SANFORD, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - Efforts are already starting to aid survivors of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas and Florida pilots are stepping up to play a key role.
On Wednesday, cars packed with relief supplies pulled up and dropped off at Air Unlimited in Sanford. This company normally flies tourists out to the Abacos. They are now using their tools to help the people on the islands.
"It's absolutely heartbreaking,” said Air Unlimited’s Melissa Manchester. “There are no words. I don't think anybody expected it to be this severe."
Right now, the Bahamas thrashed by Hurricane Dorian and left in disarray, by air is basically the only way to get help to the islands. As a result, Air Unlimited and pilots across Central Florida are taking up the responsibility of getting donations out there.
"Get a regular stream going out to the Abacos,” said Steve Daly who was prepping his plane to fly Wednesday. “Right now I'm doing my first flight tomorrow to Nassau."
Air Unlimited has also donated hangar space at their Sanford headquarters to allow other pilots to come in, load up with donations, and get to the Bahamas.
Though the pilots say airport space on the islands is still being figured out, the need to get supplies out there soon appears dire.
Joe Hurston from Airmobile Ministries in Brevard County has also been mobilizing to help the islands.
Luckily, a flight he’d already planned to bring supplies to Haiti Wednesday also allowed him to carry a load of water purifiers to the storm-stricken Bahamas.
"Talking to actual controllers getting the status on airports, when I told them I had water purifiers on board, you could just hear the urgency in his voice. He said, 'please get here as soon as possible,'" said Hurston via FaceTime Wednesday.
Air Unlimited is collecting physical donations of everyday supplies like water, food, baby formula, clothes, and household needs at their hanger on the east side of the Sanford Airport field. The company is also taking monetary donations to help with fuel costs at www.gofundme.com/f/abaco-relief.
Airmobile Ministries is also taking monetary donations to help buy more water purifiers for the islands and for future disaster relief. More information can be found on their website at http://airmobile.org/.