East Grand Bahama MP says temporary shelter is still “not adequately placed” on island
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said the government will move appropriately to protect life and to the extent possible, properties, but residents “must be proactive” with early preparation as meteorologists predict Tropical Storm Eta could impact The Bahamas as a possible hurricane.
Chief Climatological Officer Geoffrey Greene told Eyewitness News while the modeling remained uncertain, the storm was moving closer to the northwestern Bahamas, including Bimini, Grand Bahama and Abaco.
He said the storm could impact the area as a strong tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane over the weekend.
While some projections put The Bahamas in the impact zone, others show the storm veering to South Florida or traveling into the eastern Gulf Coast.
“Of course we pray that this storm will break up over Cuba and continue as depression or, at worst a weak tropical storm,” Turnquest told Eyewitness News.
“We have [fared] well so far and pray that this too will pass without major incident.
“As we live in a favorable environment for storms, however, we encourage all residents in the Eta cone to keep a watchful eye on this storm and to consider preliminary preparations.
“Consult the NEMA website for a guide and complete all pre-watch reviews, including securing all required documentation and insurance coverage; completing a hurricane sheltering or evacuation plan; and securing loose materials, etc.”
Turnquest, the member of Parliament for East Grand Bahama, said the island remains in a state of recovery more than a year after deadly Hurricane Dorian pummeled the island, displacing thousands.
According to Turnquest, the coronavirus pandemic has challenged the pace of recovery and temporary shelters were still not adequate on the island, where many remain displaced.
“We are still, unfortunately, recovering from Dorian, which has been made extremely difficult with the pandemic crisis upon us,” he said.
“While we have made significant progress many are still displaced and temporary shelter is still not adequately placed, making the prospect of facing another storm a mental and physical challenge for many residents.
“The government will obviously move to do what it can to protect life and to the extent possible, property, but residents must be proactive.
“I pray that this storm too will move away from The Bahamas and spare us once again from any further calamity.”
Eta weakened from a Category 4 storm on Tuesday to a tropical storm Wednesday.
It was expected to weaken to a tropical depression as it moves across Honduras.
However, the storm is forecasted to strengthen once again to a tropical storm as it enters the northwestern Caribbean Sea on Thursday night or Friday.