Dorian takes the life of LaSalle woman

Alishia Liolli shown left. (Photo courtesy of Aislinn Liolli)

An aunt of Alishia Liolli has confirmed the LaSalle woman is one of 20 people who lost their lives to Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.

Joanne Liolli said her niece was a “beautiful child,” who travelled to the nation to help residents living on the Abaco Islands.

The Autism Service Inc. of Windsor and Essex County said in a Facebook post that Alishia lived in the Bahamas during the school year where she ran the Starfish Enterprises Vocational Training Centre, a program at Every Child Counts, a charitable organization that helps children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Alishia was living there with a companion and their child. Liolli said her partner and baby are safe, but the family got the call a few nights ago that Alishia was lost.

“Her grandparents are getting up in their years. They are devastated,” her aunt told Thursday.

A GoFundMe page has been started to help the family raise funds to bring Alishia’s body back to Canada. The page had a $25,000 goal, and as of 4 p.m. Thursday, it had raised almost $16,800.

Hurricane Dorian battered the Abaco Islands and the island of Grand Bahama for over 24 hours when it stalled over the northern end of the island chain. It made landfall with wind speeds of 185 mph or 297 kph causing what Prime Minister Hubert Minnis called “generational devastation. He said 60 per cent of the homes in Marsh Harbour are damaged.

While CNN reported aid has finally begun to arrive, the World Food Programme estimated more than 60,000 people require relief aid.

Aggravating matters, CNN has reported that the international airport on Grand Bahama is still out of commission and can not serve as a staging ground for the global effort to help survivors.

Rescue crews are still working to find survivors and the death toll is expected to continue to rise.

Dorian is currently soaking the coast of the Carolinas and is predicted to reach Nova Scotia this weekend.