Agency urges residents to be prepared
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The National Emergency Management Agency is reminding the public to remain alert as the agency continues to monitor systems in the tropics.
A press briefing was held Wednesday at NEMA on Gladstone Road at 10:30 a.m. to shed light on the movement of Tropical Storm Dorian and its possible impact on The Bahamas.
Hours prior, the Bahamas Department of Meteorology discontinued tropical storm warnings for the Southeast Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands as Tropical Storm Dorian had threatened those areas.
Captain Stephen Russell, Director of NEMA, reminded the public that the Hurricane season runs June 1 to November 30 and that NEMA’s theme for 2019 is “Be Prepared Bahamas”.
He also recalled that for three consecutive years, The Bahamas was impacted by major storms – Hurricanes Joaquin in 2015, Matthew in 2016 and Irma 2017, which caused an estimated $80 million in damage.
Despite this, “we are a resilient nation,” Russell said, adding that the aim is to save lives and minimize the loss to properties and businesses.
In Alert number four on Tropical Storm Dorian issued Wednesday, the Department of Meteorology discontinued warnings for the Southeast Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Satellite images and Doppler radar data indicate that Dorian is becoming better organized and remains a compact tropical storm with winds at about 50 knots. However, hurricane models show Dorian increasing to hurricane intensity and in size as it passes to the east of The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
“Therefore, severe weather conditions could be experienced at times on Friday over the Southeast Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, and on Saturday and Sunday over the Central and Northwest Bahamas,” said Acting Director of Meteorology Jeffrey Simmons.
The Met Department is keeping a close watch on the Northwest Bahamas and could possibly put out advisories for Andros, Berry Islands, Abaco, and parts of Grand Bahama, New Providence and vicinity.
Residents throughout The Bahamas are encouraged to remain vigilant and prepared, and to take any necessary action should the need arise.
According to Russell, NEMA will partially activate the National Emergency Operations Centre based on the path of Tropical storm Dorian as it tracks over Puerto Rico.
“The government’s mechanism is ready,” he said, noting that there was a major assimilated exercise held which tested NEMA’s level of readiness should a Category 4 storm hit the islands.
Tropical Storm Dorian is the fourth named storm of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.
Revised projections now predict 10 to 17 named storms, of which five to nine are expected to become hurricanes. Two to four of those could become major hurricanes, according to NOAA.