The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has reported that homes damaged or destroyed during the passage of Hurricane Irene in 2011 are completed and occupied.
On August 24, 2011, Hurricane Irene, a Category 3 storm with 120 mph winds, blew through The Bahamas directly hitting the islands of Mayaguana, Crooked Island, Acklins, Cat Island, Long Island, Exuma, Rum Cay, San Salvador, Grand Bahama, Abaco, Eleuthera, and Moore’s Island and Sweeting’s Cay.
In the aftermath of the storm, about 3,353 structures were assessed on 11 islands and two cays and more than 75 per cent of those homeowners sought some assistance from the government.
NEMA, through its Repair and Reconstruction Programme, managed the repairs and reconstruction throughout the islands. It also provided materials, employed local repair teams and awarded contracts for major repairs and reconstruction of homes that were deemed unusable or destroyed.
A number of residents moved into newly constructed houses last Christmas and this month: two in Rum Cay, two in Cat Island, one in Long Island, 12 in Acklins, one in San Salvador and three in Abaco.
The houses are one, two or three bedroom homes valued between $50,000 and $75,000 each, including labour and materials.
NEMA Director Captain Stephen Russell thanked the many sponsors and donors for their contributions toward Hurricane Irene relief, repair and reconstruction efforts.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Perry Christie said he is not pleased with how the process is going involving the exigency order following Hurricane Sandy last year.
“People are disappointed,” he told reporters earlier this week.
“They want quicker, more effective action; I am trying to deal with that now as I have received many complaint letters across my desk.”
Hurricane Sandy lashed The Bahamas on October 26, 2012 leaving in its wake flooding, beach erosion, damaged homes and destroyed crops.
The storm was also blamed for the death of dozens of people across The Caribbean.
Two of those deaths were in The Bahamas.
Minister of Grand Bahama, Dr. Michael Darville said last week that rebuilding has been happening on the island; however it has been slow.
Grand Bahama was one of the islands that was hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy.
There was major damage in Queen’s Cove, but Minister Darville said progress has been made in helping residents in that particular area get back “on their feet.”