By SANCHESKA DORSETT
Tribune Staff Reporter
MORE THAN 400 pople were rescued from their homes in eastern and southern New Providence as flood waters began to rise more than four feet during the passage of Hurricane Matthew, according to Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade.
In an interview with ZNS at the Hurricane Command Center, Commissioner Greenslade said officers began to get calls around 8am on Thursday that residents were “experiencing difficulty” with flooding and tidal surges.
He said officers, with the assistance of community partners, mobilised tractors and “really large dump trucks” to assist with rescue efforts.
“We got calls that people in the eastern section of New Providence, Lumumba Lane and Hanna Road areas like that, indicating that they were experiencing difficulty with flooding and tidal surge and indicating that salt water was now in land and some people indicating it was at their waist,” Mr Greenslade said.
“We recognised that we could not ignore that so we dispatched officers in that area that were standing by at the Elizabeth police station along with tractors that were assigned to the area and really large dump trucks.
“We went into that area and did some operations to try and remove those people.We were able to take from Lumumba Lane, Hanna Road and Yamacraw shores, 207 persons that were evacuated using the heavy duty equipment and taken to various shelters in New Providence. All of those shelters were not in the east.”
No sooner had they dropped them to shelters, Mr Greenslade said they received another call that people were in need of help in the southern New Providence.
“We got calls from the Marshall Road area in the south and so likewise we went there and we took 109 persons from that area and an additional 92 persons from the Carmichael Road area.
“So in total, 428 persons were evacuated to shelters.”
On Wednesday, National Emergency Management Agency officals “strongly advised” residents in low-lying areas and on coastal roads to evacuate and contact their local district administrator or the NEMA office to make arrangements for relocation to a hurricane shelter before the onset of the tropical storm force winds by 11pm on Wednesday.
The combination of a potential dangerous storm surge of 10 to 15 feet and large and destructive waves which could have raised water levels by as much as 10 to 15 feet above normal tide throughout the Bahamas.