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Updates: Nema Issues Shelters List

4.50pm: NEMA has this afternoon issued its hurricane shelters list.

NEMA says the bad weather expected over the next few days could mean people are asked to leave their homes at a moment's notice.

Nema has assembled its shelter managers and is asking managers to make contact before sunset with the property owners to ask if they can make the shelters available.

As of 4.30pm, NEMA said the shelters were not open as yet but it would let people know when they are available.

The weather system could generate as much as 13 inches of rain across the entire Bahamas, NEMA says.

The weather front comes from the southern Caribbean sea and is being given a 90 per cent chance of becoming a tropical storm.

BEC has reminded customers whose homes and businesses may be affected by flood waters that they should turn off the main breaker switch and leave it off until a licensed electrician assesses the building and determines it is safe to turn on the power supply.

Additionally, the corporation has warned that in areas where flood waters may reach potentially dangerous levels, the corporation 'may temporarily disconnect the supply to prevent injury or further damage.'

In instances where adverse weather conditions may cause damage to BEC's infrastructure, residents are advised to stay away from downed power lines.

BEC encourages customers who may be experiencing problems with their electricity supply to utilize its emergency numbers at 302-1800 or 323-5561-4.

3.30pm: RESIDENTS with unsound homes have been told to move out and seek shelter as a massive weather front hits the Bahamas bringing prolonged heavy rain, tornadoes and thunderstorms.

The warning came from the National Emergency Management Agency at 2pm which said low-lying areas across New Providence and Grand Bahama were likely to be hit first this evening.

They said residents with unsound homes should safeguard their properties and seek shelter.

Details of public shelters will be given later today, with details available on 100JAMZ and this website.

Severe flooding is predicted throughout the islands. Rainfall could reach more than 15 inches over the next 72 hours.

Flash flooding is expected.

Emergency numbers, provided by NEMA, are 322 6081 or 6085. Police are available on 302 8356 or 322 6881 or 6882.

West Bay Street near Arawak Cay, Pinewood, and in Grand Bahama, Queen's Cove and McLean's Town, were identified by NEMA as potential flood risks.

Northwest and Central Bahamas, including New Providence, Grand Bahama, and Abaco, were expected to be hit in the next few hours.

The rainfall is expected to be excessively prolonged, said NEMA, lasting into Friday.

This afternoon the weather system was said to be at the tip of the islands.

An announcement on school closures is due to be made either later today or first thing in the morning.

Eighty per cent of the archipelago is expected to flooded by Friday, said NEMA.

Winds expected to reach 30mph, just under a tropical cyclone level, as the system takes hold.

The system could include thunderstorms and tornadoes.

The information came at a 2pm conference, which said that NEMA had been fully activated.

Further warnings will be published here.

Send your weather pictures or stories to newsroom@tribunemedia.net or call our newsroom on 322 1986.

• 1.35pm: There are reports that some schools are closing for the day - please check with your school for confirmation.

The Department of Meteorology has issued a statement warning of tornadoes, thunderstorms and flooding caused by prolonged rainfall.

The statement says: "Residents throughout the archipelago should brace themselves for excessively prolonged rainfall throughout the day (Tuesday) and lasting through Friday night.

“A broad area of moist unstable air extending southwest to northeast from the Caribbean Sea will generate heavy rainfall and thunderstorms across the entire archipelago. Conditions will be favourable for flash flood warning in low-lying areas.

“Winds are expected to reach 30 miles per hour or more in embedded thunderstorms. Tornadoes are likely to be spawned from the thunderstorms.

“A severe thunder storm watch or warning with the possibility of tornadoes will be issued when it is indicated by the weather radar or sighted by spotters.

“The Department of Meteorology is appealing to residents in flood prone areas to be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. Residents are advised not to drive, walk or play in floodwaters as the depth can easily be misjudged. All efforts should be made to protect lives and property.

“All advice and notifications by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) should be heeded.

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