Potential tropical storm affecting relief efforts in the Bahamas

Planes unable to fly in supplies to hurricane-ravaged areas

By Troy Campbell - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - As a potential tropical storm makes its way toward Florida, it's first expected to hit the Bahamas.

Relief efforts and rescue missions are still underway after the devastation from Hurricane Dorian.

Several people involved in the relief mission said the clock is ticking to get planes out of Florida to drop off supplies to hard-hit areas, or else they will likely be grounded until the storm passes.

Whitney Laney arrived back to Florida on Thursday night from the Bahamas after helping deliver much-needed supplies.

"These storms right now are really slowing down a lot as we are trying to move into this weekend and still bring relief to the people of the Bahamas," Laney said.

With a tropical storm predicted to hit soon, Laney said flights into the islands are halting. 

"We had planes coming out of Boca that ended up getting grounded and weren't able to make it in because they were going into areas where the government has issued a tropical storm warning," Laney said.

Laney said that Bahamians who have been volunteering to help distribute donations are now busy preparing for another storm.

"Even the locals that were helping us right now, their homes are sometimes completely gone or in shambles and they need to, instead of helping and unloading our planes and getting supplies in, they need to be working on getting the tarps on their own homes," Laney said.

Laney said medical supplies and other items are still needed across the Bahamas, and with the pending storm, pilots have to err on the side of caution.

"You have to think a lot of these planes are being donated by pilots or the owners and they have to worry about the health of their plane and the safety of their plane and the safety of people coming into it," Laney said.

Another pilot said he wanted to fly out of Orlando into Marsh Harbor on Friday, but has delayed that trip.

If you would like to donate to the relief, the First Orlando Foundation tells News 6 it is donating 100% of all money and supplies collected to the people of the Bahamas affected by Hurricane Dorian. Click here for more information.

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