach them.

“I’m a person of faith and I know the whole Bahamas is as well, but sometimes it shook you as someone of faith,” he said.

Tracking the news coverage, he barely recognized his hometown of Freeport.

“It looks like someone just took a missile and dropped it and it just exploded,” Styles said.

The hurricane raged like none of the other ones he’s experienced there.

“It just destroyed and annihilated everything in its pathway,” Styles said.

Finally, his brother called him.

“He’s like, ‘I’ve never seen nothing like it’ and I’m like, ‘how’s everybody doing?’ He said, ‘we survived but at some point in the night I thought we were gone’.”

The relief knowing his family was safe was followed by the sadness others weren’t.

“One thing I’ve seen in some of the pictures my friends sent me is the floating of dead bodies — I think that’s a grim picture nobody wants to see,” Styles said.

CBS 17 was with Styles when he called one of his friends on Grand Bahama.

She told us her family climbed into the attic when the water started rising in their home. They had to bust through the roof and climb on top.

Otherwise, they would’ve drowned.

Soaked and in complete darkness, they clung together outside for more than 24 hours.

“We were just praying, just singing, just worshiping God, and just watching everything around us going on,” said Andrenique Smith over the phone.

She’s now staying with seven other people and two dogs in a one-bedroom apartment.

Like many, relying on their faith and resilience to get them through.

“We know when stuff happens we come together,” said Styles. “We got to work harder. It tests us. It tests the fiber of the country. It tests us in so many different ways.”

Joseph started a GoFundMe to help bring them supplies.

He also plans to visit as soon as he can to help with rebuilding efforts.

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