Bahamians returning home from South Florida to begin rebuilding

Bahamians returning home from South Florida to begin rebuilding (WPEC)

Bahamian families who sought refuge in West Palm Beach are starting to return home at the Port of Palm Beach donation site for CBS12's Operation Bahama Relief.

At least three families pulled up to unload belongings, along with newly purchased TVs and furniture, that will be loaded onto the Grand Celebration as it returns to Grand Bahama Island this weekend.

"We kind of got our energy back now and we're going to go," said Sharon Pinder, who is returning to her home near Freeport. "We just needed something to clear our heads from no water, no lights, no food."

Pinder and her family arrived in West Palm Beach last Friday on the Grand Celebration. Along with 1,100 Bahamians, she took refuge in South Florida, but is now taking one of the first ships home to rebuild.

"When we came off of celebration, we felt like royalty," Pinder said, referring to the hundreds that gathered to greet the ship, offering medical help and support. "I literally stood there and wanted to cry."

Pinder's home suffered some flooding; her sister, Shantell, lost everything.

"When we went outside, the water was chest deep and we had to run for cover," Shantell said.