A Bahamas flag flies tied to a sapling, amidst the rubble left by Hurricane Dorian in Abaco in September. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
By RIEL MAJOR
Tribune Staff Reporter
FIFTY ONE percent of residences in assessed Abaco communities sustained major damage from Hurricane Dorian, with nearly half of them not salvageable, Works Director Melanie Roach said on Friday.
Her revelation about damage to residences in Spring City and Central Pines, both government subdivisions, came as she revealed results of the government’s initial assessment of buildings in Grand Bahama and Abaco.
Works Minister Desmond Bannister has indicated that officials still have thousands more structures to assess.
On Abaco, the 446 residential buildings in Spring City and Central Pines have been assessed so far, Ms Roach said, noting her ministry is using a web-based assessment software by the United Nations Development Programme to facilitate its work.
“We found that 22 per cent of the (residential buildings in Spring City and Central Pines) are non-salvageable or destroyed, " she said. "Twenty-nine per cent have major damage, 19 per cent have medium damage and 29 per cent have minimal damage.”
On Grand Bahama, officials have completed 1143 residential building assessments, 71 commercial building assessments, 12 assessments of mixed use buildings and 51 government building assessments," she said.
“What they have found so far is that in Grand Bahama 16 per cent of the buildings that have been assessed are not salvageable or have been completely destroyed," she added. "Another 16 per cent have had major damage, 18 per cent have medium damage and 50 per cent have minimum damage.
“They have completed all of the residential assessments in East End, Grand Bahama, the majority of West End Grand Bahama and then they have done some assessments within the city of Freeport itself. With regards to the government buildings…the assessment teams last week and this week are going to prepare scope of works for buildings that can be repaired.”
Ms Roach said a nine-person team in Abaco scoped repairs for the high school and primary school in Marsh Harbour and a team will be sent next week to assess the government administrative complex there and schools in north and south Abaco.
All major roads in Abaco have been cleared, she said, with a temporary causeway completed so people can access little Abaco.
“We will be preparing a design for a bridge instead of a causeway for that area," she said. "The contractors that we had working prior to the hurricane on the highway Earnest Dean and at Stink Pond they will continue to do that work.”
“The Ministry of Works is in the process of doing long term assessments," she added. "We’ll be setting up a man camp and that way we’ll be able to post persons there for at least a five-day period so that they can continue to do the assessments."