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Salt Cay sending SOS messages, wicked waves battering hurricane weary island

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Salt Cay, Turks and Caicos, March 5, 2018 – Salt Cay residents say their battered dock is being decimated by and onslaught of violent waves created by what is nicknamed, a ‘windmageddon’; the high winds are causing serious waves action across the Caribbean.

#MagneticMedia was contacted by residents who say they need help, desperately and quickly and, on Facebook, have tagged government ministers and the Premier for help. 

“Salt Cay is under emergency conditions again. We have extremely limited communications, luckily the internet connection works at my house (the only spot on the island for whatever reason) so that we can get word out. Many people are gathered here to try to get in touch with Digicel to help with communications. Please contact Digicel and let them know we need communications restored to the island and upgraded to insure our safety.”

We contacted Digicel, it s public relations officer, Romell Williams confirmed that they were already working on restoring services and by the time our six minute cell phone conversation was done, Williams said the problem was fixed for Salt Cay residents.

Flow is currently looking into what is happening with its system on the tiny island.  

The telecommunications issues are but one challenge for islanders who are desperately seeking attention in the aftermath of two monster, historic hurricanes.  Today, the issue are the huge swells, further corroding the coastline defenses and damaging weakened structures.

“Debbie’s Cafe is falling into the harbor because the seawall is gone, the harbor is rapidly filling with sand. The #SaltCayHarbor is the island’s lifeline. We needed help after the hurricanes, now it is extremely critical.  We expect the high seas to continue for at least the next 24 hours. Water is flowing over onto Victoria Street. I am unable to get photos out but would someone please alert the government that things have now reached critical levels for the Salt Cay Harbor.”

Magnetic Media has reached out to the Member of Parliament or the district, who is also the Minister of Health and Human Services, Edwin Astwood.  There had been no reply as yet up to news publication time.  

The #BahamasDepartmentofMeteorology today issued a three-day marine and public weather forecast for The #Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands which says:

GENERAL SITUATION: A RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE WILL BUILD FROM THE NORTH TO ACROSS THE ISLANDS TODAY MEANWHILE HAZARDOUS BOATING AND BEACHING CONDITIONS WILL PERSIST AS EXTREMELY LARGE SWELLS GENERATED BY A DEEP LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM IN THE ATLANTIC CONTINUE TO AFFECT THE ISLANDS

SPECIAL WARNINGS: BOATERS ARE URGED TO REMAIN IN PORT AND BEACHGOERS ARE TO REMAIN OUT OF THE WATER DUE TO DANGEROUS SURF, STRONG RIP CURRENTS AND LARGE BREAKING WAVES AT NORTH AND EAST COAST SHORELINES MOTORIST SHOULD AVOID TRAVERSING THE GLASS WINDOW BRIDGE ON ELEUTHERA AND ALSO TO EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION WHILE TRAVELING ALONG NORTH AND EAST COAST ROADS PARTICULARLY IN THE EASTERN MOST ISLANDS

FOR ALL AREAS

WEATHER: PARTLY CLOUDY AND LESS BREEZY WITH THE SLIGHT CHANCE OF A FEW BRIEF PASSING LIGHT SHOWERS TODAY PARTLY CLOUDY AND COOL TONIGHT.

Residents of Salt Cay shared these photographs online.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Bahamas News

Minister Moxey says partnerships for development will help get Grand Bahama going again

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#TheBahamas, November 27, 2021 – One means by which Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. Ginger Moxey plans to utilize every resource at her disposal to get things moving for Grand Bahama again, is to utilize partnerships for development.

“Success with these partnerships on our island are embedded in collaborative efforts between the ministry of Grand Bahama, other government ministries, the Grand Bahama Port Authority, the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, Hutchinson Whampoa Holdings Ltd., industry stakeholders and the business community at large,” explained Minister Moxey.

“We must unite and work together to build alliances for success with the ultimate goal of ensuring that Grand Bahama Island excels.  We are all in this together.”

The Minister’s remarks came during her keynote address at the ninth annual Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards Luncheon, which was held on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021 at Pelican Bay resort. The event is held to honor Grand Bahamian business owners for their commitment, achievements and dedication to the development of the second city.

Minister Moxey pointed out that this year’s event, under the theme, celebration of excellence, acknowledges and highlights businesses on Grand Bahama that have stayed the course. She added that this kind of recognition is a beacon of hope for local business owners who have faced and overcame some of the most challenging circumstances ever encountered within the island’s history.

“On November first during my contribution on the bill to thank the Governor General for his Speech from the Throne, I pledged to the nation that I would do the people’s business and utilize every resource at my disposal, to get the job done for Grand Bahama,” said Minister Moxey.

“As a Grand Bahamian and business owner, I can attest to the challenges we have faced over the past decade. The devastation of Hurricane Dorian in 2019, which was closely followed by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. It further strained our already fragile economy. Today’s administration is also well aware of the challenges that Grand Bahama has faced over the past decade. Nevertheless, we will deliver on our commitment to recover, rebuild and revolutionize our island, our economy and usher our people into the new day.

“I would like to thank all of the businesses represented today, that have kept their doors opened and our people employed. To all of the Business Excellence Award nominees, I congratulate you. Remain encouraged and know that your efforts have not gone unnoticed.

“To the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, thank you for being a staple in the business community and for celebrating excellence for the past nine years. Welcome back business excellence awards.”

 

By Andrew Coakley

Photo Caption: Minister for Grand Bahama, Ginger Moxey (right), along with President of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, Greg Laroda presents Mrs. Leslie Baptista, of Paint Fair, with the President’s Award, during the ninth annual GB Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards Luncheon, which was held on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021 at Pelican Bay resort.

(BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)

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Caribbean Development Bank to offer solutions for TCI with Sea Defences

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, November 27, 2021 – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has committed $600,000 to investigate upgrades to sea defences in the Turks and Caicos Islands, disclosed by the Minister of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Akierra Missick as she sought to reassure residents about the state of the defenses.

Concerns were raised by residents recently when the newly paved Front Street, Grand Turk was severely flooded because the sea wall was unable to hold back massive waves.

Minister Missick acknowledged the concerns but said that the government had been working on upgrades since August of this year. This, she said, had begun with a “holistic review of all of the island’s sea defenses.” It was revealed that this review is being done through an environmental consultancy agency.

The consultancy is set to run for 11 months.

At the end of the consultation period, the government should have what Missick described as shoreline characterization for Grand Turk and Salt Cay as well as designs for measures to break wave strength before it reaches shore and infrastructure upgrade designs for the entire coast of Grand Turk and Salt Cay.

Feasibility studies will be carried out alongside these infrastructure designs to determine their effectiveness.

Meetings between CDB and stakeholders including residents, tourism operators, engineers, coasts resource advisors, and others are set to occur over the 11 month time frame.

A coastal resource and vulnerability analysis is also set to be completed. This, Missick said, is a pre-emptive effort to prevent future problems.

Opposition leader Edwin Astwood spoke out regarding the flooding incident. He said the flooding was caused by faulty engineering of the sea wall rather than drainage along the road. In the House of Assembly on November 22, Astwood claimed the wall, which should have been built with a curve, was built flat.

Missick has not yet responded to the claims but has promised that CDB’s preliminary report should be tabled with Government by Summer 2022.

 

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Leading revenue earners need to include a boosted Financial Services Sector says Finance Minister Saunders

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, November 27, 2021 – The Turks and Caicos economy has surpassed expectations for revenue by almost $90 million dollars. Finance Minister E.Jay Saunders revealed the top four categories that spearheaded the increase, accounting for nearly 80 per cent of the revenue brought into the TCI.

The information was presented at a November 8 press conference where the Finance, Investment and Trade Minister also provided a simplified version of country finances in a Citizens’ Guide to the Budget.

Saunders said, in his presentation, that every single revenue item overachieved, pushing the original $271 million dollar budget to a projected $361 million.

The first category was Work Permits which is projected to have, a near $2 million dollar increase. Next was Accommodation Tax, which is projected to have an almost $15 million dollar increase in revenue, followed by Customs Import Duties with a projected $22 million dollar increase.  Finally, Stamp Duties rounded out the main four with a whopping $34 million projected increase.

He did warn that despite its brilliant performance, the TCI economy must diversify and do so soon. He cited supply chain issues that are currently affecting the global market saying that if even one of the major categories of revenue were to be affected it could be detrimental for the economy.

He said “Over 80% of our revenue comes from four categories…When we talk about diversifying this is one of the reasons why, because of anything happens to say, Customs Import duties it would be a disaster.”

In tandem with this call to diversify that the minister made significant mention of Financial Services as a fifth category for fiscal development. He said that despite the industry still being fairly small that “if the government can manage to grow it just a little bit it would make a huge difference.”

Cayman and the BVI were cited as examples of territories which had managed to build strong financial services sectors. He assured the press that, “The only thing we have to do is modernize our legislation and become more of a competitor…and we don’t need to increase our market share significantly to grab another 50 million dollars.”

In contrast, the biggest expenses were Salaries, Pensions, and Hospital charges with the Ministry of Health getting the bulk of the budget.

While the Finance Minister was pleased with the progress, he also expressed his determination that the TCIG be able to increase their now $360 million budget to $400 or even $500 million.

This, said Saunders, would allow the government to hit their 2040 goals to improve quality of life for TCI citizens.

 

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