MARSH HARBOUR, Bahamas – Bahamians celebrated Steven Gardiner's victory in the 400-meter dash at the World Athletics Championships Friday night in Doha, Qatar.
"Hurricane Dorian was very devastating for my family and my island," Gardiner told reporters after winning the gold medal.
Dorian flattened Gardiner's family home on the Abaco Islands. Bahamian authorities said the destructive Category 5 storm left about 1.5 billion pounds of debris in Marsh Harbour, Abaco's center of commerce.
Like Gardiner, Marsh Harbour's community leaders are aiming to tackle a gargantuan challenge. There are some survivors who are not waiting for the government to clean up, and they have already started removing debris themselves.
Despite the financial loss and a weakened workforce, the owners of Maxwell's Supermarket on busy Stratton Drive are aiming to reopen on Dec. 1.
In the meantime, the nonprofit sector is also stepping up to help. World Central Kitchen, celebrity chef José Andrés' nonprofit, is devoted to delivering meals to the struggling survivors.
Sam Bloch, the director of field operations for World Central Kitchen, said the group is operating out of a kitchen in Nassau and distributing the meals with the help of helicopters. Bloch said the organization has served 700,000 meals since the storm hit Sept. 1.