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No serious infrastructure damage suffered in Abaco

MEMBERS of the Cabinet led by Acting Prime Minister Chester Cooper visited and assessed Marsh
Harbour government dock, the government complex, Central Abaco High School, and Friendship
Tabernacle Church yesterday. Photo: Anthon Thompson/BIS

MEMBERS of the Cabinet led by Acting Prime Minister Chester Cooper visited and assessed Marsh Harbour government dock, the government complex, Central Abaco High School, and Friendship Tabernacle Church yesterday. Photo: Anthon Thompson/BIS

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THE FRIENDSHIP Tabernacle Church served as a shelter for 200 during the storm. Photo: BIS

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Tribune Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

ACTING Prime Minister Chester Cooper says Abaco fared well with no significant infrastructure damage or serious injuries in the aftermath of Nicole.

The day after the storm followed the same path as Hurricane Dorian three years ago, Mr Cooper, along with government officials and the official opposition assessed the island.

However, with the passage of Nicole, Mr Cooper, said it was evident that there has not been enough investment in infrastructure since 2019’s Dorian.

He also noted that there had been some flooding at the Abaco port and Leonard M Thompson International Airport, but this was expected due to the rainfall and sea swells associated with Nicole.

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Officials, including Acting Prime Minister Chester Cooper, arriving on the ground at the Marsh Harbour, Abaco, airport, to assess the impact of Tropical Storm Nicole on Abaco. (BIS Photos/Anthon Thompson)

“I am delighted to see that we have been protected and from the looks of the areas that we inspected it seems that we fared quite well,” Mr Cooper told reporters yesterday at Abaco.

“So, I think this is a good message that we haven’t been significantly hurt in terms of our infrastructure but the message still is that since Dorian there hasn’t been enough investment in infrastructure and we need to focus on really getting Abaco back to the pre-Dorian levels at a minimum.

“I think from the perspective of the port, Parliamentary Secretary (John) Pinder (III) and (Kirk) Cornish have both pointed out the need to have this gateway restored so that there are facilities for employees to work from, that there is a proper building for customs and of course there can be some remediation work, some engineering, really when there is high tide or some surges really to protect the platforms that your have there.

“We understand there was some flooding there at the port. The waters came over maybe about a foot, foot and a half, and these are the kinds of things that now we see have happened during this particular storm.”

“No loss of life, no serious injuries, we fared well. God is good,” Mr Cooper also said.

Mr Cooper stressed that the country remained open for visitors, adding he did not anticipate any fall off in tourism.

“Tourism is strong. Tourism will continue to be strong. We know that many of the tourists did not leave. They made a calculation that this is just a tropical storm or cat one and they stayed. God bless them. It’s worked out well for them and for tourism.

“We are posting very very strong numbers for tourism. I suspect that this year we are going to meet or exceed 2019 levels. The stop over numbers in particular look really good. The message to the world is that Nicole has passed and we’re open for business and this is the message that we have sent during our missions.”

Asked whether the government would extend the Special Economic Recovery Zone (SERZ) order for Abaco, Mr Cooper said Minister of Finance, Prime Minister Philip Davis would speak to the matter, adding that officials were considering exigency orders for those affected.

“What I do know is that they are looking at it at the moment.

“There will be some exigency orders made - whether it’s in the form of the existing SERZ or whether it’s adjusted. We are sensitive to the needs of both Abaco and Grand Bahama but we want the adjustments to be very measured.

“So, the Ministry of Finance is looking at it and no doubt over the coming days they will be able to make some announcements in that regard.”

Comments

Sickened 1 year, 6 months ago

No infrastructure damage huh? You think that may be because the infrastructure hasn't been rebuilt since Dorian???? It is simply astonishing that Marsh Harbor was leveled in Dorian and yet they are rebuilding it exactly the same way with the same low sea walls and layout. I mean - what a perfect opportunity to make logical improvements but no. Are we stupid or just that f'ing lazy?

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John 1 year, 6 months ago

Gothenburg question is what improvements should be made? Considering all the variables that are present in a hurricane, such as wind , rain, sea surge, flooding, lightening flying debris etc., what exactl improvements can be built to make a property not just hurricane resistant but hurricane proof? And thinking about it, to say yes the impact resistant windows are a great enhancement and the walls enforced with rebar’s and filled with concrete. And even the double-structure roofs. But at some point, financial and other constraints will cut in and a property owner must say, ‘ok beyond this point I will have to give in to Mother Nature. Because even if I am able to save my property beyond this point, everything else around it will be destroyed. Just look at the number in f beach front homes , condos and even hotels that were damaged or destroyed in North Florida. Hotels with multi floors now have to be torn down because this hurricane uprooted or compromised their foundations or footings.

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John 1 year, 6 months ago

Nicole was a sun-Tropical storm almost to the time it reached Abaco. Meaning it’s formation was more like a winter storm than a hurricane. When it changed from a subTropical to a tropical storm, most of the storm was in the northeast and southeast quadrants. This was the dirty side of the storm, having the heavy rains and stronger winds. Furthermore, Nicole pushed further Nirth, sparing Abaco and Grand Bahama of hurricane force winds. They got barely more than what New Providence felt. And because the storm shifted North, and had a weak west side, this also spared Miami, Ft Lauderdale and West Palm. But when you look further up Northern Florida, there is beach erosion that uprooted homes and washed away over100 feet of beach. Even hotels in places like Daytona had their foundations eroded and Tampered by the hurricane and because they are so compromised, the hotels will have to be torn down as there is strong possibility that Theo may collapse. So yes,GrandBahama, Abaco and the entire Bahamad have a lot and plenty to be thankful for.

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John 1 year, 6 months ago

The most effective sea walls appear to be the ones used in ElEest Bay Street and some family islands. Before these were installed, some entire portions of the roadway were washed away during a storm like Nicole or even the annual winter weather that hits the northern shorelines. The design of these sea walls with the notches, breaks the impact of the waves as it smashes into the shoreline, redu the impact. And water is allowed to constantly filter back out to sea, through the notches, even as more waves continue to splash inland. This prevents the build up op water and reduces erosion. And whilst not perfect., it has greatly reduced the impact of rough seas.

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Sickened 1 year, 6 months ago

I have yet to drive down by Sapodilla restaurant (Nassau) to see what damage was done by where they had built up that break wall and put all of those different sized boulders on the seaside of the wall. But from what I hear that section stood up very well (maybe some boulders need to be added now?) compared to other parts of that same road (just before Travellers) where some of the break walls were replaced and most weren't.

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