Abaco reconstruction moving “full steam” ahead, says chamber pres.

Abaco reconstruction moving “full steam” ahead, says chamber pres.
Abaco Chamber of Commerce President Ken Hutton.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Reconstruction on Abaco is going ahead “full steam”, according to Abaco Chamber of Commerce president Ken Hutton.

Hutton underscored the island needed to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season amidst COVID-19 concerns.

“It’s a scary thing,” Hutton told Eyewitness News.

The hurricane season is imminent. We need to look at available shelters in Abaco. I don’t know if there are any at this point. There are no COVID-19 cases here at the moment but if it happens how are those going to be dealt with. There are a lot of issues to look at.”

He added: “Do look at creating some sort of shelter system or do we look at an evacuation plan. Everything is a priority right now. The government’s focus is very stretched at the moment. We aren’t complaining but these are real issues tat need consideration.”

As for post-Dorian reconstruction, Hutton said: “The reconstruction is going ahead full steam. That was exempted and so contractors are still hard at work, rebuilding buildings, removing debris and that sort of thing.

“Everyone else is hunkered down. Most of the persons here now are involved in the reconstruction anyway and so the island is still moving forward.”

Notwithstanding construction activity on the island, Hutton said the government imposed COVID-19 restrictions were ‘very helpful’.

“It’s very helpful to at least get us that much further ahead before the hurricane season gets here again,” he said.

“The major contractors are still working. A lot of labour has left the island. There is definitely very little labour available but that’s just the way it is right now.”