Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) in Acklins, Crooked Island, Great Inagua, Long Cay and Ragged Island were activated at 2pm Wednesday afternoon (August 11, 2021) as local and national Disaster Managers and Planners continued to closely monitor Tropical Storm Fred.
Shelters were also placed on standby with teams at the ready in the event persons may be in need of shelter.
The National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC), located at the National Emergency Management Agency’s Headquarters on Gladstone Road, was also scheduled to be partially activated at 6pm Wednesday evening to provide support for the islands in the southeastern Bahamas overnight and into Thursday, and to monitor events.
Captain Stephen Russell, Director, National Emergency Management Agency, said all mechanisms have been placed in a state of readiness for any eventuality as Tropical Storm Fred approaches the southeastern Bahamas. Captain Russell said the Agency’s Communications Teams have completed testing of Communication Systems, and reported that those systems are “operational.”
Captain Russell said NEMA officials have been in “constant dialogue” with counterparts at the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction, those on the ground in the islands of the southeastern Bahamas, and its regional partners at the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency’s (CDEMA) Coordinating Unit in Bridgetown, Barbados.
He said: “CDEMA is on standby monitoring the system and they have assured us that the regional mechanism has also been placed on standby to support us if necessary.
“As we activate shelters in the islands of the southeastern Bahamas, we want to inform persons that we will strictly adhere to the health and safety protocols established by the Ministry of Health to limit the community spread of COVID-19. That includes social distancing, sanitization/washing of hands and the wearing of masks in all shelters,” Captain Russell added.
Meteorologist, Arnold King, of The Bahamas Department of Meteorology, said Tropical Storm Fred formed at 11pm EDT Tuesday night and began interacting with Hispaniola Wednesday morning as it continued on a west-northwesterly track at around 16mph. (The Bahamas Department of Meteorology is an Emergency Support Function (ESF) of the National Emergency management Agency.
Mr. King said: “Some wind, but mostly rainfall impacts are likely over portions of the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, beginning later today. Rainfall amounts of 1-3 inches, with isolated maximum totals of 5 inches are likely – which can give rise to significant flooding in low-lying areas.
“Residents and interests in The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands are advised to follow the progress of this system by way of the Alert messages issued by The Bahamas Department of Meteorology,” Mr. King added.