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Reminder of horrors of Dorian

By JADE RUSSELL

jrussell@tribunemedia.net

ABACO and Grand Bahama residents were preparing for the worst and stocking up emergency supplies as news of approaching Subtropical Storm Nicole brought eerie reminders of the horrors of Hurricane Dorian, which brought devastation to both islands in 2019.

According to forecasters yesterday, Nicole is expected to affect Grand Bahama as a category one hurricane on Wednesday, while bringing tropical storm force winds to Abaco.

North Abaco Chief Councillor D’Angelo Edgecombe said yesterday many residents feared that Nicole would be another dramatic experience, similar to Hurricane Dorian. The anxiety led residents to pile up at gas stations and food stores in an effort to prepare for Nicole’s arrival.

Mr Edgecombe said residents were preparing and monitoring the storm, as many still were struggling to recover from Dorian.

When asked how residents were handling the anticipation, he said: “It’s a mix of feelings, some folks you know see that it’s a category one. But I heard someone say well God forbid, Dorian started out the same way and in no time it progressed. So definitely we don’t want that.”

Another resident, Bishop Cedric Bullard, yesterday said he never stopped preparing for the hurricane season. He said he urged members of his church to learn from their Hurricane Dorian experience.

Bishop Bullard told this newspaper yesterday that he was ready to hit the ground in Abaco to assist as many people as he could with final preparations.

“We are going to walk around and check on persons, especially vulnerable people like the seniors in our church. To make sure they are up to speed and that they are up to date with everything.”

East Grand Bahama member of Parliament Kwasi Thompson said amid preparations, some residents on that island had been advised to evacuate their homes.

This was the case for those at Sweeting’s Cay, which is considered a vulnerable area.

The East Grand Bahama MP said he also advised people in other low-lying areas to leave their homes and seek alternative shelters.

“We are also awaiting the call as to what is going to happen with residents out in the East End settlements,” Mr Thompson said. “We just came out of an emergency meeting with all of the government agencies, briefing us as to their preparations. All of the government agencies seem to have already activated their emergency protocols.

“We will be in the community this afternoon. I am advising the community to one, be vigilant but also in the eastern settlements, those who are low-lying settlements, we are advising them to evacuate as well.”

In terms of facilitating those residents who will need to evacuate, Mr Thompson said the local government was coordinating transportation for people and the Ministry of Social Services had a specific shelter to aid with the east settlements on the island.

Mr Thompson said Grand Bahama residents were very concerned about Subtropical Storm Nicole.

For his part, Free National Movement leader Michael Pintard, who is also Marco City MP, said the FNM was prepared to facilitate residents and aid in their preparedness for the storm.

“We will support not only government efforts but independent of government we have been helping residents,” Mr Pintard told this newspaper, “Because the government’s response since they've come to office, there has been minimal support in terms of them transforming homes or continuing the system we have in place that provided financial assistance to hire contractors or to buy building supplies.”

When asked whether he thought residents in Grand Bahama were concerned by storm alerts and would take advice to evacuate seriously, Mr Pintard said: “I believe residents in Grand Bahama in general will be far more sensitive to any recommendation of moving that they have ever been given, given the experience of Dorian.”

Yesterday, acting Prime Minister Chester Cooper said in view of the storm, residents needed to brace themselves for the worst.

Mr Cooper said the government was closely monitoring Storm Nicole.

“The late-season storm is a reminder that we’re not out of the woods yet as the Atlantic hurricane season continues through November 30.

“As projections are subject to change, we urge you to follow the official releases of The Bahamas Department of Meteorology. Currently, Abaco, Andros and the Berry Islands, Bimini, Grand Bahama, Eleuthera and New Providence are under tropical storm watch.

“Please do not take this storm lightly. Nicole poses an imminent threat to the islands under the warning.

“Everyone must prepare for the worst. For those who cannot secure themselves at home, please make preparations to move to the nearest storm shelter.

“Abaco and Grand Bahama are currently directly in the path of the storm, which could strengthen over the next 36-48 hours.” he said in a statement.

As the central government took precautions, the Ministry of Education Technical and Vocational Training announced the closure of all schools on the islands of Abaco, Grand Bahama and the Berry Islands, effective from today.

Comments

ThisIsOurs 4 weeks, 1 day ago

"North Abaco Chief Councillor D’Angelo Edgecombe said yesterday many residents feared that Nicole would be another dramatic experience, similar to Hurricane Dorian"

Hurricane Dorian??? 185mph winds and 20ft storm surge? We're equating a tropical storm to that now?

This is the equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded building. And the crazies justify it by saying you can never be "too" prepared

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