By Peter D'Oench

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Around South Florida, anxious relatives tell CBS4 News they are frustrated and fearful after being unable to reach loved ones in the Bahamas after the devastation from Hurricane Dorian.

A Broward woman hopes a special Facebook page that she had created before the storm will help people connect with each other.

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Relatives say they are horrified after seeing the images of devastation and flooding and were particularly sickened after seeing one photo of a shark swimming inside one victim’s home in the Bahamas.

“I can’t reach anyone,” Isabela Rivers told CBS4’S Peter D’Oench as she sat inside the Bahamian Pot Restaurant at NW 6th Ave. and 63rd St. in Miami. “I have not been able to reach my close friends in the Bahamas. I’m looking at the news and I see so much water and I hope God has spared their lives. I am here at this restaurant to see if I can help provide food and shelter for anyone who needs it.”

At the restaurant, Jay Money and Deborah Ellis-Rolle both said they were unable to reach any of their many relatives.

“My worry is that they really need help. There is so much water and I hope they are doing OK. It touches my heart to see that video. I am so worried about so many families. There is so much water in so many homes,” Money said.

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It’s a challenge reaching relatives with so much electricity and cell phone service being knocked out.

“I have extended family members in Freeport and I can’t reach them. My biggest worries are the water and for people not being able to get in to their homes. I pray to God they are safe. There is nothing you can do but pray and hope that a miracle happens,” said Ellis-Rolle.

Sydney Dobson says he has not been able to reach his cousins, aunts and uncles on Abaco Island, which took the full brunt of Dorian.

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“I am so worried because of the lack of power and the flooding,” he said. “That storm was so bad and it was sitting there for so long.”

Also at the restaurant, Patricia Smith said she was terribly worried about her son.

“He is in Nassau and I can’t reach him,” she said. “This is the worst I have ever seen it.”
“I left Freeport when I was just 9 months old but I feel terrible for the people there. Their safety is my concern. And we need more people helping out. I have seen the video. I even saw one picture showing a shark in someone’s home. It is a long storm and it is not OK,” said restaurant employee Nelli Missick.

In Fort Lauderdale, Gladys Joseph says she hopes a Facebook page that she had created before the storm will help connect people looking for loved ones.

That Facebook page is called Abacoanians Reunite. Joseph said a thousand people are connected to it.

“Yesterday I heard from some people about Marsh Harbour,” she said.

Joseph is trying to reach two brothers and one of them was in Marsh Harbour, which was leveled by the storm.

“My concern is that he is safe,” she said. “The last time I spoke with him I tried to convince him to go up to a hill.”

Denise Deius hopes the Facebook page will help. Her father was also in Marsh Harbour.

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“I haven’t spoken to my dad since Friday,” she said. “I tried to cell him but I couldn’t get in touch with him. I am just worried about a lot of friends and family members and I hope they are OK.”

Peter D'Oench