Virginia college offers free tuition, housing to students in Bahamas displaced by Hurricane Dorian

The storm battered the island and left at least 23 people dead.

Hampton University is lending a hand to students in the Bahamas displaced by Hurricane Dorian.

The Hampton, Virginia, school is offering University of Bahamas students free tuition and free housing for the fall semester after the storm battered the island for nearly two days, according to a statement from the university.

The death toll in the Bahamas reached 23 on Thursday, but Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands told a local radio station that the final count will be "staggering."

Dorian, which reached the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm, left "generational devastation" across the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama, which are both in the archipelago's northern region, east of southern Florida.

"Young Bahamians from Abaco and Grand Bahama who are looking for the tools to rebuild their lives and our home will find them at Hampton," Lawrence Rigby, who is from Nassau and is a former student at the Bahamas college, said.

Dr. William R. Harvey, Hampton University president, said he hoped to give students the chance "to achieve and meet their goals."

Harrowing aerial footage from the Bahamas shows widespread devastation after the storm, which landed as the strongest Atlantic hurricane on record.

A slew of celebrities and tourism agencies have offered aid to the island, including donations from Sandals Resort and pledges of a million dollars in disaster relief from Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean.

Hurricane Dorian, now a Category 2, is making its way along the U.S. coastline toward the Carolinas, possibly making landfall in North Carolina Friday morning.