Goodwins Mills Firefighter Tyler Richardson stands next to a list of items needed for a hurricane relief collection effort at the fire station on Wednesday. LIZ GOTTHELF/Journal Tribune

LYMAN — A local couple with family connections to The Bahamas are collecting items at Goodwins Mills Fire Station for hurricane survivors.

The Red Cross reports about 45 percent of the homes on Grand Bahama and Abaco were believed to be destroyed or badly damaged during hurricane Dorian.

For firefighter Tyler Richardson and his wife Abby, watching the devastation of Hurricane Dorian unfold on television and online news sources was “anxiety inducing,” according to Abby.

Abby is originally from The Bahamas, and has relatives and friends in places that were most affected by the storm.

Abby has an aunt who she hasn’t heard directly from since Saturday, but she’s heard word that she’s alive. Other family members include a cousin who worked a resort who is now homeless.

“He has no belongings, pretty much just the clothes on his back,” said Abby.

With electricity out and cell phone towers down, people have had to rely on satellite phones for communication. Tyler and Abby said they’ve been following several Facebook pages relaying information including people’s whereabouts.

“We’ve just been refreshing Facebook over and over,” said Tyler.

The couple wanted to do something to help hurricane survivors, and they’ve started a collection drive for hurricane relief supplies.

“We just kind of felt helpless up here, not being there, and this is the only way we could think of to do something,” said Tyler.

Items can be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. at the Goodwins Mills Fire Station, 481 Goodwins Mills Road, Lyman.

Items needed include laundry detergent, hand sanitizer, paper towels and other cleaning supplies; shampoo, soap, sunscreen and other hygiene supplies; and diapers, wipes, baby food and other baby supplies.

Other items needed include small generators, flashlights, batteries, blankets, tents and sleeping bags.

Items will continue to be collected for the next three to four weeks.

“They’re going to need help for a very long time,” said Abby.

Arrangements will be made to ship the items to a Florida drop off point for Headknowles, a relief organization that is assisting people in The Bahamas.

Monetary donations can be made by sending a check payable to Dorian Hurricane Relief c/o Camden National Bank, P.O. Box 1130, Kennebunk, ME 04043.

Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be reached at 780-9015 or by email at [email protected].

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