Brianna Harrison has never been to the Bahamas. She will never forget her first trip.
“I didn’t think it was going to be like it was,” she said.
Harrison, her friend Mike Morgan and his son, Michael, spent much of last week ferrying supplies and assistance to Freeport, where thousands of people are still without electricity, running water or even shelter two weeks after the Category 5 Hurricane Dorian slammed, and then stalled, over the Bahamian islands.
They saw devastation the likes of which they have never witnessed. Some media reports that suggest normalcy is returning to the Bahamas are not accurate, they said.
“They need help. Organized help,” Mike Morgan said.
Morgan, who owns Morgan Electric in Crystal River and Harrison, who owns Balance Med Spa and Salon in Beverly Hills, teamed up with Morgan’s son and a relief organization known as Angel in a Hummer HEART to fly a prop plane from Fort Lauderdale to Freeport.
Morgan’s job: help restore power to a church and soup kitchen that served as a central hub for hurricane supplies coming in and given out.
The church was divided into three rooms, one each for food/water, baby supplies such as diapers, and clothing. Large garbage bags were filled with boxes containing some of all three and then delivered into neighborhoods.
“As fast as it’s coming in, it’s going right back out,” Morgan said.
Harrison helped pack those boxes. She also met with several people, hearing their tales of survival.
“They were very emotional,” she said. “One lady I saw was crying.”
They saw Bahamians with valid passports hoping to catch rides to Florida on returning planes.
“They have nowhere else to go,” Michael Morgan said.
Harrison met with a police officer who told of a local orphanage filled with children whose parents were lost in the storm.
Harrison spoke with another man, who called himself Chicken who would not let the heartbreak interfere with his attitude.
“This guy was in great spirits, even though he lost his house,” she said.
The Morgans and Harrison want Citrus residents to know the need is great in the Bahamas.
“They need help. They don’t need to be forgotten about,” Mike Morgan said. “This is not going to be a quick fix.”
All three said they plan to return to continue the relief effort.
Harrison said: “I feel like I have family there now.”