WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- A local pastor with Bahamian ties could only describe the devastation of his homeland as unprecedented after Hurricane Dorian crushed parts of the Bahamas.
"This is a storm that has literally changed our country forever," Pastor Tejado Hanchell said.
Hanchell is from Nassau. He pastors Mount Calvary Holy Church of Winston-Salem and has resided in the area for the last 14 years. He along with others were devastated by how Hurricane Dorian slowly barreled over the island.
"I shed a lot of tears this weekend," Hanchell said.
Hanchell, along with the entire country, watched the aftermath of the storm and the death totals rise. He shared with FOX8 dozens of pictures and videos of the island and people trying to safely escape the floodwaters.
"The videos and things that we got -- people were experiencing the rising waters, people were going up to the second level of their homes and water was coming up to the second level. Those with one level homes were literally climbing up to the attic to try and escape the water," Hanchell said.
He too, like many others, waited on pins and needles before he heard back that some of his family was safe and sound.
"My family is down there, we just heard from a cousin who had been missing since the storm began and she and her family were found safe yesterday so that was good news," Hanchell said.
Now, he's trying to raise funds and items for the Bahamians affected.
"Our local church, Mount Calvary Holy Church of Winston-Salem, we're collecting funds that we're going to use with our partner organization there Great Commission Ministries to help with the housing and food and clothing crisis that's going on there," Hanchell said.
If you would like to donate for Hurricane Dorian relief efforts for the Bahamas you can do so at www.mchcws.org.