UNF student in Jacksonville lost contact with family in Bahamas during Hurricane Dorian

Local student affected by Dorian

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A local college student tells Action News Jax she could only watch news coverage in fear as Hurricane Dorian hovered over the Bahamas, wondering if her family was safe.

Kristia Clarke, a student at the University of North Florida, grew up in Nassau, Bahamas.

"The catastrophe led me to think, like, it could have been me," she said. "What if it were me?"

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She recounted what it was like not knowing how her family was doing during Dorian.

"When the power came back on, and everything started to settle down, it was fine," she said. "I was able to reach them, and they affirmed that they were OK … I saw the videos, they were swarming the internet. All on WhatsApp and social media."

On Saturday, Action News Jax reporter Ryan Nelson joined local pilots on a supply flight to Great Abaco, delivering supplies collected in Jacksonville.

Nelson saw trees snapped in half, buildings destroyed and people standing in long lines with their bags packed, waiting for a chance to leave the island on a plane. Clarke tells us she has a relative there.

"A close relative of mine does have a sister who was there, and she lost everything," she said.

Clarke is encouraged by the world coming together to help the Bahamas.

"It's great to see, like, the U.S., we see you guys have a major role in helping us out," she said. "And other islands, and countries from abroad, shipping in things. It's great to see everyone come together to make a big difference."

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