NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Fred Mitchell yesterday questioned why a “high ranking” government official has yet to address the nation on the potential impact of Hurricane Dorian, a dangerous Category 1 storm that is on track to impact parts of The Bahamas.
Dorian is expected to strengthen into a Category 3 or Category 4 hurricane within days before it impacts the northwestern Bahamas over the weekend.
Mitchell said he has received phone calls from concerned residents, who have also asked why the government has not sounded the alarm.
“Our supporters have been calling the office here to complain about the fact that the government does not appear to have put out sufficient notices about the hurricane,” he said.
“It appears that what people are requesting is a specific set of instructions about what the government expects in terms of the track of the hurricane and what preparations are to be made for hurricane preparedness.
“The country really requires the person who is the head of the government to say ‘look this is a serious storm and we need to take this seriously’; that’s just the psychology of our country.
“Someone who is a senior public official has to say to the public ‘this is serious enough for you to take this seriously and these are the steps you need to take’. And so, [that’s] why people are saying is there is a lack of information. The government has not said anything and I think we believe that a political figure needs to come front and center and speak.”
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis is expected to address the nation from police headquarters today at noon, a statement from the Office of the Prime Minister indicated yesterday.
The Department of Meteorology and the National Emergency Management Agency has posted a series of alerts on the path of the weather system as it developed into a tropical storm, and a hurricane this week, as well as an alert and necessary preparedness for the various island that could be impacted.
Officials from the MET Department, NEMA, and Local Government on several of the Family Islands have also addressed preparedness in relation to the dangerous storm.
A hurricane alert remains in effect for the islands of the northwest bahamas. These include New Providence, Eleuthera, Abaco, Grand Bahama, North Andros, Bimini and the Berry Islands.
As of 11 p.m. Thursday, Dorian was around 295 miles east, northeast of the southern Bahamas and 580 miles northwest of the northern Bahamas.
It was traveling at 12 miles per hours and had maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour.
Abaco and Grand Bahama are expected to face the brunt of the storm on its current trahectory.
The storm is also expected to bring heavy rainfall — one to two inches over the central Bahamas and three to five inches over the northwestern Bahamas.