• LIVE COVERAGE OF HURRICANE DORIAN WILL NOW CONTINUE HERE
3am UPDATE: Heavy flooding reported at Grand Bahama International Airport, which is said to be underwater as Hurricane Dorian starts to impact the island.
2.45am UPDATE: New Providence is now being affected by flooding in a number of areas. NEMA has activated the shelter at the Kendal Isaacs gym for residents needing to escape the flooding.
NEMA is also reporting that New Providence will experience rain bands with between six to eight inches of rain until Wednesday. Visibility may be reduced and drivers are advised to drive with extreme caution and care.
A number of vehicles have stalled in floodwaters and people are urged only to travel if they must.
• On Monday morning we’ll bring you the latest news on Hurricane Dorian and its impact on Abaco and Grand Bahama.
11.30pm UPDATE: NOAA has posted a new tracking map for Dorian.
10.50pm UPDATE: This tweet from meteorologist Drew Tuma (left) shows the western eyewall of Dorian moving over Grand Bahama.
10.30pm UPDATE: Princess Margaret Hospital is in urgent need of all blood types. The blood bank will be open Monday from 9am till 8pm.
9.30pm UPDATE: An infrared map (9pm) of Hurricane Dorian.
8.05pm UPDATE: In an interview Friday, the general manager of Abaco Beach Resorts expressed complete confidence to The Tribune that the complex would withstand the storm. Nearly 48 hours later, shaken guests, carrying suitcases and belongings, were taking advantage of the respite provided by the eye of the storm to evacuate rooms as the building continued to crumble.
“We didn’t know this would be a category five storm,” one employee said. Even for people prepared for the storm and taking it seriously, Hurricane Dorian struck with force of almost unimaginably catastrophic proportions.
8pm UPDATE: From the Clearing Banks Association: “Banks will be closed on the island of New Providence tomorrow & will instead reopen Tuesday, Sep. 3rd, 2019. Banks on the islands of Abaco, Eleuthera and Grand Bahama will remain closed until further notice.”
7.20pm UPDATE: All government offices in New Providence will be closed Monday.
7pm UPDATE: Lend a Hand Bahamas is now taking donation for hurricane relief efforts – you can find details HERE
Residents of The Mudd evacuate to the government complex on Abaco
6.10pm UPDATE: LPIA will suspend operations at 10pm, and resume at 7am on Monday in Nassau.
5.55pm UPDATE: From The Ministry of Health: “The Ministry of Health stated today, September 1, 2019 there have so far been no reported deaths on the island of Abaco, which is currently being impacted by Hurricane Dorian, other than the recent fatality in Sandy Point, Abaco.”
Overturned cars in Abaco
5.20pm UPDATE: PRE-STORM impact data analysis put the country’s capital exposure from Hurricane Dorian at $8.1 billion with a projected impact to more than 70,000 Bahamians. Full story HERE
5pm UPDATE: Airport Authority general manager Milo Butler III said his team was trying to reestablish communications with Marsh Harbour airport. Their last contact was at 2.31pm.
Overturned cars in Abaco
4pm UPDATE: Grand Bahama utility connections will take place at 7pm
A building severely damaged by Hurricane Dorian
3.25pm UPDATE: This video (left) shows extensive damage to a building on Abaco from Hurricane Dorian.
A scene of devastation in Abaco
2.30pm UPDATE: Don Cornish, City of Freeport administrator: “We’re still waiting, the hurricane shelters are all up and running. People are going to be running in at the last minute. The only shelter nearing capacity is the special needs one. At the special needs shelter there are about 55 people - Christ The King Anglican Church hall. There are 346 people across all 14 shelters.”
THERE have been no confirmed reports of deaths as Hurricane Dorian pounds Abaco, according to NEMA Director Captain Stephen Russell. At a noon briefing, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis warned against fake
social media reports. “Social media spews a lot of fake news so a lot of that has to be verified," he said.
2.25pm UPDATE: PUBLIC schools in the northwestern Bahamas will be closed until further notice, according to Education Minister Jeff Lloyd.
These include: New Providence, Andros, Eleuthera, Abaco and the surrounding cays, Grand Bahama and the surrounding territories, Bimini, Cat Cay and the Berry Islands.
Schools on Cat Island, Exuma, Long Island, Acklins, Crooked Island, Mayaguana, San Salvador and Rum Cay will open on Wednesday at the regular scheduled time, he said.
At a briefing on Sunday, Mr Lloyd advised public school administrators, teachers and support staff, along with contractors at schools outside of the affected areas to report to campuses tomorrow (Monday) and Tuesday
to prepare for the return of students.
Damage in Marsh Harbour as the eye passes over
Storm surge in Abaco
Inside a home reportedly devastated by Dorian
2.10pm UPDATE: These videos give an indication of the damage inflicted by Hurricane Dorian on Abaco.
Storm surge in Abaco
1.05pm UPDATE: BPL has released the following statement: “BPL has determined that there is a problem reaching our emergency numbers via cell phone. We are working with BTC to correct the problem now. In the meantime, you can reach us via landline at:
Or you can log your issues via Facebook. We are monitoring the page closely and will respond as quickly as possible. Be safe! Stay away from downed power lines.”
1pm UPDATE: “MAY God bless us all,” said Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis on Sunday as monster Category 5 storm Dorian churns through the northwestern Bahamas. Abaco residents who refused voluntary evacuation are now in for the “long haul,” he said, with parts of Marsh Harbour are already underwater. At a press conference at the National Emergency Management Agency, Dr Minnis pleaded with residents in Grand Bahama to leave high-risk zones immediately. He noted the country still did not have legislation authorising mandatory evacuation, but pledged draft legislation would be brought to Parliament at the earliest opportunity. Full story HERE
Strong winds in Abaco
12.50pm UPDATE: There are reports of people needing assistance at the Island Breeze Hotel in Marsh Harbor, Abaco – with the roof said to be badly damaged. Captain Stephen Russell of NEMA said “Tell them to get to safety, there's nothing anybody can do now. Just try to get to safety,” when asked about the situation.
Storm surge in Marsh Harbour
12.35pm UPDATE: From this afternoon’s NEMA press conference:
• Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said many have not heeded his warning to evacuate from the cays. He says he hopes this is not the last time they hear his voice and “may God be with them”.
• Dr Minnis said parts of Marsh Harbour are already under water – in some parts you can’t tell where the street ends and the ocean begins.
• A call for those in West End, Bootle Bay, Bahamas Beach and MacLean’s Town Grand Bahama to leave those areas – “They WILL flood”. There is only a short window to cross the bridge at Fishing Hold Road – transportation is provided. The bridge will close at 3pm – or earlier depending on the weather. At least 13 shelters are available.
• Schools in New Providence, Abaco, Grand Bahama, Bimini, Eleuthera, Cat Cay and the Berry Islands will be closed till further notice.
12.15pm UPDATE: BPL has released the following statement: “The Bahamas Power and Light Company Limited (BPL) wishes to inform customers who may be having an issue calling into BPL that we are liaising with BTC at this time. We have determined that while there appears to be an issue calling the emergency numbers from a cell phone, you can still reach us via land line at our emergency numbers. Those numbers are:
“We are working with BTC to correct the problem. We thank you for your patience, and apologise for the inconvenience.”
11.55am UPDATE: BPL Street Smart Hurricane Dorian Tropical Wx 11am Update provided by IBM | Bahamas “First Alert” Aviation, Climate & Severe Weather Network – CATASTROPHIC DAMAGE: Hurricane Dorian strengthens to a Category 5 storm with sustained winds at a devastating 165 mph and gusts at over 200 mph earlier this morning. At its present speed the eye of Hurricane Dorian will make impact near Hope Town, Cherokee and Marsh Harbour in under two hours before continuing in a westward direction at 8mph towards Treasure Cay/Green Turtle Cay, before slowly heading western into North Abaco by Coopers Town.
The scene in Abaco this morning
11.40am UPDATE: Dorian is now the strongest hurricane on record for the Bahamas with maximum sustained winds of up to 180 mph.
Green Turtle Cay
11am UPDATE: MARSH Harbour, Abaco - As Hurricane Dorian slowly barrels through the Abacos, low-lying areas of Green Turtle Cay are already flooded, according to a resident there, Marcus Jones, 34.
The cay has approximately 500 people, very few of whom followed the government’s evacuation order.
Mr Jones said they did not know the storm would get so strong. He believed it would max out as a Category 3 or 4 storm, but by 10.30am Sunday, the storm had intensified into a category five hurricane with winds up to 175mph.
“Maybe we would’ve left had we known,” Mr Jones told The tribune shortly after 10am.
“I think we would have left if we had the means. Mostly everybody still here. Ten to 15 people left to go to family abroad or something but most people are moving to the houses in the higher land area. We have lots of friends on the island who are second home owners so they are letting people who want to stay at their house do so because they have generators. And then there are people staying at the school, the shelter.”
When he spoke to this newspaper, Mr Jones said the downtown area of the cay already sustained two to three feet of floodwater, a normal occurrence in rainy weather.
Like many Abaco residents, Hurricane Floyd in 1999 remains an instructive experience about what to expect from hurricanes. He said many of the cay's structures survived that event.
9.00am UPDATE: BPL Street Smart Hurricane Dorian Tropical 8am update – provided by Bahamas “First Alert” Aviation, Climate & Severe Weather Network: HURRICANE DORIAN strengthens to a catastrophic Category 5 storm and intense hurricane force winds are about to impact Hope Town, Abaco Cherokee, Marsh Harbour - prior to the centre of the storm making a projected landfall near TREASURE CAY/GREEN TURTLE CAY before slowly heading west into NORTH ABACO by Coopers Town.
BPL Street Smart Hurricane Dorian Tropical Update
SUNDAY 5AM UPDATE provided by Bahamas “First Alert” Aviation, Climate & Severe Weather Network
6.40am UPDATE: EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CAT 4 HURRICANE DORIAN has begun to impact - Hope Town, Cherokee, Marsh Harbour - prior to the centre of the storm making a projected landfall near TREASURE CAY/l GREEN TURTLE CAY BEFORE SLOWLY HEADING IN THE DIRECTION OF COOPERS TOWN, NORTH ABACO.
Outer bands have begun to impact Abaco from east.
Residents in the Northwest Bahamas ( Abaco & Grand Bahama ) can potentially expect prolonged periods of either life-threatening storm surge, devastating hurricane force winds and/or torrential rainfall projected to be between 12-24 inches in Northern Abaco and Eastern Grand Bahama.
TORRENTIAL RAINS – On its present track Hurricane Dorian is expected to pass to the north of High Rock, Freeport, Eight Mile Rock and West End sparing our nation’s second city and settlement from the ferocious winds around its core. That said, residents in those areas should expect PROLONGED PERIODS OF DANGEROUS SEAS, UNUSUALLY HIGH TIDES, STRONG WINDS & WITH HEAVY RAINFALL IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF 12-24 INCHES SAYS NHC.
Seas 21ft over the open ocean and storm surge on the northern side of Abaco 10-12 ft.
Those affected should keep in touch with all eAlerts from NEMA, Dept of Meteorology, statements from the Office of the Prime Minister and/ or Tribune242.com.
10pm UPDATE: Taking shelter: Abaco residents prepare for Dorian – full story HERE
8.30pm UPDATE: Officials on the island of Eleuthera wish to inform motorists and other road users that the Glass Window Bridge is officially CLOSED as of 7pm this evening, due to strong sea surge. The bridge will reopen only when the weather permits. Please stay away from the area of the bridge until the all clear is given.
7.40pm UPDATE: An update from LPIA – the airport is open and operating today and it is anticipated the airport will be open for operations tomorrow, Sunday, September 1,
PM makes final appeal to residents ahead of Hurricane Dorian – full story HERE
Seventh Day Adventist Pastor Wilson Isnord in The Mudd community
4.00pm UPDATE: A new tracking map for Hurricane Dorian from 2pm.
From this afternoon’s NEMA press conference:
• At 11am Hurricane Dorian’s strength increased to 150mph – it could become a Category 5 storm.
• Abaco and Grand Bahama will be seriously affected on Sunday and Monday.
• North and Central Abaco will experience tropical storm force winds at 2am on Sunday and hurricane force winds by Sunday morning.
• East Grand Bahama will experience tropical storm winds at 9am on Sunday morning.
• Dorian is expected to slow down and make more of a northwest turn. This would create prolonged periods of large sea wells on the north coast of Grand Bahama and east Abaco. Storm surge could reach 15 feet.
• A warning remains over New Providence for now. Residents should be on alert in case the track takes a turn to the south.
• Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has begged and pleaded with residents in areas at risk – especially in Grand Cay and Sweeting Cay – to move to the mainlands. Dr Minnis said homes, houses and structures can be replaced, lives cannot. He asked that those not willing to leave allow women, children and the elderly to go. Transportation – both public and private – is being provided. “Time will not be on our side,” the Prime Minister said. Residents are urged to carry identification and important information.
• The Prime Minister is asking residents in the north of Abaco to move to the south and those in east and west Grand Bahama to move to shelters in the central area.
• The Rand Memorial Hospital has made special provisions for special needs individuals. They will be moved to protected areas.
• New Providence, the Berry Islands and North Eleuthera should be prepared – but LPIA will remain open during the hurricane.
11am UPDATE: A list of approved hurricane shelters and contacts for Grand Bahama has been released.
BPL Street Smart Tropical Update
SATURDAY 8AM UPDATE Courtesy of IBM & Bahamas “First Alert” Avaition, Climate & Severe Weather Network
SATURDAY 9.30am UPDATE: We have just posted the latest BPL Street Smart Tropical Update video. There’s also a new tracking map.
PRESS RELEASE FROM NEMA
NEMA partially activates to closely monitor Hurricane Dorian
NASSAU, The Bahamas – The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, activated its National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) at 6pm Friday, August 30 to closely monitor the track of Hurricane Dorian as it threatens the Northwest Bahamas.
Captain Stephen Russell, Director of NEMA activated Level II of the Standard Operating Procedures of the disaster plan because the situation escalated into a real threat such as storm warning, storm surges, and flash flood warning. Full activation is expected to take place as NEMA tracks the hurricane.
Representatives of NEMA’s Emergency Support Function groups reported to NEOC at NEMA on Gladstone Road to ensure the public receives timely and accurate information about the hurricane.
Earlier on Friday, the Most Hon Dr Hubert A Minnis, Prime Minister was briefed in a meeting at NEMA, on the projection of Hurricane Dorian. He also commended members of the disaster committee for their dedication.
Following, the Prime Minister, during NEMA’s national press conference strongly appealed to the public especially residents in the projected path of North and Central Abaco and East Grand Bahama, to heed warnings and seek shelter to safeguard their lives.
Contact was made with Family Island administrators via telephone, who ensured that their respective islands were prepared for the hurricane.
At the time of activation, the Bahamas Department of Meteorology issued Alert #16 that “extremely dangerous Hurricane Dorian was heading for the Northwest Bahamas.
A Hurricane warning was in effect for a portion of the Northwest Bahamas. This includes: North Eleuthera, Abaco, Grand Bahama, Bimini, The Berry Islands and New Providence.
A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions could affect the mentioned areas within 36 hours.
A hurricane watch remains in effect for North Andros.
A Hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions could affect the mentioned islands within 48 hours.
Residents in North Eleuthera, Abaco, Grand Bahama, Bimini and The Berry Islands and New Providence should rush to complete all hurricane preparedness, as there is a strong possibility that the center of Dorian will move over the Northwest Bahamas on Sunday, September 1.
The Met Department advised that dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves up to 15 feet can be expected along the eastern and northern shores of Eleuthera and Abaco on Sunday and the northern and southern shores of Grand Bahama on Sunday night through to Monday morning.
Dorian is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 10 to 15 inches over the Northwest Bahamas and 2 to 4 inches over the Central Bahamas.
Mariners are to remain in port, as moderate to large swells are likely to affect the eastern shores of the Northwest and Central Bahamas.
More stories on Hurricane Dorian:
• Non-profits mobilised for post-Dorian assistance
• $100m line of credit for hurricane response
• PHA: Make use of polyclinics
• Abaco residents recall Hurricane Floyd ahead of Dorian arrival
• PM makes evacuation plea ahead of storm
By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
LOCAL weather forecasters predict Hurricane Dorian will make landfall early Sunday morning packing 130mph winds, storm surge and heavy rain.
Beginning at 4am Sunday, residents in Marsh Harbour, Abaco will begin to experience strong tropical storm force winds. By 11am, those in Grand Bahama will begin to see and feel Dorian’s strength.
According to Jeffery Simmons, deputy director in the Bahamas Meteorology Department, officials are closely tracking the storm given the unpredictable nature of hurricanes.
“The consensus track right now showing Dorian moving into Abaco beginning to affect them is at 4am Sunday morning,” Mr Simmons said during a press conference on Friday. “Marsh Harbour, Abaco will be begin to feel tropical storm force winds as Dorian continues to move west.
“Then by 11am on Sunday morning East End Grand, Bahama will begin to feel those same winds. At that same time Marsh Harbour, Abaco is expected to be experiencing some strong tropical storm force winds at around 2pm Sunday evening…expect hurricane force winds.
“At that time Dorian is expected to be a Category Four Hurricane at 130mph. It’s anticipated that the centre of Dorian will move on shore at Marsh Harbour at 5pm on Sunday afternoon and continue moving toward the west.”
He continued: “At about 11pm Sunday night it is anticipated that the centre of Dorian will then move into East End, Grand Bahama, and continue moving westward along Grand Bahama throughout Sunday night into Monday morning/
“At about 11am Monday the centre of Dorian is expected to be at 140 mph and even stronger Category Four Hurricane. This system is expected to be accompanied by storm surges of up to 15 feet.
“In addition to these storm surges at this time we will also be experiencing spring tide, which creates another issue that will cause the storm surge to be an additional foot or two feet.
“It is expected that Dorian will continue to move toward the west Monday and into Bimini Monday morning and then move into the Florida Peninsula sometime Monday evening clearing the Bahamas. By then it would be Monday afternoon.”
He urged residents in Abaco, Grand Bahama, Bimini and the Berry Islands to make preparations before Hurricane Dorian makes landfall.