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Hurricane Dorian recovery underway, top Bahamian official talks with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS

Updated: September 10, 2019 06:34 PM

The beat of the Bahamas goes on in the capital city of Nassau, left virtually untouched by Hurricane Dorian. 

Tourists arrive, thousands at a time on cruise ships, and flock to the shops on busy Bay Street. And it's all in stark contrast to the devastation of Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands to the north. 

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"We really took a blow," said Peter, a native from the area.

Peter said he has lost contact with relatives on the storm-ravaged islands and is left wondering if they're dead or alive.

"We need all the help we can get," he added.

Ellison 'Tommy' Thompson is deputy director general of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. He says recovery efforts are underway, relief supplies are arriving and they're slowly transporting people from the devastated areas to shelters in the capital city and elsewhere.

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There are thousands of people with nowhere to go, so many they are placing evacuees wherever they can. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS learned officials have designated Ebenrzer Medodist Church in Nassau a shelter for hurricane evacuees. 

"There's really nowhere for them to stay. You have to evacuate them into Nassau and then into some of the other outer islands of the Bahamas," Thompson said. 

The recovery of bodies is a slow and tedious process and some say the true death toll may never be known because some bodies may have washed out to sea in floodwaters. Early estimates project the storm caused between $15 to $25 billion in damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure and it will take years to rebuild. 

Tourism accounts for about half of all of the economic activity in the Bahamas. Despite the unimaginable suffering the country is going through, Thompson says one of the best things people around the world can do to help is continue to visit. 

"One good thing: Bahamians are resilient so we want to make sure we build things up again as strong as possible even stronger than before," Thompson said. 

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Credits

Matt Belanger

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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