Categorized | National News

Met Dep’t Under Fire

The Department of Meteorology is being heavily criticised for not doing enough to warn New Providence residents that a powerful storm was about to blow into town.

Thousands of homes sustained extensive flood damage Tuesday and Wednesday following that unstable weather system.

A record-shattering 15.29 inches of rain poured down in an area in the eastern portion of the island.

On Wednesday hundreds of cars stalled in chest high waters and many residents could be seen scooping water out of their homes all while assessing the damages.

Many residents complained that the storm came out of nowhere and without adequate warning.

However, The Bahama Journal can confirm that the Department did send out several special weather advisories warning residents and boaters in northwest and central Bahamas to remain alert for the possibility of strong to severe thunderstorms.

“These thunderstorms will be capable of producing storm gusty winds, dangerous lightning, waterspouts and possible tornadic activity during the period,” an advisory issued by forecaster Greg Thompson said at 6:00 p.m.

Senior Deputy Director in the Department of Meteorology, Trevor Basden also noted that forecasters were tracking the system from the early Tuesday morning.

“We sent the severe weather statements in a timely manner,” he said yesterday during a news conference at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), noting that the last advisory was sent out at 6:00 p.m.

He said the Met Department has, for years, sent out weather information via email, radio, fax, as well as over the internet.

NEMA Director Captain Stephen Russell said his agency relies on the local media to get the information out.

He said perhaps the time has come to explore other options to disseminate weather advisories.

“Once the advisories come to the Met Department, goes to BIS, [Lindsay Thompson] sends them out to all the media houses in the country,” he said. “We have to look at other means because we rely on you,” he said.

“We’re looking at Cable Bahamas to just stop all programming and put the weather up on their screens because persons don’t just watch ZNS. They watch multiple channels. So, [maybe] we have to have [Cable Bahamas] just put a stop to the programming and interject a message across [the screen]. . .so that persons, no matter what channel they are watching or what radio station they are listening to, can get the message. We have to look at that option now.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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