‘Please pray for our Bahamasland,’ Canadian victim wrote before Dorian hit

Windsor, Ont., native was one of at least 20 people killed during the hurricane

Alishia Liolli in an undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Alysha Cardinale-Soderberg

Hours before hurricane Dorian pounded the Bahamas and obliterated entire neighbourhoods, Alishia Sabrina Liolli asked her friends and loved ones on social media to pray for her family and the small island she called home.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified; but the dogs, chickens, husband & children are inside and everything is batted down the best we could!” the 27-year-old Ontario woman wrote on Facebook at 11:42 p.m. on Saturday, just before the full thrust of the storm hit. “I love you all — please pray for our Bahamasland, especially our Abaco. We will keep everyone updated as best we can!”

In the hours and days since Dorian hit, her friends and family desperately tried to reach Liolli, fearing the worst.

On Thursday, Liolli was confirmed to be one of at least 20 people killed during the storm.

Liolli’s family took to social media to express their shock and sadness at the news.

“Can’t believe this is real … a life taken too soon,” her cousin, Aislinn Liolli, said in a Facebook post. “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. You made the world a better place.”

Alishia was ”always smiling, always joking, able to make anyone feel better,” Aislinn Liolli said.

Childhood friend Alysha Cardinale-Soderberg said she was “numb” after hearing about Liolli’s death.

“I just don’t know how to deal with it,” she said in a telephone interview with The Canadian Press.

Alishia Sabrina Liolli grew up in a small town near Windsor, Ont., and met Cardinale-Soderberg when the two were nine years old.

The pair was inseparable — going to elementary school and high school together before parting ways for university.

Ryan McKenna, another friend, said he first met Liolli at Toronto’s Ryerson University. As a residence adviser and slightly older than the incoming first-year students, Alishia was the de facto leader of the floor at Pittman Hall, a student residence at the university, McKenna said.

“I always called her ‘mom,’” he said. “She was always looking after me, an 18-year-old kid from P.E.I in the big city for the first time.”

Liolli moved to the Bahamas in 2013 to volunteer at Every Child Counts, a vocational school that helps children with autism. She later helped build a new school with the organization and has since been running the program that helps adults with autism.

Her husband and the children all survived, Cardinale-Soderberg said.

The family has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to bring Liolli’s body to Canada. Any extra money raised would be used to help rebuild the school where she worked, which was heavily damaged in the storm.

Hurricane Dorian continues to pummel the east coast of the United States and is expected to hit Canada’s Atlantic provinces by the weekend.

Liam Casey, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Extensive damage and destruction in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian is seen in an area called “The Mud” at Marsh Harbour in Great Abaco Island, Bahamas on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald via AP)

Just Posted

Majestic takes one year production hiatus

Bashaw theatre to focus on volunteering, collaborating and more music

Stettler County awaits Summer Village responses on possible amendment to Buffalo Lake development plan

Amendment could allow for more lots at the controversial Buffalo Lake RV Resort

Atom Stars play it even in home tournament

Bashaw doesn’t make the final after finishing at 2-2

Flush truck partnership updated

Agreement between Bashaw and two other municipalities renewed

VIDEO: Minister says consider coronavirus outbreak when planning for spring break

Foreign Affairs minister points to rash of new cases appearing in places like Italy and Iran

Fake meat and a latte? Starbucks adds Beyond Meat in Canada

The Seattle roaster has talked about introducing plant-based patties in the U.S., but has yet to do so

Groundhogs got it wrong: spring isn’t coming soon, Weather Network says

The only part of B.C. to warm up early will be Victoria

Pink Shirt Day campaign urges Canadians to ‘Lift Each Other Up’

Annual anti-bullying effort returns Wednesday, Feb. 26

ReProm: Second shot for LGBTQ Calgarians to enjoy milestone as themselves

Centre for Sexuality, a sexual health not-for-profit in Calgary, is holding its first ReProm fundraising gala

Calgary woman charged in aggravated assault of 11-month-old daughter

The girl was brought to the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary with a broken arm

Little-used part of Constitution led to different carbon tax rulings: experts

On Monday, the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled 4-1 that the carbon tax is unconstitutional

Alberta legislature resumes: Focus on jobs and bill to punish protesters

Kenney’s United Conservative government was elected last spring on a mandate to create jobs

Most Read