Bahamas News

New Tropical wave threatens relief efforts in Grand Bahama and Abaco

#Freeport, GB, September 13, 2019 – Bahamas – Even as residents of both Grand Bahama and Abaco struggle to clean up following the passage of Hurricane Dorian, which left behind devastating effects, the threat of a tropical wave over these islands have only added to the anxiety GB and Abaco residents have been feeling.

Tropical Cyclone Nine is expected to develop into the next Tropical storm, as it moves through parts of The Bahamas this weekend. According to local and international weather reports, the Wave has a 70 percent chance of further development. Once it develops, it will be named Huberto.

“I know this is not something people in Abaco and Grand Bahama would like to hear at this time, but it’s out there and the storm will bring heavy downpours over the Bahama Islands,” said Shavon Bonimy, Senior Meteorologist in Grand Bahama. So we have to be prepared. If you’re in a low lying area that is prone to flooding, then I suggest that you move to a place that would be less likely to flood as a result of heavy rain. On its projected track, this system is expected to take a similar track as Dorian.

“The system is expected to bring rainfall anywhere from one to three inches, with the maximum of five inches.  Most of that rain will be concentrated over the Abacos and the eastern part of Grand Bahama Island.”

Additionally, Bonimy said that they are anticipating gusty winds, near gale force and in some instance – particularly over East Grand Bahama and Abaco – tropical storm winds, but on a lower scale. However, we know that these storms can surprise us. So we must be in a constant state of readiness.”

With a new threat of another storm passing through Grand Bahama, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has announced that they will be reopening shelters on the island for those residents whose residences may have been compromised following the passing of Hurricane Dorian.

It should be noted that at least three of the original shelters that were used for Hurricane Dorian had remained opened up to date. The shelters that will be reopened include Calvary Temple Church, St. George’s High School, the Central Church of God, Ascension, the Grand Lucayan Ballroom and Bethel Deliverance Church.

“The same rules will apply when it comes to the shelters,” said Paula Marshall of Social Services. “We want to appeal to the persons in Grand Bahama to please secure your documents by ensuring that they are in a plastic sealed container. Bring whatever you need to the shelters.” 

Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson is once again advising members of the Grand Bahamian community not to take the storm likely. He noted that although when it is scheduled to pass over Grand Bahama, it would be just a Tropical Storm, the Minister warned residents not to let their guards down. 

“As we saw with Dorian, these storms can change in an instant, so please do not take this lightly,” said Minister Thompson. “We know that this system is going to bring us a lot of rain and we know that when Hurricane Dorian left us, there were a number of homes left in disrepair.

“I wish to say that today NEMA gave out a number of tarps throughout the communities to assist residents in preparing their roofs. Please do your best to secure your roofs to prevent any further flooding or water damage.”

Minister Thompson strongly advised those residents in East Grand Bahama not to ride out the Tropical storm in their community, but rather to seek lodging in one of the shelters in Freeport.

The threat of a Depression and possible Tropical storm will no doubt hamper recovery efforts in Grand Bahama, which has been growing steadily over the past week. Since Category 5 Hurricane Dorian blew through Abaco and Grand Bahama on September 2, 2019 it left behind almost total devastation.  

By Andrew Coakley

Release: BIS

Photo Caption: Minister of State for Grand Bahama Kwasi Thompson addresses the media. 

(BIS Photo/Andrew Coakley)

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