Hurricane Matthew has Windsorites worried about Haiti

Hurricane Matthew left 11 people dead, five in Haiti alone. It’s another natural disaster for the nation and has aid workers in Windsor thinking about the people they support on the island.

Full extent of the damage unknown

Hurricane Matthew leaves death and destruction in its wake

6 years ago
Duration 1:00
Storm headed for U.S. southern coast

As Hurricane Matthew continues to batter the Caribbean, it is leaving widespread suffering and damage in its wake.

At least 11 people are dead, five in Haiti alone. It's another natural disaster for the nation and has some in Windsor thinking about the people they support on the island.   

That includes Jim Scott, the president of Ground Effects and founder of a non-profit called Enable Haiti.

Earlier on Wednesday Scott said he had been unable to reach anyone on the ground in Haiti, and had been calling every 15-20 minutes and trying to reach people via email.

But he later said there was some "good news." 

"We've located most of the kids at our orphanages," Scott said. "For the most part our kids are doing well. They're a little wet and a little afraid."

Scott's team first got started in Haiti shortly after an earthquake devastated the country in 2010. They support three orphanages, build schools and feed and educate about 900 children.   


"It feels like every time we get two steps forward, we get slammed in the head by some crazy storm," he said. 

On Tuesday, Matthew swept across a remote area of Haiti with 233 km/h winds. Government leaders said they weren't close to fully gauging the impact in the vulnerable, flood-prone country.

"What we know is that many, many houses have been damaged. Some lost rooftops and they'll have to be replaced while others were totally destroyed," Haiti's Interior Minister Francois Anick Joseph said. 

Scott said he was planning on going to Haiti, but those plans have to be postponed. He thinks it will take about three weeks for things to settle down.

"I'm very fearful about what's going on down there," he said. 

Trees sway with the wind during Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti on Tuesday. (Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters)

Several members of the Essex-Windsor EMS will head to Haiti next month. Kim Schroeder is one of them. He's part of a group known as Medics4Healing Haiti. They were in the Caribbean country around the same time last year and were supposed to be there again this week on a medical mission. That trip has been postponed until November 5th.

The group of 23 members is taking 50 hockey bags full of medical supplies.

"The team will be split up into two separate teams. There will be a medical team consisting of 11 people and a mission team which will consist of 12 people," said Schroeder. 

"The medical team will go and do four villages in four days and the mission team will go off and do three or four villages, separate villages. And the mission team primarily will work on - I think we've planned to paint a house, deliver some water filtration systems. We've purchased a pair of goats to be delivered to the village or a family."