Tribune Business Reporter
Businesses and residents in the southern Bahamas are bracing themselves for the possibility that a strong tropical wave expected to pass over The Bahamas becomes a serious threat, with one private sector representative telling this newspaper: “We don’t want to find ourselves in a situation as with Joaquin”.
Cheryl de Goicoechea, the Long Island Chamber of Commerce president told Tribune Business: “Yes, there is concern as we don’t want to find ourselves in a situation as with Joaquin, where it developed into a very strong hurricane overnight.
“People know that this weather system can change very quickly and in a very short time become a strong hurricane.
“Some homes are already being shuttered up and boats are being moved to safety although there are still several fishing boats out to sea at this time.”
A strong tropical wave is expected to dump three to four inches of rain and cause severe flooding as it passes over the Bahamas.The system could strengthen into a tropical depression or tropical storm as it passes over the southeast Bahamas. Severe flooding in the southeast Bahamas which includes Long Island, Ragged Island, Acklins, Crooked Island, Mayaguana and Inagua is possible.
Goicochea told Tribune Business: “Visitors to the island are departing or have already departed. There is a lot of conversation and all eyes are watching its path and conditions. I am sure that everyone will be as ready as they possibly can if it does become a serious threat.”
Joaquin, a Category Four hurricane, with maximum sustained winds around 130 miles per hour, battered the southern and central Bahamas last October leaving massive devastation in its wake. The Government had pegged Joaquin’s damage at $60 million, but that has since been increased to $80 million and in December Prime Minister Perry Christie said that the figure was $100 million.