Chicago nonprofits, leaders offer relief to hurricane survivors in Bahamas

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago-based nonprofit fighting for social change is working to help the victims of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.

Rainbow Push Coalition plans to raise money and collect donations after the storm left substantial damage behind in its path.

The cleanup is underway after Dorian struck North Carolina's Outer Banks Friday as a Category 1 storm, flooding neighborhoods.

Rescue teams flew in to help the estimated 800 people who did not evacuate.

Tens of thousands of people were left without power.

"The people who flooded and those who did get significant wind damage, this is a bad situation for them," said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. "We're going to pull together."

Nearly a week after Dorian devastated the Bahamas, the humanitarian crisis there is growing.

At least 70,000 people are homeless.

Docks are filled with survivors hoping to be evacuated. Cruise ships have been repurposed to ferry people to Nassau.

In Chicago, Reverend Jesse Jackson pledged on Saturday to help with the relief efforts on the island.

Bahamas Honorary Consul to Chicago, Michael Fountain, thanked him for his support.

"While we grieve and mourn, the work has to begin and it has to be robust and it has to be right now and it has to be powerful," Fountain said. "So we need powerful people standing with us to bring many resources to bear."

Rainbow Push is setting up drop off areas in Chicago for donations for the hurricane survivors in the Bahamas.

Rev. Jackson is urging the U.S. government to grant waivers for visas to medical evacuees, the elderly and students who want to stay with relatives in the country, until the island is restored.
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