Hurricane Dorian updates: Field hospital opens, relief distributions begin in the Bahamas

September 11, 2019 • North America
Featured Video Play Icon

Samaritan's Purse is mounting a significant response in the Bahamas.

Hurricane Relief

Please see a new story on relief sent to the Abacos and another new article on our Emergency Field Hospital in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

Please continue regularly visiting for future articles on our Hurricane Dorian response. Our Dorian landing page is also a great resource featuring a video and pictures.

The article below will no longer be updated after Sept. 11.

Update (2:12 p.m. MT, Sept. 11):

Our Emergency Field Hospital in Freeport is up and running. We received more than 90 patients on our first full day of operation (Sept. 10). Distributions of emergency items (shelter plastic, water filters, and more) continue in the Abacos. Our DC-8 aircraft is making daily flights to and from the Bahamas the rest of this week to deliver personnel and relief supplies.

Samaritan’s Purse is using airplanes, helicopters, barges, and other modes of transportation to quickly move relief where it’s needed most.

Samaritan’s Purse made its first airlift of the Emergency Field Hospital to the Bahamas on Sept. 5, at the request of the World Health Organization and the government of the Bahamas. A second DC-8 airlift of hospital components (our third total relief flight) was sent on Sept. 6.

Our Emergency Field Hospital in Freeport is up and running. We received our first patient on Sept. 10.

A large team of medical specialists, including doctors and nurses, and other experts were on the Sept. 5-6 flights to help set up the mobile hospital.

The 40-bed facility will have an outpatient department and emergency room, equipped to serve up to 100 patients a day. There will be an operating room—with capacity for 10 surgeries per day—and an obstetrics ward with delivery room.

On Sept. 4, we sent more than 30 tons of emergency relief to the Bahamas aboard our DC-8 aircraft. More than a dozen disaster response team specialists were also onboard.

Church Resources

In total, Samaritan’s Purse now has nearly 100 staff members on the ground in the Bahamas, including seven members from the Canadian Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART).

The first plane load left Greensboro, North Carolina, around 9 a.m. on Sept. 4 and arrived in Nassau where it was unloaded. Onboard were emergency shelter materials, household water filters, and two community filtration units that turn saltwater into drinking water. Reports say 70,000 people are homeless following the storm.

Samaritan’s Purse is also using a small plane and helicopter to support our work and allow team members to access hard-to-reach areas.

“Families in the Bahamas are suffering and millions of others are bracing for Dorian’s impact as the storm continues to move,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “Please join me in praying for everyone affected by this hurricane, and for our teams as we respond in Jesus’ Name.”

Hurricane Dorian made multiple landfalls across the Bahamas on Sept. 1 packing sustained 300 kph winds, with gusts up to 360 kph. The then-Category 5 storm stalled over the archipelago for almost two days, devastating the Abaco Islands (Elbow Cay and Marsh Harbour) and Grand Bahama. Reports indicate that around half or more of all homes were damaged or destroyed in some areas.

Emergency rescues continue across the islands. The death toll has climbed to 50 and will likely continue to rise. Hundreds are missing.

“We are in the midst of one of the greatest national crises in our country’s history,” said Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis.

“We are in the midst of one of the greatest national crises in our country’s history.”—Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis

Before it turned to the U.S. coastline, Dorian crawled through the Bahamas as perhaps the fiercest storm to ever hit the islands. This is the fourth consecutive year that a Category 5 hurricane has formed in the Atlantic—a record without precedent.

Please pray for residents of the Bahamas as they begin a long recovery after this terrible storm.

Staff used a Samaritan’s Purse helicopter to deliver relief on Sept. 8.

Responding in Atlantic Canada

Hurricane Dorian passed over the province of Nova Scotia on Sept. 8 leaving significant wind and storm surge damage in its wake. Across the province and region communities experienced power outages, downed trees down and localized flooding.

With your support, Samaritan’s Purse Canada is sending disaster relief equipment, including Disaster Relief Units to Atlantic Canada to help people whose homes are destroyed by the storm.

Previous Samaritan’s Purse Canada Work In Region

Last October, Samaritan’s Purse Canada sent a Disaster Relief Unit (DRU) to assist Florida families in Wewahitchka just days after Hurricane Michael hit. Our DRU was stocked with disaster recovery equipment including generators, pumps, hand tools, and safety gear that was used by 1,428 volunteers to assist 946 families.

In 2017, Samaritan’s Purse Canada sent an 18-member DART to assist victims after Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.

Pray for people in Atlantic Canada who experienced power outages, downed trees and localized flooding from Hurricane Dorian.

Note: This article was originally published on Aug. 30 and has been revised and updated on Aug. 31-Sept. 11.

Hurricane Dorian Media Resources

Church Resources

PowerPoint Slides

PowerPoint slide 4×3 Click to download

PowerPoint slide 16×9 Click to download

Bulletin Inserts

Bulletin Insert Click to download