Categorized | National News

Bahamians Brace For Floods

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has fully activated its systems as a severe storm is expected to dump major rainfall on all islands of The Bahamas until Saturday.

According to NEMA officials, massive flooding is also expected for all parts of the country.

The heavy rain, which began Tuesday afternoon, is expected to intensify as the days go by.

In a press conference held at NEMA Headquarters, officials warned residents throughout the entire country to prepare themselves for three days of excessively prolonged rainfall.

During Tuesday afternoon’s press conference Director at the Meteorology Department Arthur Rolle said Bahamians should not take this warning lightly as they expect massive cloudiness, thunderstorms, winds up to 30 miles per hour, just shy of cyclone strength and possible tornadoes.

“We are concentrating more or less on those extremely vulnerable areas, like Pinewood Gardens, West Bay Street particularly along the Fish Fry area that’s always flooded so we expect it to be flooded again.

“West Bay Street near Sandyport is also another area of concern as well as the Carmichael Road area near the seaside.”

The Met Department also sent out an appeal to residents in flood prone areas, particularly those in the eastern and southern New Providence as well as Queen’s Cove in Grand Bahama, to be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.

NEMA Director Captain Stephen Russell said the organisation is working with all government agencies in all aspects to ensure that it has the resources it needs.

“We have a transport subcommittee and that calls on transport resources from all government agencies, the police force, the defence force, the ships, the aircraft the buses the trucks,” he said. “We can bring those resources to come to an area to assist with evacuations.

“Particularly in New Providence the buses from the prison or the Immigration Department, the defence force buses we can move them to an area to assist with evacuations as necessary. In terms of our shelters the defence force, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army we all come together with our resources to man these shelters.”

Residents are advised not to drive, walk or play in flood waters as the depth can easily be misjudged.

Officials also advised that all efforts should be made to protect lives and property as conditions will be favourable for flash flood warning in low-lying areas.

Tornadoes are likely to be spawned from these thunderstorms and officials added that a severe thunderstorm watch or warning with the possibility of tornadoes will be issued when it is indicated by the weather radar or sighted by spotters.

Swimmers and boaters have been warned to stay out of waters and small craft boaters should remain in port due to the extremely high risk of rip currents and dangerous surf conditions.

In the event of emergencies, Captain Russell said NEMA teams are working with numerous government agencies and is fully equipped with buses and boats to ensure that rescue efforts are carried out in a swift manner.

Residents were cautioned to remember that all advice and notifications by NEMA should be heeded.

NEMA’s hotline numbers are 322-5608 or 322-5605.

Ianthia Smith

Written by Ianthia Smith

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