By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
THE Rotary Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Committee, in its recent partnership with the Grand Bahama Power Company, supplied a truck load of building materials to residents of Rocky Creek in East Grand Bahama.
The small fishing village was completely devastated by Hurricane Dorian a year ago. Every single house there was destroyed, and those families are now living in temporary structures until their homes can be rebuilt.
Through a significant contribution by GB Power, the Rotary Disaster Relief Committee acquired building materials from Third Dimension recently. Five Star Trucking provided a flatbed truck to haul the load nearly 40 miles to the settlement. Rotarians from the five Rotary Clubs, and Rotaract members, helped with offloading the materials to every resident.
James Sarles, of Rotary GB Disaster Relief Committee, said the group is very excited to be able to continue assisting with rebuilding efforts on Grand Bahama.
“Rotary has been hard at work since Hurricane Dorian hit almost a year ago. Rotary has repaired almost 700 homes, repaired 119 boats, and has given away 50 engines; we mucked and gutted countless homes and conducted mould remediation, and we are rebuilding in east and west,” he said.
As a result of the tremendous work that Rotary has been doing, Mr Sarles said that organisations want to get involved and assist them.
He said GB Power wanted to help where it could.
“They wanted to help those in the East End community and so we identified Rocky Creek which was devastated – virtually every house was gone,” said Mr Sarles during a recent interview. “People were out there suffered tremendously, and the fishermen all lost their boats, and Rotary has been helping them.”
He indicated that Rotary has kind of adopted Rocky Creek, initially providing disaster relief tents for residents there.
“Rotarians from the five clubs offloaded the materials by hand, and so we are proud to be part of helping this community. It’s all about service above self,” Mr Sarles said.
Rotary past president Clifford Bowe, area youth service chairman for Grand Bahama, visited every household in the community and made a list of what each resident needed for rebuilding.
He said they purchased and distributed plywood, lumber, sheetrock, and doors, etc.
“With the materials they will be able to start rebuilding. All the homes were washed away, only the foundations were left,” he said.
“With this donation, they will now be able to put their roofs back and the framing of their homes and put sheetrock,” he said.
Rocky Creek residents were very appreciative of the supply of building materials.
Residents Paul and Janine Russell said the area needs a lot of help.
Mrs Russell said she will never forget what she experienced a year ago when the Maurice Moore Primary shelter was flooded.
“There was four feet of water and I was crying out to God to let me live and be able to tell my story to others,” she said.
“We are very grateful to Rotary for all they have done and continue to do for us in Rocky Creek,” she said.
Maxine Knowles said that she is grateful to be back home in Rocky Creek.
“We lost our house… but I thank God I am here today, and I thank the Rotary Club for everything they have done for us, and to GB Power for helping us also,” she said.
Walter Reckley said: “Rotary has done a fantastic job, and the people of East End take our hats off to them. They have been here from day one after the storm helping us in East End and they are here today assisting us with restoring our homes.”