THE National Emergency Management Agency has announced that the homes damaged or destroyed during Hurricane Irene in 2011 are now fully renovated and occupied.
On August 24, 2011, Hurricane Irene, a Category three storm with 120 mph winds, passed through the Bahamas directly hitting the islands of Mayaguana, Crooked Island, Acklins, Cat Island, Long Island, Exuma, Rum Cay, San Salvador, Grand Bahama, Abaco, Eleuthera, Moore’s Island and Sweeting’s Cay.
In the aftermath of the storm, about 3,353 structures were assessed on 11 islands and two cays and more than 75 per cent of the owners sought some degree of assistance from the government of the Bahamas.
NEMA, through its Repair and Reconstruction Programme, managed the repairs and reconstruction throughout the islands through providing materials, employing local repair teams and awarding of contracts for major repairs and reconstruction of homes that were deemed unusable or destroyed.
A number of residents moved into newly constructed houses in time for Christmas – two in Rum Cay, two in Cat Island, one in Long Island, 12 in Acklins, one in San Salvador and three in Abaco.
The houses are one, two or three bedroom homes valued at between $50,000 – $75,000 each, including labour and materials.
Captain Stephen Russell, director of NEMA, thanked the many sponsors and donors for their contributions toward the Hurricane Irene relief, repair and reconstruction efforts.