Local students help shelter those battered by the storm back home.

Nolan Sweeting knew he'd be attending St. Augustine's University before he even knew where it was.

How, I asked, did he - growing up on Nassau in the Bahamas - know about a small liberal arts university in Raleigh?

"My mom," he said. "She is an '89 graduate of St. Augustine's. Through her constantly talking about it, I almost had no choice but to choose it as my school."

Sweeting, 21, is a senior Biology major at St. Aug's, and plans to go to veterinary school upon graduation.

"I want to be the first veterinarian to have his own veterinary hospital in the Bahamas,” he said. “I plan to stay here for awhile and get some networking opportunities that I can carry back to the Bahamas."

For the time being, he's just hoping there'll be some place left to carry something back to.

Huge swaths of the Bahamas were obliterated last month by Hurricane Dorian. The official death toll is at 50, while the number of reported missing is at 1,300.

Lavar Stubbs, a St. Aug's business major from Nassau, said one of those missing was a childhood friend who’d been unheard from for several days.

“That made it hard to concentrate on classes” right after the storm, he said.

His friend, he said, was found after about five days, hunkered down in a shelter, soggy but safe.