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Hurricane Briefing at PM's Office

While tens of thousands of Bahamians breathed a sigh of relief that there were no fatalities from Hurricane Irma in the Bahamas this past weekend, residents in the southern Bahamas suffered significant property damage.

Hurricane Briefing at PM's Office
Hardest hit were the islands of Inagua and Ragged Island.   In Ragged Island many residents were left homeless after roofs were blown off or houses were made uninhabitable. The only public school was also extensively damaged.

In Inagua, there was significant damage to the Morton Salt compound. Several of the buildings were damaged, disabling the plant.  Authorities said they were working to determine the extent of the damage.

However Marine Superintendent of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Stevie Fawkes on Inagua claimed, “We have millions of dollars in damage to Morton Salt.

“All of the catwalks from Morton’s terminals are gone, the maintenance shop is severely damaged, all of our salt production stackers were totally destroyed,” he said.

Island Administrator Julita Ingraham, said preliminary reports from officials on the ground have suggested varying degrees of damage to the housing stock and businesses on the island.

Reports are that 70 per cent of the homes in Inagua sustained some degree of roof damage; a claim confirmed by Police Superintendent James Moss.

The National Emergency Management Agency confirmed that it is  set to conduct several damage assessment exercises on the family islands starting today.

The exercises which were scheduled for Sunday had to be rescheduled due to inclement weather.

In an interview with The Bahama Journal, NEMA’s  Director Captain Stephen Russell said it was too early to put a price on the level of damage sustained in the country.

He added due to the fact that assessments had not taken place he could not confirm reports that speculated on the severity of the damage in certain islands.

Multiple homes in Grand Bahama were damaged as a result of tornadic activity due to Hurricane Irma on Sunday.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest, significant roof damage has been reported to homes in Grand Bahama on Sunday as Irma churned by.  However, there were no reports of life threatening injuries.

Not long after the tornados struck, emergency personnel, police and Defence Force officers came to the scene to offer assistance, Mr Turnquest said on Sunday afternoon.


There were also reported instances of tornadic activity on the island of Bimini which is believed to have suffered major damage as well.

The Bahama Journal spoke with the island’s administrator Kate Williamson who said the damage in Bimini was extensive.

“We have received some severe damage here, all over the island we are experiencing broken power lines, BTC lines as well as all of the phones are off and of course the electricity was off from yesterday.

“We also received calls of a tornado in the Bailey Town area, but in the preliminary assessment there is a lot of roof damage,  but there were no major injuries.

When asked to describe the general mood of the residents on the islands Ms. Williamson said they were afraid but most are now indoors or in shelters.

BTC in a statement said its network has been resilient and fared well during the passage of Hurricane Irma, but did suspect major damage to their facilities in Ragged Island.

Once the national “all-clear” has been provided, they said they will dispatch a technical team to assess the damage and begin the process of restoration.

The eye of the category 5 passed over islands in the southern Bahamas.

The government evacuated more than 1000 people from the southern islands ahead of Irma’s arrival.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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