By SANCHESKA DORSETT
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Department of Meteorology issued gale force wind warnings yesterday after a cold front brought 40 mph winds across the entire Bahamas beginning around 5am.
Chief Meteorological Officer Geoffrey Greene said gale force winds will gradually move over the northwest, central and southeast islands as a strong squall line, cold front and postfrontal trough moves over the area beginning at 8am.
The warning was in effect for Grand Bahama, Abaco, Bimini, Berry Islands, Andros, New Providence, Eleuthera and the adjacent water until 1am Tuesday. However, the strong winds began to die down before noon in New Providence.
However, several communities lost electricity during the high winds and heavy rain. Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) blamed the outages on the inclement weather, but said crews were out “working to ensure supply is reconnected as quickly as possible.”
According to a statement from BPL last evening, strong winds were responsible for outages in a number of areas including Prince Charles Drive, Montel Heights, Englerston and the Shirley Street/Palmdale area on Monday morning. BPL said power was restored to these areas however, the company was working last night to restore power in other areas that were impacted yesterday morning.
BPL crews were last night working to restore power in Adelaide Village, Tropical Gardens, High Vista, Millers Heights, Nassau East South, Stapledon Gardens, Kool Air Subdivision, South Beach Drive, Southern Comfort Subdivision, Johnson Estates, and Nassau Village.
“Company officials maintain that strong gusts of wind could cause problems with power lines that may result in supply interruption to customers,” the company’s statement said. “BPL reminds its customers that this is a particular vulnerability that exist with overhead power lines. Realising that potential challenges could result from the reported conditions, BPL temporarily increased the size of its response team to quickly address outages and restore power to impacted customers.”
The Met Office also issued a severe weather warning for South Eleuthera, Cat Island, Exuma and its Cays, San Salvador, Rum Cay and Long Island as the system moved southeastward.
Mr Greene said heavy showers and scattered thunderstorms were expected in the above named areas as well as winds up to 30 knots.
Some of the thunderstorms were expected to be severe at times causing strong gusty winds, dangerous lightning, heavy downpours, hail and possible waterspout or tornadic activity.
Mr Greene said a cold front is expected to sweep across The Bahamas today and tonight.
“The entire Bahamas was under a gale force warning because of the squall line,” Mr Greene said on Monday.
“So we expect it to be extremely windy. After the wind has passed a strong cold front is expected to follow across the northwest Bahamas. So on Tuesday we will still have some winds but it won’t be as strong and it will be much cooler. It should be in the mid to upper 70s in the daytime and get down to the mid to low 60s, however the wind will make it feel a lot cooler.”
The Met Office warned that gale force winds can cause flying debris and bring down trees and power lines, it warned that people should be cautious and stay alert to their surroundings during and after storms.