CONCORD — A powerful Category 5 hurricane recently ripped through the Bahamas with nearly 200- mph winds.

Hurricane Dorian left behind destruction all along the islands.

Freeport, Bahamas, the newly dubbed sister city to Concord, was in the storm’s path, so Concord Mayor Bill Dusch is encouraging donations to support Hurricane Dorian relief in Freeport.

A fundraiser has been established at: https://together.bealiv.com/campaign/29/hurricane-dorian-reliefhope-mobile.

Dusch issued the following statement:

“Last month, representatives from Freeport, Bahamas, visited Concord as part of our partnership as sister cities. Freeport is located on Grand Bahama Island, which was devastated by Hurricane Dorian the first week of September. As we have seen in the news, Dorian made landfall over the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm with wind gusts up to 200 miles per hour. Pictures and videos from Freeport show the destruction: Inundation of seawater, leveling of many homes, and worst of all — the loss of life. We have learned that one of the sister-city representatives who visited Concord last month has still not been able to locate her family members.

“In the coming days, weeks, and months, the people of our sister city Freeport will need our help. The International Federation of Red Cross and the U.S. Coast Guard are responding, and with the destruction of the Freeport’s main airport, getting aid to the island is extremely challenging.

“Concord’s efforts to help our sister city have begun. City officials, staff and Concord Sister Cities Association members have been in nearly daily contact with Freeport to get updates and start the development of ways we can help with the rebuild. We are also in contact with our U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson and our state leaders to join us in relief efforts.

“In the coming weeks, we will ask for the community’s help to raise funds, food, and building supplies as the island rebuild plan is developed. Many have already expressed willingness to provide on-site construction help when requested. It is important that all of our community members stay involved and be willing to help our sister city as their needs are better known.

“I ask everyone in Concord to consider a gift to this cause. We will keep you informed as the recovery plans evolve.”

Donna Carpenter, president/CEO of the Cabarrus County Convention & Visitors Bureau and Concord Sister Cities board chair, added:

“We’re thinking of our friends in Concord’s sister city of Freeport, Bahamas, and praying for them as they recover from the effects of Hurricane Dorian. On behalf of the sister cities board here in Concord, Mayor Dusch is in communication with the country’s representatives and we’re ready to assist however we’re able once we learn what will best support their efforts.”

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