Durham woman helping Bahamian families escape Dorian's aftermath

ABC11 Together highlights the strength of the human spirit, good deeds, community needs, and how our viewers can help
Jennifer Kinn and her husband created a charity last year that raised more than $30,000 to help Hurricane Florence victims along our coast, now they are helping people in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian.

"Everybody is jobless and hopeless. I never thought I could experience something like this. This is awful," said evacuee Brittany Scvil.

Scvil, her boyfriend Chris Pennerman and their daughter Khalia evacuated to Durham over the weekend after surviving Dorian, the worst Category 5 hurricane to hit their native Abaco Islands in the Bahamas.

"Houses were literally upside down," said Scvil. "Concrete buildings were destroyed," Pennerman said.

The family was rescued from those devastating conditions by their friend Jennifer Kinn from Durham.

"The island is uninhabitable. The water is contaminated. There are decomposing bodies in the water. We had to bathe in bleach," Scvil said.

Kinn and her husband Brian met the family in the Bahamas after purchasing their vacation home their last year.

Dorian toppled Kinn's island home.

Through their nonprofit Carolina Coast Community, the couple purchased more flights for 15 families hoping to get them to relatives and friends in the U.S.

"We just got to help people the best we can," Kinn stated. "We don't know what we're doing. We're working on impulse. But it's better than sitting back and wishing I would have done something."

Brittany and her family are starting over in a new city with no plan to return to the Bahamas.

"I would love to go back but there's nothing to go back to. There's literally nothing."

Kinn said the 15 families she is trying to help are getting stuck at customs.

She said agents are telling these families to go to the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas to apply for visas and passports.

But that costs money, so Kinn is hoping people who love the Bahamas, have vacationed there or feel compelled to help will support her charity.

Her goal is to help them get what they need to escape and get a new start in the Triangle.
Copyright © 2019 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.