Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Strong winds cause freak accident

A utility pole in the Caravel Beach area snapped, crashing onto two parked vehicles yesterday as a result of strong gale forced winds.
Luckily no one was in the vehicles at the time, but both cars suffered considerable damages.
When The Freeport News arrived at the scene employees from the Grand Bahama Pow-er Company were busy assessing the damages and up until press time yesterday, it was unclear if electricity in the area was affected.
The strong winds experienced during the morning hours were a result of arctic winds from North America that are expected to continue until tomorrow.
Residents braced themselves for the cold weather yesterday and could be seen bundled in scarves, coats, gloves and hats.

Meteorologist from The Bahamas Weather Depart-ment, Godfrey Greene, reported that gusty winds reaching to about 32 knots were experienced during the early morning hours yesterday at about 8:30 and 9:20, about the same time the pole went down.

For today, Greene said that weather conditions are expected to improve slightly, but Grand Bahama will continue to experience frigid temperatures during the evenings and early mornings.

Winds, he said, would begin to diminish by early Thursday and are expected be around 15 to 25 knots. He noted that an advisory remains in affect for small craft boaters as sea swells continue.

A drop in temperature is also expected and according to Greene coupled with the wind chill, temperatures will feel much colder than they actually are.

"You can expect temperatures to be in the low to mid 40's then on Wednesday temperatures will increase but only slightly."

He explained that the arctic air will produce cold fronts for the surrounding islands and move toward the southeast Bahamas by late afternoon.

Temperatures are predicted to warm up by Friday reaching to about 70 degrees.

Meanwhile the Freeport Weather Department remains closed and there are still unanswered questions and much confusion surrounding the status of the Department which was closed down at the end of December in 2009.

The department was run by the Grand Bahama Airport Company, which is owned by the Grand Bahama Port Authority and Hutchison Whampoa group and was put in place to provide weather services for the Port Authority, Airport Company and the Group of companies.

Five meteorologists were left unemployed after the closure.

The meteorologists – three at least with a Bachelors degree, one with a Class II certification in Forecast meteorology and the other at entry level – were notified in late November 2009 that their services with the company was going to be made redundant effective December 31, 2009 in a letter.

Since then, nothing has been confirmed about their unemployment status being chang-ed, The Freeport News has been reliably informed.

In the meantime, The Baha-mas Department of Meteorology is responsible for servicing the entire Bahamas.

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