Ontario mother of four among Hurricane Dorian victims in Bahamas
Published Thursday, September 5, 2019 10:26AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 5, 2019 10:19PM EDT
A 27-year-old woman from the Windsor, Ontario-area is among the victims of Hurricane Dorian after the monster storm devastated the Bahamas early this week.
A family member confirmed to CTV News Windsor that Alishia Sabrina Liolli, of LaSalle, was killed as a result of the catastrophic Category 5 hurricane which pummelled the islands on Monday, killing at least 20 people.
Liolli’s body was found on the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas. The family was notified on Tuesday.
Her mother confirms to CTV News she lived in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas with her husband, three step-children and a 17-month-old son, who is a Canadian citizen.
"We have a stranded child right now," says Windsor West New Democrat MP Brian Masse.
Masse is in contact with Global Affairs Canada about what can be done for her mother.
"She's interested in the safety of her grandchild right now,” says Masse. “We have a young Canadian who is with his father, but the reality is that they are far away from home. They are in a perilous situation. They also have extended family so her wish is to unite the family and look at bringing them to Canada."
Global Affairs Canada issued a statement to CTV News about the Canadian's death.
"Our thoughts and sympathies are with the loved ones of the Canadian citizen who has died in the Bahamas in the area affected by Hurricane Dorian," it said. "Canadian consular officials are providing assistance to the family at this difficult time. Out of respect for the family, no further information will be released."
A GoFundMe page has been setup for the family in an effort to bring Liolli’s body back to Canada.
“On behalf of the entire family, please help us raise the funds necessary to bring Alishia home to her family,” reads a message on the online fundraiser. “Any funds that may not be used for her transportation will be donated to the Every Child Counts School in Marsh Harbor Abaco, Bahamas.”
Even though money is being raised to bring her body home, Masse says that comes with challenges.
"They are considering cremation right now because of the hydro and lack of ability to prevent the spread of infectious diseases," says Masse.
Her family is asking for privacy at this time, but her cousin, Aislinn Liolli expressed her sorrow on Facebook.
“Can’t believe this is real... a life taken too soon. I remember this day like yesterday. So many adventures with you. So many memories,” she said. “I lost my best friend, my confidante, my rock, my person. Alishia you were a ray of sunshine, always grateful, would give the shirt off your back to anyone.”
Every Child Counts School where Liolli worked for six years posted about her death on their Dorian Disaster Relief Fund Facebook page.
Liolli ran a vocational training centre for children called Starfish Enterprises in Abaco. A YouTube video featuring Liolli says it is a place where adults with disabilities can learn as well as contribute to the greater society.
Dorian has already claimed the lives of at least 20 people in the Bahamas and the death toll is expected to rise as the storm moves up the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.
Practically parking over a portion of the Bahamas for a day and a half, Dorian pounded Abaco and Grand Bahama with winds up to 295 kph and torrential rain, ripping apart homes and trapping people in their attics on the island nation.
The storm finally moved into open waters Tuesday, but was still centred not far from the western tip of the Bahamas as it crawled northwest toward the southeastern U.S. Its winds were down to a still-dangerous 175 kph.
With a file from the Associated Press.