Bahamian hurricane survivors flee to Palm Beach County


photo by Ava Farid

Jupiter High students collect supplies in order to help Dorian survivors.

Survivors of Hurricane Dorian fled the storm-ravaged islands of the Bahamas to seek safety in Jupiter, Fla.

Hurricane Dorian hovered over the Bahamas for two days, Sept. 2 and 3, with 185-mile sustained winds, leaving almost total devastation and more than 70,000 Bahamians homeless.

Dorian victims left what was left of their homes after the storm, arriving in Palm Beach County, Fla., the first week of Sept. as allowed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. On Sept. 7, thousands of Bahamians arrived aboard the Grand Celebration cruise ship that made a special humanitarian voyage. The survivors were taken to a shelter managed by the Red Cross and the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Harbourside Place in Jupiter.

Jupiter High School opened its doors to Bahamian refugees, along with several other schools in the County.

“I like how there’s a safe environment for them to get a good education, and I hope they feel at home,” junior Nia Devenyi said.

The students of Jupiter High have two clubs working on getting supplies sent to the Bahamas.

“I think it’s amazing because people are helping other people and it shows the humanity in the world,” sophomore Lauren Couto said.

The Mastroianni Family Foundation has made all of this possible. Nicholas Mastroianni is the executive director of the Foundation and the vice president of Harbourside Place. Mastroianni has a special place in his heart for the Bahamas since the Mastroianni family have been going to the Bahamas for two decades.

“I feel guilty to sleep in my bed tonight because they don’t have them,” Mastroianni said in an interview with CBS 12 News.

The Foundation has gathered over 40,000 supplies and is continuing to help Dorian survivors.