MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While help and supplies are pouring in, many in the hardest-hit parts of the Bahamas are just trying to get out.
“The scent from the bodies, you can smell it down the street,” Phillip Curry said. When asked what he needs the most right now, he said “To evacuate.”
Curry and his family waited at the airport in Marsh Harbor this weekend hoping to get on a flight to Nassau.
Rudy Smith and his loved ones are there, too.
Hurricane Dorian destroyed their home.
“Where we was, two of the roofs came off,” Smith said. “We went to the bottom floor. Terrible man. Very Terrible.”
“There are people out here scavenging for fuel. Scavenging for water, gas to operate,” Ruben Telcy said. “You know, the basic necessities that society runs off.”
Volunteers in South Florida filled planes at the Tamiami Airport with essentials like food, water, and diapers bound for the Bahamas.
Raquel Case of Rick Case Automotive Group is steering the CFH Group’s humanitarian aid program.
“As we land and as we arrive people are just thankful,” said volunteer Kim Wood. “There’s so much despair. Parents are tired. Kids are exhausted. It’s hot. It was 105 degrees yesterday. This has really been a major mission.”
Boxes of post-mortem kits filled with body bags are a grim, yet very real necessity right now.
“The water came up to where we were at 5 feet. We went in the attic and spent half of the storm in the attic,” Keith Stratton explained.
Stratton says his family went to a neighbor’s house in the middle of the storm, but that home’s roof was torn off leaving them exposed to the elements.
“We got mattresses and put them over the children and stood around and tried to keep the mattresses down. This was about 2 hours,” Stratton added. “Then we went into the garage area where there was a little bit of roof and survived the rest of the storm.”
Stratton has a U.S. passport and was able to get on the plane back to the states.
Others are just waiting for their chance to leave.
“It’s been horrible. Wire all about the place. Houses down. No one has places to stay. Like that. We’ve never seen nothing like this before,” one woman hoping to get to Nassau said.
“Everything’s been destroyed,” said Don Steiner, the Chaplain with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. “There’s really not any houses left that are inhabitable. The people are leaving. Many people that are missing or dead. The situation is really desperate.”
CFH Group Humanitarian Relief actually formed in response to Hurricane Maria.
Now, it’s already delivered well over 10,000 pounds of supplies directly to Abaco, Marsh Harbor and Freeport, Bahamas.