Bahamas relief

AL DIAZ / MIAMI HERALD

National Democrats are using the White House’s decision not to grant Temporary Protected Status for the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian as a political argument against the Trump administration’s immigration policies.

Five presidential candidates signed onto a bill introduced by Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez on Thursday, a day after media reports emerged that the White House wasn’t considering TPS for the Bahamas. They argued that the U.S. has a moral responsibility to accept hurricane victims.

Former classmates and colleagues are remembering one of the many victims of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. Philip "P.J." Thomas was a captain and harbor pilot who along with his three children died when the storm roared through Grand Bahama island on Sept. 1.

While the official death toll in the Bahamas from Dorian stands at 50, officials say some 2,500 are missing.

Tim Maddock / Courtesy

A group of South Florida fishermen set sail on their boat on the first Friday after Hurricane Dorian made a direct hit on the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama as a Category 5 storm.

"As soon as the smoke cleared we were out of here," said Tim Maddock, one of the fishermen.

The slow-moving hurricane made landfall more than a week ago and it was the most powerful storm on record to strike the Bahamas. The storm left many with nothing.

Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET

The Bahamas' government is sharing a wish list of materials to help the country provide food and shelter for residents who are still reeling from Hurricane Dorian. Officials say they need lots of help and supplies — but they also want targeted donations.

"Officials here for instance don't want to be inundated with cans of green beans when what they really need is telephone poles," NPR's Jason Beaubien reports from the capital city, Nassau.

They're facing a relief and reconstruction job that's likely to go on for years.

Madeline Fox / WLRN

Palm Beach County has found temporary homes for the last of the Bahamians who arrived at the Port of Palm Beach on Saturday.

Most of the 1,100 residents of the Bahamas who landed in Riviera Beach on Saturday morning went to stay with friends or family — some in South Florida, others a longer drive or plane ride away. 

Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel

Gov. Ron DeSantis says he welcomes Bahamians to Florida, as long as they have passports, visas and a place to stay.

There are no shelters open in the state for those displaced by Hurricane Dorian, and the migration of Bahamians should be a federal concern — not Florida’s, the governor said.

For those who are flying from the Bahamas to Florida and have family or friends to stay with, “that’s no harm for us,” DeSantis said Tuesday.

Lynne Sladky / AP

Floridians prepared for the worst as they monitored Category 5 Hurricane Dorian parked over the Bahamas around Labor Day. The islands suffered from 185 mph winds and more than 20 feet of storm surges in some areas — leaving hundreds of thousands Bahamians in devastation.

“This could’ve been us,” said Jared Moskowitz, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, in a Tuesday news conference, alongside Gov. Ron DeSantis. “Unfortunately that miracle for us came at the expense of our Bahamian brothers and sisters.”

Joe Cavaretta / South Florida Sun Sentinel

President Donald Trump dismissed bipartisan calls from Florida lawmakers to ease entry requirements for people fleeing Hurricane Dorian’s devastation in the Bahamas, saying “totally proper documentation" is needed to ensure “very bad people” don’t exploit the disaster.

AL DIAZ / MIAMI HERALD

As the humanitarian crisis deepens in the Bahamas, the head of neighboring Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis, is taking a hands-off approach, telling reporters Monday that it is not the state’s responsibility to assist in the recovery efforts.

“This is a relationship with a foreign country. The federal government is doing it,’’ DeSantis said after an appearance at Florida State University. He said that after an aerial tour of the Bahamas on Friday, he concluded that the U.S. Coast Guard is “doing a great job.”

Conditions are growing increasingly dire in the Bahamas almost a week after Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the Caribbean nation.

Food, water and other supplies are rapidly running out, and residents are waiting desperately to evacuate the devastated Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama. Officials announced late Friday that the death toll had risen to 43, with 35 dead in Abaco and eight in Grand Bahama.

President Trump has promised to help the Bahamas recover from Hurricane Dorian, the devastating storm that has decimated parts of the island nation.

The United States is not only concerned about the Bahamian people, but also the national security implications if China steps in to help fill the country's vast needs, according to current and former U.S. officials.

Parts of the Bahamas are only about 50 miles off the coast of Florida, raising concerns about the potential for such a powerful economic and political adversary to gain a greater foothold in such proximity.

AP / AP PHOTO

Hurricane Dorian, the strongest recorded hurricane to ever hit the Bahamas, has left tens of thousands of people on the islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco without food, roofs, transportation and communication. But many of the other islands in the archipelago were spared and remain welcome to tourists.

Joy Jibrilu, the director General of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation, says people can help with Dorian relief efforts by continuing to vacation in those parts of the Bahamas.

In the wake of disasters such as Hurricane Dorian, it is common for new charities aimed at disaster relief to crop up. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody advises donors to be mindful while giving to unfamiliar disaster relief charities.

Miami Herald

Aerial footage is beginning to reveal the extensive devastation in the Bahamas due to Hurricane Dorian, one of the most powerful storms to hit the Atlantic in recorded history. Large parts of the island are underwater  and many relief organizations are on standby ready to send supplies to aid recovery efforts.

Hurricane Dorian battered the Bahamas with high winds and rain for more than two days, and officials in the Bahamas say at least seven people died in the storm, including children. That toll is feared to rise as recovery efforts get underway.

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