By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
One Bimini resident yesterday lamented the “total devastation” that Hurricane Irma visited on his business, as a former administrator hit out at the island’s major resort.
Ebbie ‘Bonefish Ebbie’ David, owner of Ebbie’s Bonefish Club in Bailey Town, told Tribune Business: “My bar is totally gone. The bar is out in the water. The place is totally devastated.”
Mr David added that about four feet of water was driven into his home by Irma before low tide Sunday night. As the storm drove into Florida, Bimini experienced tropical storm conditions on Sunday with wind gusts of about 80 miles per hour and tornado activity.
Meanwhile Sherrick Ellis, a Bimini resident and former Out Island administrator, said dredging by Resorts World Bimini (RWB) and its predecessor, the Capo Group, had eliminated much of the natural mangrove protection against storm surges.
“The Government needs to put a hold on the resort,” he argued. “When it comes to dredging they need to put a hold on that project. It’s detrimental to the mangroves, which is the island’s only protection against storm surge, and it affects the fish stock.”
Mr Ellis also told Tribune Business: “A portion of the island has been devastated tremendously. We had a tornado here, and a lot of people had the roofs on their homes damaged. It’s in the area we call Bunker’s Hill. That is where most of the damage is.
“Other areas of the island suffered minor damages; maybe a few shingles lost but no other major damages. We are just trying to put things back together. A lot of power lines are down and a lot of trees were uprooted. It may be a few days before power is fully restored. BEC is doing an assessment tour right now. A few power poles and transformers are down.”
Neal Watson II, another Bimini resident, told Tribune Business: “There were maybe two tornados in the Bailey Town/Porgy Bay area. Homes were affected in that area.
“[Bimini] Big Game seems to be pretty good; some of the docks took a bit of damage. It will be a while before power is back up. There was a bit of flooding. Power is off in north and south Bimini. All landlines are down.”