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Bringing people back to the Abaco Islands is a difficult job

Posted: 11:42 PM, Sep 17, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-18 17:14:52-04
Scott Lewis

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Sean and Carla Nixon, appeared to have it all pre-Hurricane Dorian: A charter plane company, two homes and a very comfortable lifestyle. A lifestyle Hurricane Dorian tried to completely wipe out.

”It was like a freight train,” said Sean Nixon, Marsh Harbour, Abaco Islands resident. ”How do you start all over again?”

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Bahamas After Dorian

The couple was at signature aviation at PBIA Tuesday to welcome friend, Scott Lewis, president of Eagles’ Wings Foundation home after 12 days deployed. It’s his 20th year responding to disaster and 34 hurricanes.

Lewis, served as the incident commander for the North District of Abaco ensuring more than 200 tons of supplies were shipped by 200-plus boat trips and 125 flights. Three flights returned with Bahamian refugees. The bulk of the supplies were donated by businesses in West Palm Beach and the Town of Palm Beach. But Lewis said there’s a long road to recovery.

“I’m exhausted. emotionally and otherwise,” said Lewis. “The government has a very difficult job of bringing the people back in having them work on the recovery. And that focus needs to be on the locals working on the recovery, not on outsiders coming in and doing it because that’s how you uplift them and stimulate the economy.”

Lewis says the Bahamas is in the initial recovery phase for citizens and the government.

”Because if outsiders do everything for them that ends up making them victims. And I don’t believe in that philosophy,” Lewis added.

He also encourages everyday citizens to keep the donations and prayers coming. To learn more visit: https://ewfrelief.org/home/