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Hurricane Dorian Updates: Nema Monitoring Oil Spill, Update On Evacuees

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis is pictured in Grand Bahama today, in a meeting with Grand Bahama officials.  (BIS Photos/Yontalay Bowe)

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis is pictured in Grand Bahama today, in a meeting with Grand Bahama officials.  (BIS Photos/Yontalay Bowe)

SUNDAY’S LIVE UPDATES CAN BE READ HERE

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Minister of National Security Marvin Dames speaks to Jamaican Defence Force officers

12.45am UPDATE:: Minister of National Security Marvin Dames and Commodore Bethell welcomed officers from the Jamaican Defence Force at the Lynden Pindling International Airport at 11 pm Saturday night. The officers are here to assist the RBDF with their efforts in Grand Bahama and Abaco.

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University of the Bahamas northern campus in Grand Bahama

22.50pm UPDATE: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers processed the first mass evacuations from Abaco and Grand Bahama in West Palm Beach, Florida, today.

According to the CBP website, the Grand Celebration cruise ship arrived at the port this morning with 1,435 passengers.

CBP officers quickly processed the passengers – 529 US citizens and residents, 857 Bahamians and 39 other nationalities.

Officials from Palm Beach County gave medical and other assistance to the evacuees on the scene.

8.20pm UPDATE: No more volunteers are currently needed at the New Providence Community Church (NPCC), as Bahamians have adequately answered the call to lend a helping hand during the organisation’s Hurricane Dorian relief efforts which continued on Saturday - full story HERE

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Glenys Hanna Martin comments on oil spill

PLP Hurricane Relief Committee co-chair Glenys Hanna Martin calls for the government to prioritise the remediation of the oil spill at Star Oil, underscoring environmental and public health risks.

PLP Hurricane Relief Committee co-chair Glenys Hanna Martin calls for the government to prioritise the remediation of the oil spill at Star Oil, underscoring environmental and public health risks.

7pm UPDATE: From the Associated Press – The U.S. Coast Guard said it has rescued a total of 290 people in the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian. Six MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters are carrying out search and rescue missions and providing logistical support, while nine cutters are also helping, the Coast Guard said.

The U.S. Agency for International Development on Saturday announced $1 million in additional humanitarian assistance to help Bahamians, bringing USAID's total funding to more than $2.8 million so far.

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Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis is pictured in Grand Bahama today. (BIS Photos/Yontalay Bowe)

The United Nations said eight tonnes of food supplies were to arrive by ship on Saturday at islands devastated by the hurricane. Some 14,700 ready-to-eat meals as well as logistical and telecommunications equipment are being delivered, said Herve Verhoosel, spokesman for the U.N. World Food Program.

"The needs remain enormous," Verhoosel said.

The British Royal Navy, American Airlines, the Royal Caribbean cruise line and other organizations have also contributed to the aid effort.

Marvin Dames, Minister of National Security,, said authorities were striving to reach everyone, but the crews can't just bulldoze their way through fallen trees and other rubble because there might be bodies not yet recovered.

"We have been through this before, but not at this level of devastation," Mr Dames said.

Mr Dames said the runway at the airport on Grand Bahama island had been cleared and was ready for flights. Authorities also said that all ports had been reopened on that island and Abaco, both of which were devastated by the Category 5 storm.

3.25pm UPDATE: The updates from NEMA - Oil spill in Grand Bahama - 'NEMA is aware that there is an oil spill at South Riding Point, near High Rock.

'The incident occurred at Equinor’s storage facility. 'The Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA) authorised Equinor to send an aircraft to investigate the facility. The company has conducted visual reconnaissance to determine the scope and extent what has happened and develop a plan to manage the event.

'A team from Water and Sewage Corporation has also been dispatched to the location to assess the situation.

'NEMA is monitoring this event and will provide updates as more information is available.'

NOTICE ON ACCOMMODATION FOR EVACUEES IN NEW PROVIDENCE

'A dedicated processing centre for evacuees reaching New Providence has been established at Odyssey Aviation by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in collaboration with national and international non-governmental organizations and private sector volunteers.

'Private vessels facilitating evacuations are asked to contact the NEMA Shelter Coordinator Leonard Cargill (242- 823-5413 or 242-323-1398) to arrange transportation for evacuees to the processing centre.

'Family and friends housing who evacuees can meet at the processing centre.

'Other evacuees will be accommodated at a designated emergency shelter.'

2pm UPDATE: Tribune Reporter Rashad Rolle on how The Mudd and Pigeon Peas were lost - full story HERE

13.15pm UPDATE: Parts of Grand Bahama look like war-torn Baghdad in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, according to one resident who evacuated the island and arrived in the capital on Saturday – Full story HERE

• A conglomerate of local psychologists and therapists are making plans to launch a crisis management counselling initiative that will provide assistance and support to those now dealing with the trauma of living through the horror of Hurricane Dorian – Full story HERE

Twitter

US President’s Tweet

11.20am UPDATE: US President Donald Trump has tweeted a thanks to Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis for his “very gracious and kind words”.

10am UPDATE: From the Bahamas Red Cross – “The Bahamas Red Cross is in need of assistance. Men that are free today (Saturday 7 Sept, 2019) from 9am-5pm are asked to please come to the Bahamas Red Cross, JFK Highway to help pack and lift boxes. Also, persons that can operate a forklift are also needed.”

9.50am UPDATE: Relief passage for evacuees from Marsh Harbour and Sandypoint, Abaco: The Ministry of Transport and Local Government wishes to advise the public and residents of Marsh Harbour and Sandypoint, Abaco that the Motor Vessels Captain Emmet and Legacy will be departing Potters Cay dock at 8pm, Friday 6 September, 2019 in an effort to provide passage for evacuees from Marsh Harbour and Sandypoint. The schedule will commence as follows:

M/V Legacy

9/7/2019 FROM SANDYPOINT TO NASSAU – Departs 1pm, arrives 7pm

M/V Emmet

9/7/2019 FROM MARSH HARBOUR TO NASSAU – Departs 12pm, arrives 12am

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The Mailboat arrives in Nassau this morning.

Video

Sheldon Cartwright

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Mailboat arrives in Nassau

A join effort by the PLP’s Hurricane Relief Committee, a private company and NEMA brought an estimated 650 people to Nassau on board the Mailboat.

A social services worker on site said all on board should be registered but it’s not mandatory because they cannot enforce it. ‘It’s overwhelmed,” the worker said.

From the Associated Press: On Saturday morning, several hundred people, many of them Haitian immigrants, waited at Abaco's Marsh Harbour in hopes of leaving the disaster zone on vessels arriving with aid. Bahamian security forces were organizing evacuations on a landing craft. Other boats, including yachts and other private craft, were also helping to evacuate people.

Avery Parotti, a 19-year-old bartender, and partner Stephen Chidles, a 26-year-old gas station attendant had been waiting at the port since 1 a.m. During the hurricane, waves lifted a yacht that smashed against a cement wall, which in turn collapsed on their home and destroyed it.

"There's nothing left here. There are no jobs," said Parotti, who hopes to start a new life in the United States, where she has relatives.

Security Minister Marvin Dames said authorities were striving to reach everyone, but the crews can't just bulldoze their way through fallen trees and other rubble because there might be bodies not yet recovered.

"We have been through this before, but not at this level of devastation," Dames said.

He expressed understanding for the complaints of people who are calling for help after having their lives shattered by Dorian, but he urged patience for efforts by authorities to get in humanitarian aid.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months ago

The waters have resided to the point where on the ground search and rescue crews dropped by U.S. Coast Guard helicopters and VTOL aircraft should have been able to reach most, if not all, survivors in the more isolated areas.

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TalRussell 3 months ago

I think the one most out touch comment made so far by the colony's "most honourable" comrade prime minister, was the one he made after he landed on Abaco and said, "Seeing the damage from the 'air' is completely different” from seeing it while on the ground." Yes, prime minister, it took you 6 days post Hurricane Dorian to touch down on the realty the populaces central government's rescue teams being AWOL from the Abaco's, yes, no .... Abacoians will forever be thankful rapid response teams from the United States Coast Guard and Royal Navy Marines .... The Royal Marines could set course all way from England to the Abaco's, but not our own Royal Navy Marines. Seems they somehow got stuck at their base port in Nassau ....It pains know speaking the truth ....

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DonAnthony 3 months ago

Why has it taken so long to organize the mailboats, these mailboats should have been in abaco days ago? Seems like we had no plan before the storm.

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TalRussell 3 months ago

Ma Comrade DonAnthony, 'what' central government are you talking about? ....

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Chucky 3 months ago

Don’t need a plan to send mail boats. All you need is the will. The government could have conscripted the mail boats in 15 minutes and sent them. Obviously they didn’t want to. Perhaps it’s because there was no where to take the people.

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jamani2 3 months ago

It is very easy to criticize. Ask yourself: "What I'm I doing?"

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joeblow 3 months ago

... one can do something WHILE criticizing ineptitude!!!

And by the way the focus should be on transporting those who have relatives who can accommodate them in the capital first, the others should receive aid in tent cities until further evaluations can be made. Not only would this reduce the drain on the public purse, but will limit increasing the amount of unemployed persons in Nassau which will inevitably lead to more crime. This was show clearly when Louisana evacuees were sent to Texas and other states post Katrina!

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TalRussell 3 months ago

Ma comrade, maybe before the hurricane you could get a pass by asking such question but those days have forever ended, yes,no ....
Finally, no more can they lay the main blame governing failures on former prime minister Perry Gladstone, yes, no ....
Allow me ask, in all good conscious. Would this not be a good time for colony's vice-regal governor-general to re-access his living larger than life off PopulacesPurse's rental accommodation to reallocate the PopulacesPurse's $9,000 per month to provide even the basic of roofs over heads 'Twenty' of Abaco's and Grand Bahamaland's, now homeless families, yes, no ...

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months ago

@jamani2: I will gladly tell you what I've done. I've opened up a large house I own in the Cable Beach area, that I've been trying to rent for a couple of months now, to 3 families relocated from Marsh Harbour - 17 individuals in total and thankfully none of them requiring medical care. All 3 of these families have no family members or close friends that live in New Providence with whom they could stay and no means to pay for costly hotel accommodations. My wife has packed the refrigerator and thankfully a very large freezer with food supplies for the three families (at my expense) and has even given them one of my cars so that they can get around to renew basic prescribed medications and also visit Bahamas government offices and the U.S. embassy to obtain vital travel and other documents that they lost in Hurricane Dorian. Now you tell me what the hell you have done and are doing to help out your fellow Bahamians, assuming you are even Bahamian!

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jamani2 3 months ago

Good for you! The comment was not meant to inflict guilt. God knows our heart!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months ago

You and others like you couldn't inflict guilt where it propery belongs if you tried ....... if you could, Minnis and the vast majority of his cabinet ministers would properly be made to bear heaping loads of it.

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TalRussell 3 months ago

For Six days now the Oil 'Spills' have not only been known to the central government out Nassau, but also by the Quasi government FREE port, yes, no .... Seems The Freeport News newspaper's, last issue hit news stands was back before Hurricane Dorian on August 31, 2019 ....

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months ago

What is the foreign (Norwegian?) company doing to assist in cleaning up the huge mess caused by its oil storage facility? Did they have adequate insurance for such an event? Better still, did our government, in granting the foreign company various licenses and permits to do business of a very high risk nature to the environment there in Grand Bahama, require that adequate insurance be obtained for such a catastrophic event?

The water table of the entire Freeport area of Grand Bahama may now be contaminated for many years to come.

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TalRussell 3 months ago

3.32 PM Update. The update from he colony's "most honourable" comrade PM, is that he is still meeting with officials and fully aware that there was a Category 5 hurricane Six days ago, and wants thousands Out Islanders with no roofs over their heads to rest assured that your governing comrades are still meeting to decide - how best to respond, yes, no ...

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The_Oracle 3 months ago

I have seen this exact paralysis before, our successive governments and officials in charge do not learn from precedent Storms. That picture above is a bottle neck, intentional or not. And yet they refuse to enlist the help of or listen to the people who know what to do, how to organize and DELEGATE the tasks.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months ago

Successive governments since 1973 have stymied the growth and development of our country as a result of their insatiable appetite for dictatorial power over anything and everything that goes on in our country. Most of the statutes and related regulations enacted by our country's legislators since 1973 give a cabinet minister or another individual as the designated proxy for the cabinet minister near absolute say over whatever the legislation (statutory act and rules) touch on. It's as if the public at large (Bahamians and other residents, and local and foreign businessmen and investors) cannot do or accomplish anything without unnecessary government (ministerial) intervention and approval at just about every step along the way of trying to do or achieve just about any and everything. This is the very means by which corruption has literally been imbedded in our successive governments. Our political leaders crave this kind of control because it enables them to dictate their wants and needs to the public at large, which if not met, results in the denial or withholding of their "cup in hand" approval processes. Our political leaders were never intended to have this kind of unconstitutional dictatorial power that they have ascribed unto themselves through their unchecked control of the legislative process with no effective constitutionality backstop by our judicial system. And this unconstitutional dictatorial power grab by our political leaders has transformed our civil work force from being public servants to being public rulers (mini-dictators) with plenty of room for corruption by them as well. We have literally become a country where wrongful "pay-to-play" is the norm, resulting in costly misallocations of capital and serious delays that stymy the efforts of individuals and businesses to get anything done that involves the government. Our country will continue to be crippled by feckless, greedy and incompetent political leaders until such time the Bahamian people take their country back from them by stripping out all provisions in our existing statute law that grant de facto dictatorial powers to a cabinet minister or his or her proxy.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 months ago

Repost:

The BIA noted that its industry partners, including insurance adjusters and catastrophe response experts, have been engaged and are on standby in Nassau, in Florida and in the region. “Following the ‘all clear’ and with the coordination of the relevant authorities on the ground, teams will be deployed as soon as possible to begin assessments,” the BIA said.​

What part of the well publicized and documented fact that all of Central and Northern Abaco has been completely decimated do they not get? The same goes for much of Grand Bahama. These insurance vultures should simply be cutting cheques to the insured individuals and businesses for the maximum amount of losses covered by their insurance policies, save for third party liability coverages. Instead these insurance vultures want to delay the claims settlement process in the hope of being able to persuade traumatized and desperate survivors, who have lost everything, to sign a piece of paper evidencing their agreement to accept claim settlement amounts that are much lower than they are truly entitled to receive.

The extensive aerial video coverage that has been made public of the complete and utter destruction caused by this cataclysmic event is plently evidence enough that the insurance adjusters and catastrophe experts really have nothing at all to do in the case of the vast majority of the insurance policies. The last thing insured traumatized survivors who have lost everything need right now is stress and pressure tactics from greedy insurers seeking to minimize their insurance claim settlements.

The Insurance Commissioner of The Bahamas needs to get off of her well endowed derrière and immediately make certain expected and warranted public announcements aimed at protecting insured individuals and businesses from the well known predatory practices of property and casualty insurers. These announcements should include full page notices in The Tribune, The Nassau Guardian and The Punch, as well as public announcements on the two main local TV stations (JCN not being one of them). The announcements should also appear on the Insurance Commission's official website.

The Insurance Commission must set up a special 'Dorian' unit within her official Office to handle inquiries and complaints of aggrieved policyholders who have good reason to believe they may be victims of predatory insurance practices aimed at depriving them of the claim settlement proceeds to which they are entitled to receive at the earliest possible time. Insurers found to be engaged in predatory practices should face appropriate penalties including the possibility of their insurance underwriting capabilities being suspended pending the outcome of an investigation of their conduct by the Commissioner's Office.

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