Bahamas Native Reflects on Storm Devastation
ITHACA, N.Y.(WENY)-- In the weeks since Hurricane Dorian devastated parts of the Bahamas, the people living there are still beginning the cleanup and recovery process. Dorian hit the Bahamas harder then any other storm ever has, making landfall as a Category 5 storm. WENY news reached out to a Bahamas native, who is currently studying at Ithaca College.
Derhon Smith was already moved into IC when Dorian hit the Bahamas, but he had to watch from his television as devastation hit his home.
"When I saw the devastation, it really hit me, the feeling of helplessness I had being so far away. I wish I could be there with my people because of the destruction and I think about all of the different implications that they had and it really made me sad." says Derhon Smith, Ithaca College Student and Bahamas Native.
When a hurricane rips through an entire island nation, the recovery process is much more than just fixing houses and cleaning up debris. Derhon told WENY News that people lose important documentation such as high school diplomas, passports, and other documents which many do not realize are of importance until they are gone.
"So there's a process of finding your property, there's a process of itemizing everything, taking damage control making sure you have all of your documents making sure all of our processions are where you can get them. But in this instance, that's quite hard to do. So many people just had to secure their lives," says Smith.
Even once the storm is over and everyone is able to collect themselves, the process of getting back to normal can take over three years time.
"You see the landscape itself takes about two to three years to recover to look normal again, and people and their homes, depending on their financial situation and what their job is, it can take anywhere from three weeks to get back to normalcy to never," says Smith.
Dehron proceeded to tell WENY that these numbers do not even factor in the possibility of another hurricane hitting because if one does, it sets those families back even further.
The Bahamas are asking for as much help as they can get right now through different money raising organizations, collections and even asking people to make a simple change to their lifestyles to drastically impact those who live in flood and hurricane prone areas.
"There's a variety of ways you can donate, but even if you don't donate a dollar, even if you don't lift a hand to help, there's always a change in mindset and being more sustainable practices," says Smith.
If you would like to make a donation or learn about how you can help, you can click here.