Updated Sep 13, 2019 10:03 AM EDT
Nassau, Bahamas — Another major storm could be headed to the Bahamas, as a new system takes shape over the southern parts of the island chain. By Saturday, it will pass Grand Bahama, which wasless than two weeks ago. And as residents , they told CBS News correspondent Errol Barnett that they’re angry with the Bahamian government for not providing more aid.
The frustration was palpable as many residents said that the only assistance they’ve gotten has come from foreigners — and that they’re still living without cell service, power, and running water. When asked what he’d gotten from the Bahamian government, resident Barry Cooper said “nothing at all!”
The Bahamian government said it’s coordinating relief efforts from Nassau. But since most of the field teams come from private foreign aid groups, that’s all the residents in hard-hit communities see.
Barnett spoke to Cooper while visiting two remote islands with a group of retired Navy SEALs based in South Florida, who were on a mercy mission to deliver food and supplies. The scene on the islands was familiar: The journey to remote areas was possible only with a combination of seaplanes and small boats.
“For me and the guys of my company, it’s basically just that continued want to give back, and just continue serving after service,” said Mike Oberhelman.
There’s no landing area on one remote island, Sweetings Cay, so the boat touched down on the open ocean and transferred to a smaller vessel which brought relief supplies ashore. The boat’s arrival set off an urgent scramble by the residents of this small fishing community, once home to around 100 people. Now, only 26 remain.
Nolan Cooper is one of those people. Aid only started reaching his community about four days ago, more than a week after the Category 5 monster stalled directly on top of it for almost 30 straight hours.
“Are you still surprised at how powerful this was?” Barnett asked.
“More than surprised,” Cooper said. “They say it was a Category 5, I say it was a Cat 6!”
The retired U.S. service members plan to keep flying these missions for the foreseeable future — and with another storm on the way, they’re racing the weather to get shelter to those most in need.
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