North Coast needs your HELP

As many of you may know from my other posts as well as some of the news outlets the North Coast of the Dominican Republic is a major disaster area.  We have received over 50 inches of rain over the last 3 weeks with major flooding in many areas leaving up to 20,000 families out of their homes.  To make matters worse all three roads leading to Santiago and Santo Domingo form the Puerto Plata area have had major damage and bridges washed away and roads are all closed.  So the North coast area is basically cut off form the rest of the country.

A group of Expats (Pat and I included) have set up a relief effort (one of many working here) to help the local communities most severely effected.  Currently we are concentrating on providing food (many have had no food for days), water, diapers, medicines and such.  In fact by tomorrow we will have provided nearly 1000 meals. 

Right now we need  your help. Please visit our web site  and please donate what you can.  Please share this with your friends and family back in the US, Canada, UK or where ever you are from or have contacts.  We are in a desperate situation.

I have cleared this post with Julien and though this is not what they normally allow they understand that these are extreme times.

Thank you

Bob K

So glad you did this!  So many need help. I just helped get a roof put back on a friend's house. They lost everything, literally  everything. It is heartbreaking.

For all those who can, ease help.

And please spread the word, the international press has NOT picked this up.

I almost feel like the government is ignoring the situation so as not to scare off the tourists (especially those heading to PC) as the season winds up. I have not seen any government assistance or efforts other than the president's photo op here last week.   So sad.  We are at a point where international assistance is needed but a request for such has to come from the Dominican government first.  So far no requests. 

How do they ever plan on fixing the bridges and roads???
The north coast is essentially cut off from the rest of the country.

Bob K

Its all good observations Bob, after the first huge flood that hit Puerto Plata hard, the gov't sent in  150 vehicles to help with clean up and lots of  manpower.  That happened fairly quickly.

Then the situation deteriorated as the rains continued and was more widespread. AND  there was a much bigger problem with farms  inundated, entire  areas cut off, roads  literally destroyed and bridges wiped out. 

It is now something like  5 provinces considered disaster areas.  They are now spread way way too thin. 

I agree with your assessment that the gov't is trying to protect the tourism industry but at a cost to ordinary typical Dominicans that is just NOT acceptable.

That is why we need the help of everyone to get the news spread and picked up by international media. Its horrible here for locals right now. Most expats are inconvenienced but fine.

Thousands of Dominicans are NOT okay. They are much more then inconveniences their lives are altered dramatically.  I know hundreds of stories right here in Puerto Plata and there is NO help for them.  It is heartbreaking and frankly pissing me off.  I too am working to try to do something about it!

Good for you Bob and the group you are working with. 

All expat members PLEASE spread the word. If you need videos PM me or go to FaceBook, friend me ( I will send you info by PM) and look at all the videos,  share them!

Dear Bob and Planner,

Thank you so much for taking the initiative to get this started. I agree  that the  international media is not picking the story up at all and I too am stunned by the lack of attention. It's a conversation I've had numerous times with people  here in the states who haven't heard any mention of this. If it was Haiti it would be all over the news. My husband and I would be happy to contribute and I will post on my Facebook page. Planner how are you listed on Facebook?  I don't know much about GoFundMe but would that be an option as well?

Also, let me know if you need me to collect non-perishable supplies that may not be readily available. I have contacts in my immediate area that can get supplies into the Dominican with relative ease and at a fairly reasonable price.

I  am sending you a private message.

Go to the web site above and it lists two fund me sites that we are currently using and we will be adding another in a day or two that will be used to fund many different communities here on the north coast

Bob K

Thank you.  I've posted to my Facebook page.

I've been telling everyone...and you are not kidding...NO ONE is covering this here in the states...Does anyone know if the autopista 7 (toll road from Santo Domingo to Nagua/Cabrera) is passable?

I believe it is okay!  I've not seen any report Indicating any issues.

Yes that road is open

Bob K

It's very sad to hear what has been happening in the north coast.  I have sent a message to SKY News in the UK who normally are very receptive to this type of "story".  I would suggest several contact SKY News as well, just to make the point.   news[at]    Good luck



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Thank you so much!

Bob K

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Thanks Julien,  rocks!!!!

Not to belittle ANY nation going through natural disasters, but we've been getting coverage of a train wreck in India?! AND earthquake in New Zealand!? But, still no mention on any news outlet I've seen here in the States... ridiculous! I've mentioned it too everyone in my classes...and have posted on FB...


Yes international coverage is non existent.  Such a shame and I think our government here has something to do about this???

Bob K



Bob K

I'm actually going to be back in the next week or two....there is a L O T left to be done. Thank you to everybody that cares enough to help 😀

Actually it has been declared a "Disaster Area" by Danilo today.

Yes lots more to be done.  Today packed almost 100 bags of goods for needy (flood victims) families to be delivered tomorrow.

Bob K


What a scandal! I'm a Swedish freelance reporter coming to the Dominican republic for work and I can assure you we haven't heard anything on the news about the floodings.

Anyone know the situation right now? Is Puerto plata/Cabarete/Sosua still not accessible from Santo Domingo? Are the roads still closed?

I believe the government here has suppressed world news coverage fearing a huge impact on tourism.
As to current conditions:   
     Still over 9000 folks out of their homes and many more in poor condition
     Still major roads in bad shape with some local communities totally isolated
     Major road repairs have been started and the major bridge connecting Santiago to Puerto Plata is now open but only one lane at a time so there can be major traffic tie ups.  The second bridge in Jamao is still out cutting off a major route to Santiago.
     There are still massive relief efforts going on both government and local groups (mostly ExPats)

As to your question yes the travel from Santo Domingo to the north coast is open and there are two major ways to get here from there.

The resorts are operating normally and no evidence of flooding there. Most of the flooding is in the local barrios (towns).

Bob K

So, as always tourism thrives as the poor people suffer. A reminder of the earthquake on Hispaniola six years ago.

I was supposed to go there for a piece about backpacking travel but now I'm leaning towards covering the effects of the disaster. I guess they will be evident even in two weeks when I arrive.

A huge thank you for the immediate response!

You are welcome.  Let me know if you need any info when you get here or you can contact Planner on this forum as well

Bob K

I will be back to Charamicos & Marinathas after next week. Those are the sections of Sousa & Cabarete that tourist generally never hear of or see, and as I found out yesterday there has been little assistance in those areas. The exception to this has been the bridge, that was repaired with amazing promptness.

Mostly any help we get is from each other there, not that this is an issue, but the truth is that both border tourist hot spots...yet a few miles away life looks as if it were an entirely different nation.

If you need a contact in the area for any stories you may want to do my family is very well connected there and can definitely point you in the right direction...just let me know.

That particular bridge was quickly repaired because the resort buses need it to get to the resorts. The rest will be as soon as possible.

How are things in Cabrera?  Has the storms affected Hotel La Catalina and there condos?
Whats been happening up there?

We are travelling from Bavaro Punta Cana area this weekend and just wondering if any one on the blog knows what the highways are like for travelling on, Via highways 3 to San Pedro,then  4 to Santo Domingo  then north on 7 to highway 5 and travelling this highway to Sosua and mostly wondering what highway # 5 is like along the coast line and not washed out and bad shape from the storms we have had this past weeks

Rigger, this is definitively the best route both in traveling time and distance, but also the most scenic one...Route 7 go across a national park and Route 5 through the coastline, the rainy season didn't damaged Route 5 badly so just be careful of a few bumps along the road while you enjoy the ride. Have a safe trip!!!

La Catalina has been closed for 6-9 months now. It's for sale. Not much damage in that area. Cabrera town generally survived except for a lot of water damage downtown as the rain rushed over the little creek's banks on it's way to the ocean.
Hwy 5 is good.

I travelled  from Santiago to Puerto Plata  Monday morning,  and the road is  better then expected.  Watch for  holes in the road and slowdown at the bridge in Imbert but its all passable!   See you soon Rigger.

Hey, Rigger...have you traveled that route before?  Last year we did that exact route and ending up in Ost Santo Domingo on a Friday around 5 pm...I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND THAT!!!   On google maps it looks like 3 runs into 7...but, guess what!?  There a short turn off before that point that you need to know is there.  I remember seeing a flash of a tiny sign saying "Samana" and an even tinier arrow pointing right about 3.4 Kilometers before route 3 'almost' intersects with route 7.  Make sure you make that exit or you won't be able to get off 3 until downtown! haunts me!  OR you can jump up to route 4 and take that to 7, but we got stopped randomly by police doing that ...but we were too clueless to understand that they were waiting for a bribe...hahahaha....

I need to stop posting before completely reading the post... :dumbom:   I just saw that you are planning to take 4...good luck.  We're coming into SDQ on Christmas we'll be driving up the same way...

Here a tip...when you cross the toll passing Airport of the Americas, pull over and ask locals, the exit is and use as a reference point the next bus stop for Caribe Tours that is right at the intersection with route 7  :)

The roads in the Charamicos area are still washed out.

No in town for the most part is ok, though still some standing water and lots of mud

Bob K

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