Biggleswade woman appeals for donations to help Dominica after destructive Hurricane Maria hits

Hurricane Maria: Jess Adrien (left), with dad Martin and grandmother Isabella. Picture: Jess Adrien

Hurricane Maria: Jess Adrien (left), with dad Martin and grandmother Isabella. Picture: Jess Adrien - Credit: Archant

A Biggleswade woman is starting a collection after the devastating Hurricane Maria hit Dominica, leaving her unable to speak to family members.

Jess Adrien from the King’s Reach area is appealing to anyone who can donate old clothing, shoes, toiletries, tinned food and anything else that will help those affected by the disaster.

The 26-year-old’s grandmother, aunt and other extended family members are from Dublanc, a small village on the west coast of Dominica.

Since the hurricaine made landfall, the whole island has been left without power and running water – cutting the entire island off from the rest of the world.

Jess told the Comet: “There isn’t really a way to describe how I feel, it’s just difficult not knowing but we understand all communication is down.

“It’s worrying, but we keep positive that they are fine and it’s just communication outage.”

In the meantime, Jess is keeping busy by collecting essential food and clothing items to send. She has also been liaising with the Dominican High Commission to ensure goods are sent to the areas hardest hit.

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Hurricane Maria strengthened to a category five storm as it hit Dominica on Tuesday at 9pm local time – 1am in the UK. All ports and airports are closed, and those living near the coast were ordered to go to an authorised shelter.

The storm arrived in Puerto Rico this morning, also knocking the power out for the entire population before making its way to the Dominican Republic.

Jess’ dad, Martin, has been helping her with the arrangements and will be sending donations to a relief programme on her behalf.

They are currently negotiating with Inter Island Shipping, with hopes that they can provide a free or reduced shipping rate for hurricane relief to Dominica.

To arrange collection of donations with Jess, she asks that you contact her via Facebook: www.facebook.com/jess.adrien1.