135 people in shelters across The Bahamas
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness Iram Lewis today said there are 135 people in shelters across the country as Hurricane Isaias continues to track through the northwestern Bahamas.
Lewis urged West End and other coastal communities to evacuate due to the storm’s projected impact on west Grand Bahama.
He told Eyewitness News emergency support function (ESF) #1 was moving through southern Grand Bahama to assist with evacuations.
As of 11am, the storm was 40 miles west-southwest of New Providence and 135 miles south-southeast of Freeport, Grand Bahama.
The storm has maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour and was moving northwest at 12 miles per hour.
On the forecast track, the center of Isaias was expected to be over northern Andros for the next few hours and move over Grand Bahama later day.
Isaias is forecast to move near east of Florida tonight. The storm is expected to bring storm surges of three to five feet and significant flooding.
Lewis provided an update on the storm during an interview with ZNS Northern Service.
He said there are 28 people in central Abaco and in Andros; three people in the Nicholl’s Town shelter, and some 50 residents seeking refuge at the BAMSI shelter.
Some 49 people are being accommodated in shelters on New Providence and five people are sheltering at the Church of God of Prophecy on the Berry Islands – where conditions are expected to deteriorate.
Lewis also advised that EMS services on New Providence were suspended from 5am due to an increase in wind speed.
He said some residents have heeded calls made by the National Emergency Management Agency for people living along the coastline to evacuate.
“Some have acted and moved further inland,” he said.
“Myself, along with the District Administrator, Ms Cristian Palacious, would like to send a strong message to the residents of West End and other coastal communities in West Grand Bahama.”
Lewis said: “This storm is expected to produce a surge of 3-5 feet and can result in significant flooding. We are once again urging residents to evacuate.
For transportation support, residents can contact the Eight Mile Rock Command Center at 348-1531/3.
Grand Bahama’s Emergency Operations Center can be reached on 1-242- 351-4902/3/4.
Lewis added: “My fellow citizens and residents, we are under the gun once again. Please let us do all we can to remain safe as this system moves through our treacherous shoals. God bless you all, and God bless the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.”
Today, marks 11 months since portions of Grand Bahama and Abaco were decimated by Hurricane Dorian.
Both islands largely remain in a state of recovery.