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Tallahassee woman starts GoFundMe, tent drive after Dorian leaves her dad devastated

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Posted at 5:55 PM, Sep 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-06 17:05:27-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A Tallahassee woman who was pleading for help after Hurricane Dorian ravaged her dad's home in Freeport and killed her stepmother has started a tent drive.

Meghann Gaines' father, Howard Armstrong, made headlines after he shared the heartbreaking story of how Hurricane Dorian took everything from him, including his wife.

CNN first reported that Armstrong was forced to watch helplessly as his wife Lynn died in the rising flood that claimed their home as Hurricane Dorian ravaged Freeport, the main city on Grand Bahama.

After that, Gaines managed to get in contact with her dad and is working on making her way onto the island.

In the meantime, Gaines has started a GoFundMe to help raise money to send him basic necessities and building materials. You can donate to her father's GoFundMe here.

Despite being worried about her father, Gaines' thoughts are also on the Bahamian community as she works to get aid to the rest of the island.

"On Monday, September 2, 2019, Hurricane Dorian ravaged the Grand Bahamas Islands for over 24 hours. Homes not swallowed by the ocean were flattened by the raging wind. Hundreds of people lost everything, including my father, Howard Armstrong," Gaines wrote on Facebook.

As part of her efforts, Gaines and her daughter have organized a tent drive to provide shelter and other supplies to those displaced by the storm.

Gaines' childhood Bahamian friend Mandy Mcconville says that the island is also in desperate need of water after pump stations were flooded. Mcconville, who is currently on the island, says that many families are displaced and food supplies are low.

"It's hard to see," Mcconville cried in a voice recording Gaines sent to ABC 27. "The pictures don't show anything. I mean, people are walking down the roads with their babies looking for somewhere to go and you can only open your house to so many people. I have five people in my house and I only have a two bedroom and I have animals."

In addition to tents, they are also asking for donations of the following items:

  • Food and water
  • Tents of all sizes
  • Tarps
  • Flash lights and batteries
  • Backpacks,
  • Personal hygiene products
  • 1st aide kits

Donations can be dropped off Florida Fence and Deck (3060 West Tharpe St, Tallahassee, Fl 32303) or Benson’s Heating and Air (5402 Tower Rd, Tallahassee, Fl 32303). For anyone looking to donate outside of Tallahassee, you can ship donations to 1940 Portland Ave, Tallahassee, Fl 32303.

Gaines says she also hopes to start a GoFundMe to raise money to send building supplies to the island soon.


A Tallahassee woman who was pleading for someone to help her get in contact with her father after Hurricane Dorian ravaged his home in Freeport, has finally spoken to him.

CNN reported that fisherman Howard Armstrong was forced to watch helplessly as his wife Lynn died in the rising flood that claimed their home as Hurricane Dorian ravaged Freeport, the main city on Grand Bahama.

After hours of waiting in the flooded house for rescue, Armstrong's wife succumbed to hypothermia and slipped under the water. Armstrong's daughter, Meghann Gaines, shared CNN's story on Facebook Tuesday asking anyone who has seen or heard from her father to contact her.

We reached out to Gaines Wednesday afternoon and she told us that she now knows where her father is.

"My father is in his boat, over the bridge. His boat is in the canal behind his house. Bahamians know what over the bridge means. But the area is called either Darby or Darvy," Gaines said.

She says her dad has no water, no food, and no shoes after getting out of the house and swimming to his boat that, thankfully, was still anchored. Gaines says she's tried everything to get to her dad, but can't get closer to his location than South Florida.