#242NewsBahamas Newsletter Edition: October 10th, 2019
Rubicon to The Rescue
been more than a month since Dorian ripped through Grand Bahama Island.
The destruction and devastation left behind by the storm has been well
documented by the local and international media. We've been gripped and
brought to tears by the stories of local heroism and survival.
me, Dorian's destruction truly hit home. I spent my formative years on
Grand Bahama Island, I went to high school there, Freeport was where I
returned to after college, and I got my first job there. I lived a life
there, forming long-lasting friendships. In the last month, many of the
stories of loss and survival have come from my friends, people I know
personally including my own mother; who was trapped in the ceiling of
her home for hours as chest-high water rose in our family home. Since
then, we've undertaken the daunting task of gutting the house and
cleaning out the mold. Just the thought of taking on this project was
and IS heartbreaking; sorting through damaged photos, soaked and moldy
furniture, and clothing all of it is extremely difficult.
Deep Water Cay Ceases Operations Due to Unforeseen Challenges
Deep Water Cay,
East End, Grand Bahama – The owner of Deep Water Cay (DWC) - the
country’s first and oldest bonefishing lodge - has announced plans to
cease operations immediately. The difficult, but necessary decision
comes following the passage of Hurricane Dorian, which caused widespread
damage across parts of the Northern Bahamas.
For the past
month, the team at DWC has been providing emergency aid and supplies,
raising charitable funds, assessing the catastrophic damage to DWC, and
liaising with insurance adjusters. The cleanup of the island homes,
lodges, and guest facilities will require barges and heavy equipment,
but the island lost its docks to facilitate this work. Additionally, the
cay is far from safe or habitable, with only the runway clear of debris
for landing aid planes.
of the cay is estimated at well over a million dollars,” said Paul R
Vahldiek, Jr., president of DWCH and a major shareholder. “It will take
at least six months and require heavy equipment, operators, and proper
disposal of many tons of debris to clean the cay. With no idea when
power will be restored to East End, and no structures that can be
connected on the island, no housing, offices, functioning water or
sewage treatment plants in place we have simply been forced by mother
nature to close.”
Florida’s AVE International School Students Send Messages of Love & Hope in the wake of Hurricane Dorian
Freeport, Bahamas –
In the month since Dorian ravaged both Grand Bahama Island and Abaco,
the islands have received countless donations in support of the ongoing
restoration efforts. Through the Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation
(GBDRF), donations have been received at their shipping address from
near and far, providing much-needed relief items to the families and
individuals most severely impacted by the storm. “This has been a truly
trying time for residents here on Grand Bahama,” said Cheri Wood
Warehouse Coordinator with the GBDRF. “We are eternally grateful for all
the support and the many donations of food, water, and supplies that
have been a great help to local communities.”
Bahamas – “Teacher, teacher, you’re a star, how I love the way you are,
up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky. Teacher, teacher
you’re a star, how I love the way you are.”
Led by Nathaniel
Adams Jr., a music teacher, on his drum, and sung by students of
Claridge Primary School to the tune of the popular poem and lullaby
‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ this was just one way in which teachers
were honoured on World Teachers’ Day in The Bahamas.
Along with more
than 100 countries recognizing World Teachers’ Day (WTD) Monday, October
19th, 2019, public schools throughout the island celebrated teachers
for their unselfish, dedicated commitment to the teaching profession.
NEMA’s ‘Operation Relief’ Makes its way to Sweeting’s Cay and East End, Grand Bahama
Emergency Management Agency’s (NEMA) Operation Relief made its way to
the quaint and peaceful settlements in East End and was received by
residents with grateful hearts and opened arms.
team, led by Senator Kay Forbes-Smith NEMA’s Grand Bahama Coordinator,
loaded up a box truck of hurricane relief supplies and with a convoy of
volunteers, headed to the communities of Grand Bahama that were the
hardest hit by Hurricane Dorian when it blew through the island on
September 1, 2019.
The trip to the East was more of a reconnaissance mission as much as it was a mission of supplying needed relief items.
Sweeting’s Cay was
the destination, but obvious needs in communities along the way
diverted the route, as Senator Forbes-Smith; Grand Bahama Christian
Council President, Robert Lockhart; Island Administrators and NEMA
volunteers stopped to deliver cases of water, canned goods, hygiene
products, dry goods and words of encouragement to residents in other
Government Continues to Monitor Oil Spill at Equinor
continues to monitor the oil spill at Equinor, South Riding Point Oil
storage facility on Grand Bahama. The National Oil Spill Contingency
Advisory Committee, consisting of a cross-section of industry
stakeholders, has been appointed to address the issue. To date, the
committee has met on several occasions and key persons have visited the
oil spill site to assess the scope of the spill.
Following the most
recent site visit, it was revealed that the oil spill made incursions
of the facility’s berm and spread inland up to seven miles into coppice
environments north of the facility. It was also determined that what may
have been initially reported as an oil slick in the ocean was actually
seaweed. It was also confirmed that there was no immediate threat to
human health and safety, however, a wildlife plan has been submitted for
review by the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources in concert
with the BEST Commission.
Miami Dolphins Alumni bring light to Grand Bahama residents
joint effort of NEMA Grand Bahama, Mission Resolve Foundation, and
Miami Dolphin’s Football Unites brought smiles and joy to many residents
with the donation of generators and an afternoon of food and
Nat Moore, Mark Duper, Jim Jensen, Louis Oliver and Shawn Wooden, along
with the team mascot TD, were among those visiting Grand Bahama and were
welcomed to the island by Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness,
Management and Reconstruction, the Hon. Iram Lewis and NEMA Grand
Bahama’s coordinator, Senator the Hon. Katherine Forbes-Smith.
During a brief
interview, Senator Smith said this is the third major event on a
Saturday, a day when they go into the communities delivering hurricane
relief items hence dubbed ‘Operation Relief Saturday’. It is a day, she
continued, dedicated to inspiring young people despite all that went
wrong with Category 5 Hurricane Dorian.
Prime Minister Minnis outlines temporary housing plan for Abaco
The Ministry of
Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction is in the process
of deploying temporary housing for government employees on Abaco, Prime
Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis announced in the House of
Assembly on Wednesday in his second communication on Hurricane Dorian
response and recovery efforts.
The Prime Minister
said 100 RV trailers will accommodate 300 critical government
personnel, who will play an essential role in reconstruction and
recovery. A protocol is being determined for the relocation of
individuals back to Abaco.
A land site next
to the Spring City subdivision on Abaco is also being prepared to create
the Family Relief Centre, which will serve as temporary housing
accommodations for families affected by Hurricane Dorian.