Tropical depression threatens further devastation in Haiti

Haiti Earthquake
Posted at 5:30 PM, Aug 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-16 19:41:13-04

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) (WTVF) — Tropical Depression Grace is expected to bring even more devastation to Haiti Monday evening while the country continues to pick up the pieces following a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.

Franklin resident Will McGinniss, the cofounder of the handmade leather goods company Haiti Made was in the country on a business trip when the earthquake hit.

Haiti Made was originally started under the Hands and Feet Project, a nonprofit that has been doing work in Haiti since 2004. The company shifted to a for-profit business in 2017. They hire dozens of Haitians, crafting products using leather sourced within Haiti.

McGinniss is also a part of Beyond Borders, which is a company that works with hundreds of Haitian artists to sell and supply their metal art to stores in the U.S.

He said he was waiting inside the Jacmel Airport when he felt the earthquake.

"You can imagine when the earth shakes and things come down people in vulnerable positions that's what we saw back in 2010 and now what we saw this Saturday," said McGinniss. "The walls started shaking of course a lot of the Haitian people remember the 2010 earthquake so they were terribly afraid and they ran out squeezing through the small exit."

He was able to get to safety, but that isn't the case for thousands of others.

Every day the death toll continues to climb. Already more than 1,400 people have been killed and at least 6,000 people are injured. Authorities continue to search the rubble for survivors.

Now, Tropical Depression Grace could cause more devastation as it is expected to bring heavy rain, flooding and mudslides.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry has declared a one-month state of emergency for the whole country.

The U.S. has already sent several first responders to Haiti to help with cleanup and recovery.