Some of the damage caused by Hurricane Irma in Inagua, as seen during yesterday’s tour by Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis. Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
ACCOMPANIED by a senior government delegation, returning residents of Inagua yesterday found an island that had withstood Hurricane Irma’s blows, the hurricane only downing several lamp poles and causing roof damage to some structures.
None of the more than 900 residents of the island will be displaced because of the damage. And according to MICAL MP Miriam Emmanuel, efforts to restore electricity to the entire island will begin today when a team from Bahamas Power & Light (BPL) is expected to arrive, although residents in the northern part of the island were said to have had their electricity restored already.
The Morton Salt facility sustained significant roof damage to its mechanic shops where it repairs mobile equipment. There was concern on social media over the weekend about the condition of the facility.
However, officials there weren’t alarmed, saying salt production would resume as soon as possible with minimal disruption––good news, they said, for the company’s 145 full-time employees and the island whose economy depends on it.
“Hurricane Irma cannot destroy the unstoppable spirit of Inagua and Morton Bahamas,” Jean-Baptiste Dromer, senior director of mining and manufacturing at the company, said.
Officials couldn’t say how much repairing the damage will cost because assessments of the facility are continuing.
“We are taking all serious steps to meet our customer needs,” said Mr Dromer.
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said: “I’ve been assured by the executives that they will be working aggressively to get it back functioning at 100 per cent capacity but at the meantime the staff has not been compromised so that is good news for The Bahamas.”
On the state of the island generally, he said: “The homes sustained minimal damage and the community has worked together to do what’s necessary.”
The government delegation, which included Dr Minnis and a number of Cabinet ministers and other senior officials, also visited Mayaguana yesterday evening.
That island sustained minimal damage from Irma. Some residents of MICAL evacuated their communities ahead of Irma’s landfall.
The delegation will today visit Bimini and Grand Bahama to continue its assessments.