Monday, October 4, 2010

Grand Bahama 'fares well' despite heavy rain and wind

FREEPORT - Despite heavy rains and windy conditions, Grand Bahama "fared well" with no major flooding or property damage reported here on the island.

There were some large road puddles, but residents went about their normal routine and students returned to the classrooms on Thursday.

"We fared well and we were more prepared than we needed to be," Island Administrator Don Cornish told The Tribune on Thursday.

When the tropical storm alert was discontinued, Mr Cornish said that all their resources had already been activated and two shelters had been opened.

He reported that 10 persons sought safe haven at the two shelters located at the Eight Mile Rock High gymnasium and the St Georges' High gymnasium in Freeport.

"We were very much ahead of what was happening...and we did extremely well and I would give us a high passing grade; it was a good drill for us, the stakeholders and volunteers," Mr Cornish said.


"We are pleased that conditions did not get worse and the population was spared."

One elderly resident had to be removed by Social Services officials when her house in the Eight Mile Rock area was flooded early Wednesday morning.

The tropical depression which formed near Cuba had upgraded to tropical storm Nicole, but it rapidly became disorganised and fell apart as it moved out of the area late Wednesday.

Mr Cornish said they had expected the heavy rains to cause some flooding at Pelican Point and South Riding Point in East End, and at the Fishing Hole Road because of the creeks in those areas.

"We had no major flooding problems in those areas, we only had some excessive water in the road but nothing serious," he said.

Fishing Hole Road has water on both sides and is prone to flooding usually when a storm moves in from the east of Grand Bahama.

Tropical storm Nicole was moving in from the west.

He said police officers were stationed at Fishing Hole as a precaution.

"There were reports circulating that the road was closed, but it was not closed. We had officers there on look-out so that if conditions got to a dangerous point they would be there to assist persons," he said.


Mr Cornish said they were able to assess their readiness.

"Our lines of communication need to be strengthened, but in terms of our preparation we did extremely well. I think we have a good template to build on the future," he said.

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