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Florida hotel taking in Hurricane Dorian evacuees from the Bahamas free of charge

Posted: 1:14 PM, Sep 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-09 14:14:14-04
Florida hotel taking in Hurricane Dorian evacuees from the Bahamas free of charge

JUPITER, Fla. — After spending days trapped in the Abacos after Category 5 Hurricane Dorian made landfall, Bahamian families are being rescued and temporarily relocated to South Florida.

Nick Mastroianni, CEO of Harbourside Place in Jupiter, is one of the men personally flying back and forth to help victims in the aftermath.

"It was our happy place. We've been going there for years. It's been a wonderful place to raise a family you know weekends, holidays. To see it the way it is today is just disturbing," Mastroianni said.

Mastroianni says he was one of the first people to land in Marsh Harbour after Dorian wrecked the area, causing massive destruction.

"Now, we've saved about 13 families. We have 80 people here in the hotel. We've gotten 150 people to the U.S., and we will continue for the next week, two weeks, 10 days," Mastroianni said.

On Sunday, the Wyndham Grand hosted a prayer service and luncheon for evacuees staying at the hotel.

"I'm just happy, you know, I'm happy, and that's when I said I went to the bathroom. I broke down and cried because if I depended on my government, I would still be in Abaco," evacuee Iris Smith said.

Smith says she is overwhelmed by the generosity she's experienced in the past few days.

"They had everything waiting for us. They had everything every man, woman and children needed to you know to make us feel comfortable," Smith said. "... I just couldn't believe it, you know? I just couldn't believe it that they were really doing that for us."

This story was originally published by Jillian Idle on WPTV in West Palm Beach, Florida.