“As the recovery and relief efforts continue, I will be tracking the situation closely and working to identify non-profit agencies where the funds will have the most impact,” Jordan said in a statement tweeted by his manager, Estee Portnoy, on Tuesday. “The Bahamian people are strong and resilient and I hope that my donation will be of help as they work to recover from this catastrophic storm.”
Statement From Michael Jordan pic.twitter.com/JIcPGE8y2C— Estee Portnoy (@esteep) September 10, 2019
Jordan, who owns property in the Bahamas and frequently visits the islands, said he was “devastated to see the destruction” brought on by Dorian, adding that “my heart goes out to everyone who is suffering and to those who have lost loved ones.”
Government officials and civilian rescue teams are still attempting to reach thousands of people stranded in their homes by heavy flooding and rainfall.
Jordan, a North Carolina native, also donated $2 million to relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, which hit the Carolinas last year.
A Category 5 storm, Dorian hit the Bahamas on September 1 with winds of 220mph. Large swaths of Greater Abaco Island were destroyed and more than 2,500 people forced to evacuate.
The death toll rose to 50 on Monday (September 9), with 42 people killed from Abaco Island and eight from Grand Bahama, according to the Royal Bahamas Police Force, as per ABC News.
However, as teams continue to search through the rubble it is believed that number will only increase, as many bodies are feared buried in the rubble. Bahamian Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands told ABC News it’s possible some people were washed out to sea and might never be found.
An estimated 70,000 people ‘are in immediate need of life-saving assistance‘ according to United Nations humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock – with the most urgent needs being water, food, shelter and accommodation – although Bahamian emergency management officials said food distribution was a ‘challenge’.
Furthermore, the drinking water in some areas of the islands has been deemed unsafe for consumption and hygiene.
As reported by The Guardian, the government of the Bahamas confirmed more than 900 members of its police and military were on Abaco and Grand Bahama to help with hurricane relief, with more than 100 Jamaican security personnel on board too.
Large numbers of security forces from Britain and the US were also involved in search, rescue, and recovery operations, the Bahamian government said.
Dorian was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone on Sunday (September 8) after making landfall one last time in Nova Scotia, Canada – where it hit as a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 100mph tearing roofs off homes and uprooting trees.
The deadly storm also hit North Carolina’s Outer Banks on Friday as a Category 1 storm with sustained winds of 90mph.
Without a doubt though, nowhere has felt the devastation as acutely as the Bahamas, with families searching for their missing loved ones day after day – of which there are hundreds, possibly thousands.