Dr Michael Darville, Minister for Grand Bahama (centre), at the emergency management meeting after which evacuation orders were issued for the island. Photo: Vandyke Hepburn/BIS
By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
EVACUATION orders have been issued in Grand Bahama for residents in West End, outlying settlements along the southern coast and in East Grand Bahama.
Emergency Operation Centres have been activated, and all shelters were open at noon on Wednesday.
Minister for Grand Bahama Dr Michael Darville advised all residents in those areas where an evacuation order has been issued to get to a designated shelter or with families members who live inland.
Severe flooding is expected due to storm surge caused by Hurricane Matthew, which is moving towards Grand Bahama, Bimini and the Berry Islands.
Grand Bahama residents in West End, Bootle Bay, Holmes Rock and to Eight Mile Rock up to Kentucky Fried Chicken are ordered to get to shelter. Orders have also been issued for residents along the southern coast in the settlements of Lewis Yard, Pinder’s Point, Hunters and Mack Town, as well as South Bahamia and the settlement of Williams Town.
In East Grand Bahama, residents of Sweeting’s Cay, McLean’s Town, Bevans Town and High Rock are also ordered to evacuate as there are no hurricane shelters in East Grand Bahama.
The list of shelters in Freeport are the Foster B Pestaina Hall for special needs and disabled persons; Jack Hayward gymnasium at Pioneer’s Loop; First Baptist Church, Nansen Avenue; Central Church of God on Coral Road; St George’s High School and Church of Christ on East Beach Drive; The Cancer Association Building on West Mall Drive; and Maurice Moore Primary School on Sandra Edgecombe Avenue, which is designated for residents of East Grand Bahama.
In West Grand Bahama, the Eight Mile Rock High School gymnasium is the designated shelter for residents of West End, Bootle Bay, Holmes Rock and Eight Mile Rock.
People in the evacuation zones are urged to move quickly to shelter and to take all hurricane supplies, including drinking water, food, medication and important documents, blankets and toilet paper.
Emergency numbers for the Command Centre are 351-4902, 351-4903, and 351- 4904; in Eight Mile Rock the numbers are 348 1531 and 348-1533.