More than 23 members of Sidney Poitier's family missing after Hurricane Dorian lashed the Bahamas
Poitier's nephew said that there has been no news of his relatives, including his children and sister Barbara
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA: More than 23 members of Academy Award-winning actor Sidney Poitier's family are believed to be missing after Hurricane Dorian wreaked havoc in the Bahamas, killing dozens of people.
Poitier's nephew, 66-year-old Jeffrey Poitier, said that as of Thursday, September 5, there has been no news of his relatives, including his children and sister Barbara. The deadly Category 5 storm struck the Bahamas last Sunday, killing at least 46 people. Reports state that the death toll is likely to increase as hundreds are feared missing.
Nearly 70,000 people in the Bahamas reportedly require "life-saving assistance" while the Great Abao is believed to be virtually uninhabitable, with witnesses saying there is a "smell of death" with bodies piled up and corpses floating in the flooded streets, according to the Daily Mail.
"We still couldn't find anyone, nor have we heard from them," Jeffrey said. "We are still looking for and waiting for them to appear soon. It has us all worried. We are trying to reach out to them using every means available to us but we are not hearing anything. We are deeply worried."
Reports state that over 500 people in the Bahamas belong to Sidney Poitier's extended family as he was born to Bahamian parents in Miami. His parents grew up in the islands.
Jeffery, who is also an actor and balances his time between New Orleans and Cat Island in the Bahamas, said that he had attempted calling his sister repeatedly but to no avail. He added that he hopes to fly to the region by helicopter to search for her and his adult children himself.
"It's been very discouraging, very disappointing and very stressful for all of us here in the Americas. It is not easy having to wait for news to find out what happened to your family. I am very worried," he said.
Another Poitier relative, Kimberly Poitier, also released a statement, saying she has been searching for her family members from her home in Tampa, Florida, and has sent out a group message hoping that she soon gets in touch with them. Kimberly said that she had gotten in touch with a family of cousins who had escaped from the flooding by boat.
Hurricane Dorian has left a trail of destruction in the islands as it flattened houses, damaged airports, and a public hospital. Rescue operations in the region are still underway as emergency units struggle to reach the remote and worst-affected areas.