Local non-profit group headed home after helping with hurricane aftermath in Bahamas

Photo provided to KPTV.

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – A local non-profit group is headed home after conducting search and rescue missions in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian devastated the islands.

Empact Northwest sent a team of 16 volunteers to the Bahamas last week, including Miguel Bautista, a deputy fire marshal from Hillsboro. The group provided medical support and helped distribute emergency aid while documenting their journey.

FOX 12 spoke with Bautista before he boarded a plane last week to meet the rest of the group. Bautista served as a Disaster Medical Technician with Empact Northwest, working to clear roads and helping people evacuate.

“There’s always a little bit of anxiety right before you get going, just ready to get out there and help in any way we can and happy to support the people of the Bahamas,” Bautista said before leaving Sept. 4.

Food, water and fuel are very scarce in the Bahamas right now, according to Bautista, making traveling across the islands even harder. Bautista says the team has been working in Coopers Town, Treasure Cay, and an area referred to as “the farm”, which is a Haitian immigrant community.

Bautista says they rescued three medical patients at the sand banks. He says they’ve been using drones to conduct search and rescue operations for missing people.

The group says it is leaving behind food, water, fuel and medicine for people who need it most. Empact Northwest has volunteer and donation information posted on their website.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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