By CARA HUNT
NORTH Andros “took the brunt” of the eye of Hurricane Matthew on Thursday evening, resulting in extensive damage, according to administrators on the island.
“The sea came one and a half miles inland, resulting in extensive flooding from Morgan’s Bluff Marina all the way into Pineville, and from Lowe Sound Harbour into Fire Road,” said Ivan Ferguson, senior deputy administrator of Nicholl’s Town, North Andros.
He added that the BTC tower was completely destroyed in the storm, cutting off all telephone communications. On Friday afternoon, volunteers in heavy trucks were out trying to clear large trees that were blocking the roads. Potable water and electrical infrastructure were also impacted.
The Tribune lost contact with Mr Ferguson before any further information about the area’s status could be obtained.
Reports were much better from the southern and central parts of the island. Cleola Cooper-Pinder, deputy administrator of Fresh Creek, Andros, said officials had begun to assess the damage in her area.
“The airport’s roof has been compromised, but we hope it can reopen in the morning. BEC is in the process of doing their assessments and restoring power as soon as possible. Their generator room roof suffered damage and we have been in touch with Captain (Stephen) Russell of NEMA as we need large tarps,” she said.
Mrs Cooper-Pinder explained that the Fresh Creek area is still without power, but everyone is well and working together to clean up as a community.
“We have persons with large trucks going through the island helping where they can. There is a lot of debris and we have about 30 power lines snapped and some very large trees have been uprooted in what we believe must have been tornado activity,” she said.
While some areas have flooded, they have not seen the major flooding of private residences experienced in Nassau.
Mrs Cooper-Pinder said that they are in the process of checking with the local food stores as there are concerns that supplies may run out.
Meanwhile, Gregory Knowles, senior deputy Family Island administer for Kemp’s Bay and Mangrove Cay, said that they were also in the clean-up process after being spared the worst of Matthew.
“There are a lot of trees down and a lot of water in the streets, but no flooding in homes and businesses. I know that there was one shop which lost a portion of it’s roof and a home in Duncombe Copice. We are with power because fortunately none of our poles came down in Kemp’s Bay,” he explained. “The Lord was really gracious to us.”
Mr Knowles told The Tribune earlier that there had been an incident with a senior citizen on Wednesday that required intervention from law enforcement.
“We had some resistance from a 94-year-old lady who said ‘only God could tell her to move’,” Mr Knowles said. “So we had to get police and Defence Force officers in to bring her out of her home and into the elderly home where it’s safer. She eventually settled down and followed instructions.”