JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville farmer with personal ties to the Bahamas has become a viral sensation for his hurricane relief efforts. He's grabbing headlines across the country after donating 100 generators and more to the Bahamas.
He spokes exclusively with Action News Jax but asked to remain anonymous.
"It's hard when a big event like this hits to not get pretty emotional about it right away," he said. "But it's the long term that's really going to count."
This man said he has good friends who live in the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas. He personally has spent the last 14 years visiting this area for fishing trips. He has had some contact with them after the storms and heard about the devastation.
"You knew that people staying there were just suffering greatly," he said. "I mean, they lost their homes. Eighty to 90% of people, I think, in that area of Marsh Harbor are homeless. A lot of them are being evacuated right now to Nassau."
- SCHOOL CLOSURES: Duval, surrounding counties cancel school Thursday
- Gallery: Hurricane Dorian impacts in Jacksonville area
- Jacksonville area power outages
- UPDATED: Videos show impacts of Hurricane Dorian in Jacksonville area
In an effort to help with donations, he spent nearly $70,000 on supplies.
"One hundred generators, 120 extension cords, enough chainsaws to start a whole tree service company, spare parts, files, bars and chains," he said. "I think we had 4,000 pounds of rice. I think we had a pallet of beans, a pallet of peas, a pallet of trail mix, a pallet of coffee and then a lot of baby diapers and that type of thing."
He confirmed some of the supplies arrived at the islands Friday and expects the rest to land in the next four days.
"I call it the Small Boat Flotilla of Bahamas that are doing a lot of the work. We're working with some large shipping companies. We're working with the government to get emergency supplies into the gymnasium in Nassau."
Cox Media Group