NICOLE MAKES LANDFALL: 800 seek shelter as hurricane hits Grand Bahama and Abaco

Damage from Tropical Storm Nicole to a gas station building that was recently completed in Cooper's Town, North Abaco.

Damage from Tropical Storm Nicole to a gas station building that was recently completed in Cooper's Town, North Abaco.

Conditions in Abaco

THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE: Effective 5am EST, Thursday 10th November, 2022, Hurricane Warnings for Grand Bahama, Abaco and the Berry Islands have been discontinued and a Tropical Storm Warning has been discontinued for the island of Bimini. The all clear has now been given for the entire Northwest Bahamas.


Tribune Staff Reporter


MORE than 800 people were forced to seek shelter yesterday as Hurricane Nicole barreled across Abaco and Grand Bahama, dumping heavy rain and gusty winds – stirring up painful memories for many still reeling from Dorian’s devastation.

The storm’s centre made landfall on Abaco just before noon Wednesday as a tropical storm before trekking over to Grand Bahama, which officials said was in line for a direct hit.

By the time the storm reached the nation’s second city — around 6pm — it had already intensified to a category one hurricane. A total of 885 people were said to be housed in government shelters as a result of the storm as of 4pm yesterday.

Details on Nicole’s full impact on Grand Bahama were not known up to press time last night, but as it made landfall, the storm was said to be moving west at 13mph with an estimated maximum sustained wind of 75mph.


YESTERDAY’s press conference by NEMA. Photo: BIS

Even before landfall, there were reports of downed trees and heavy flooding in parts of Grand Bahama as well as in Abaco, including its cays - though there were no confirmed casualties.

There were also reported power outages, water disruption and uprooted structures, but structural damage overall was said not to be extensive on the island.

“Abaco fared better in terms of wind speed, according to Mr Greene from the Met Department. The highest sustained winds were around 43 miles an hour with gusts of up to 59,” Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness Myles Laroda said during a press conference at the National Emergency Management Agency yesterday.


Flooding at the Fishing Hole Causeway in Grand Bahama. Photo: Vandyke Hepburn

 As it relates to Grand Bahama, Chief Meteorological Officer Geoffrey Greene said the entire island was likely to be affected by the storm and added that officials were hoping to give the all clear for residents there sometime this morning or early afternoon.

 He also predicted more rainfall until Friday.

 “Nicole is expected to produce amounts of three to five inches of rain with localised higher amounts up to eight inches mainly across Grand Bahama and Abaco today through Friday,” he said.

 In terms of shelters, officials said more than 20 shelters were activated across the country in response to Nicole, with at least two reaching maximum capacity during the storm’s passage over The Bahamas.


Conditions in Hope Town, Abaco on Wednesday morning. (Photo: Residents in Elbow Cay)

 Early yesterday morning, it was reported that some 520 people had sought refuge in the more than 20 approved government shelters, however that number later grew to over 800 people throughout the day.

 “The majority of the occupied shelters that we are aware of are approved shelters. There are two shelters – one in Treasure Cay and the other in Marsh Harbour that are unofficial shelters but they have a significant number of persons sheltering in them,” said Charlamae Fernander, acting deputy director for the Department of Social Services.

 Although only Abaco and Grand Bahama were in the direct path of the storm, the storm’s presence was still felt in other islands.

 In Eleuthera and Andros, there was extensive flooding reported while in New Providence, rough seas spilling over onto roadways led to road closures in portions of West Bay Street and areas like Ferguson Road and along Saunders Beach among others.

 However, those islands were given the all clear by weather officials after 5pm yesterday.

 “In those islands, schools and universities will resume classes tomorrow (Thursday) and all government workers are asked to return to duty,” acting Prime Minister Chester Cooper said in his live address from NEMA last night.

 “In the islands of Grand Bahama, Abaco, Berry Islands and Bimini, NEMA will make an announcement in due course but these areas continue to be under warnings.

 “I want to assure the Bahamian people, particularly in Grand Bahama and Abaco that the government and its agencies have deployed assets and resources necessary for search and rescue and recovery.”

 According to Mr Cooper, a team of officials is expected to travel to Abaco and Grand Bahama today to assess conditions on those islands following the storm’s passage.

 This comes as the communities are still recovering from Hurricane Dorian which laid waste to portions of the islands in 2019.


ThisIsOurs 4 months, 2 weeks ago

wooden structure with corrugated steel roof?


Sickened 4 months, 2 weeks ago

That doesn't appear to have been very sturdy. Does any ministry inspect structures like that?


DDK 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Money in pocket inspections, Sickened. This IS The Bahamas......


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