NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Nearly 65 Hurricane Dorian evacuees have been evicted from the El Greco Beach Hotel where they were being sheltered for the past three months.
In a letter to those evacuees on Friday, the hotel management advised, “As El Greco’s shelter agreement is coming to a close, effective December 10, 2019, we wish to advise that arrangements be made for relocation.
“If shelter is still needed, please feel free to contact a NEMA representative for any assistance.
“We do apologize for any inconvenience caused.
“It is with a warm heart we wish you all the best as you continue on your journey of rebuilding your home, your community and your life.”
Hurricane Dorian decimated parts of Grand Bahama and Abaco in early September, leaving thousands displaced, hundreds still missing and at least 70 dead.
The letter does not give a reason for the sudden eviction.
Yesterday, the 11 ousted families headed to the Department of Social Services to seek assistance.
Rochelle Farrington, an Abaco evacuee, said she was saddened when she heard the news because they “don’t have anywhere to go at this time”.
“Ine feeling to happy about it,” Farrington said, outside the department’s headquarters.
“It’s such short notice. Some of us just started working and trying to accumulate funds so we can move out. I just don’t know where the assistance is. Where’s NEMA? Where are they at? What are they doing?”
Farrington said the majority of those evacuees were registered with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) when they first came in from Abaco but has not heard from anyone from the organization since.
“We received care packages several months ago from the Red Cross and that was it,” she added.
“So far everybody has been getting out there and making it happen for everyone for themselves.”
Farrington thanked the hotel management for accommodating them, noting, “We don’t want to complain because they did help us out and they were very nice.”
Kenny Murray, another Abaco evacuee, described the ordeal as another storm and insisted that the group needs urgent help.
Murray said since the storm he has returned to the island to work on his home.
“We don’t need materials in Nassau to be sitting down getting rotten,” he added.
“If we had material over there Christmas time, we would have been working on our house Christmas day. We don’t need to be over here taking all of this. Every place you go over here now the rent is [expensive].
“It’s like Abaco people come over here from one storm to the next. And this a next storm we have to go through, moving out. Where we going? We need help bad.”
Murray said he doesn’t have a problem going back home to Abaco. He said his only concern is his children’s welfare.
“If you have a school over there for our kids to go into, then we will go home. We don’t need to be here. We need help.”
Director of Social Services Lillian Ethan-Quant told Eyewitness News Online last night that the department was advised of the matter yesterday and that those individuals were processed.
“It is anticipated that additional persons from EL Greco will come tomorrow to apply for assistance with accommodations,” she added.
The government has announced that it will build a Family Relief Centre near Spring City, Abaco for displaced storm victims.
The center will house 125 dome structures, outfitted with plumbing, drainage, a sewer system, and electricity. Another 125 domes will be reserved for homeowners who are restoring and or repairing their homes.
While it was initially announced that those accommodations would be completed by the end of December, officials have said that the completion of the center has been delayed until the first quarter of next year.