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Trump pledges to help Bahamas

United States President Donald Trump said he may travel to The Bahamas in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, which left Abaco and Grand Bahama after pounding the islands with ferociously strong Category 5 winds and storm surges.

Trump pledged America’s assistance in the humanitarian efforts.

“I guess you would call it a British protectorate, but I will do a lot,” he said.

Trump added, “I would do that. If you think it’s appropriate, I will stop there.”

Trump expressed pride in the performance of the U.S. Coast Guard, which has been helping to provide immediate assistance and medical evacuations by helicopter. He said The Bahamas is in need of a lot of assistance.

“We have been sending the United States Coast Guard, who has been incredible there in The Bahamas right now, and they’re helping with The Bahamas,” he said.

“A big section of The Bahamas was hit like few people have seen before.

“But we’re helping in a humanitarian way. We’ve been asked to help by the government of The Bahamas, and we have numerous helicopters and we’re sending some people to give them a hand.

“They need a big hand. What’s going on over there is incredible. Few people have seen anything like that, although I must tell you, over the years there have been some hurricanes that were bigger and stronger and more powerful that did us very hard also.”

Trump added, “We were really well-prepared in Puerto Rico. We got lucky in Puerto Rico, quite a bit actually, but we were ready just in case – tremendous supplies, people, a lot of things going on in Puerto Rico. And they were very happy, and it worked out very well – the optimum – because they didn’t get it, but it took a different path and it hit The Bahamas very hard.

“So, again, we’re working with the government of The Bahamas at their request, and we have a lot of people helping, and we have, most importantly, the United States Coast Guard, which has done so incredibly well in Texas and Florida and in Puerto Rico in the last hurricane, the last big one.”

Admiral Karl Schultz said the U.S. Coast Guard has faced some challenges in The Bahamas, and that they expect to get a better picture of the extent of the impact from the hurricane once they can get to Grand Bahama.

“In The Bahamas, it’s been challenging,” he said.

“We accessed The Bahamas, the Abacos, which is in the northeastern region of The Bahamas on Monday, first flight crews as the rotary wing helicopters got in there. We’ve rescued probably 50 folks to date.

“We’re just starting to get a site picture on Grand Bahama Island in Freeport, which is the center of gravity, population-wise, in the northern Bahamas. So, today we’ll start to have a much fuller picture. That’s the region where Dorian sat for almost 36 to 48 hours and just pounded the region. So we suspect the impacts will be severe.

“We’re rendering life-saving support here, humanitarian assistance. We’re working with the USAID and the office of foreign disaster assistance, which is the lead agency here on providing urgent support.”

He added, “What’s challenging right now, because we haven’t gotten into Freeport or Grand Bahama, and there’s no open airports. Airports are underwater. Those airports that are accessible, are not accessible from road.”

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Rachel Knowles

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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