Helicopter Pilot Finds Villagers Stranded in Rubble in the Bahamas

In this Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019 photo, extensive damage from Hurricane Dorian can be seen in this aerial photo over the city of Marsh Harbour, Abaco Island, Bahamas. (Andrew West/AP)
Andrew West/AP

A helicopter pilot flying supplies to hurricane-devastated areas of the Bahamas found villagers stranded in rubble on one of the islands.

NBC News reported that Justin Johnson— who owns Timberview Helicopters in Destin, Florida— was on his way to Fox Town on Little Abaco Island with his wife and a reporter.

During the flight, the reporter, Vic Micolucci, pointed to a debris field and asked Johnson if anyone was down there. Johnson initially said he did not think so, but he returned the next day to find 30 villagers stranded in the rubble in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

“He had this intuition that he had to fly back over,” Angela Johnson, Justin’s wife, said.

When Johnson landed at the site, he noticed people crawling out of the debris around him. The team immediately began handing over supplies and brought in more.

MEDIC Corps, the relief organization the Johnsons had been working with, said the village was initially overlooked because it was off the main roads and many of the residents did not speak English and many did not have vehicles.

The organization added that most of those rescued were Haitians who illegally migrated to the Bahamas and were afraid of being deported.

They “are afraid of being deported so it is sometimes difficult to provide evacuation to these communities and they aren’t the first to show themselves,” MEDIC Corps said.

The Abaco Islands received the brunt of Dorian’s impact, as it was a Category 5 storm when it devastated the area on September 1.

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