Military task force provides aid to Caribbean islands after Hurricane Maria

U.S. Marine Col. Michael V. Samarov, the commander of Joint Task Force - Leeward Islands, helps load relief supplies onto a flatbed truck at Crayfish River, Dominica, Oct. 5, 2017. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Ian Leones)

While much of the nation’s attention was focused on the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, a U.S. joint military task force was working to deliver aid to other islands in the Caribbean battered by a record Atlantic hurricane season.

Col. Michael Samarov, commander of Joint Task Force--Leeward Islands, spoke to Sinclair from the French island of Martinique Friday, detailing his unit’s efforts, primarily on St. Martin and Dominica.

“Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated both islands,” he said. “The damage is difficult to describe. When we arrived on St. Martin and later on Dominica, there was literally not one green thing. The trees had been stripped of all of their leaves and left for dead, many of them knocked over. Many, many homes had been destroyed, turned into matchsticks, roads piled with debris.”

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