Today, Minister of State for Grand Bahama Kwasi Thompson urged residents in low-lying areas in Grand Bahama to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Dorian’s arrival, which is expected to make landfall on the island within the next 48 hours.
Dorian strengthened into a Category five storm this morning with maximum sustained winds up to 175 miles per hour (mph).
“We want to send a final appeal in the strongest possible terms to residents in areas where we have ordered evacuations,” Thompson said. “If you are in these areas, or have family in those areas, please heed the warning.
“Sweeting’s Cay, Water Cay, Gold Rock Creek North and South, Freetown, Pelican Point, Deep Water Cay, Rocky Creek, McClean’s Town and Queens Cove. There is last minute transportation being provided for remaining people to get out. Those numbers at the EOC is 351-4902/03 or 04. We will, until the weather permits, we will be able to provide transportation. We are also asking people in Hunters and Pinders point to evacuate. If you are in those areas, you must leave now. Even those in Bootle Bay and Bahama Bay in West End, you must leave. This is a catastrophic hurricane and we cannot stress enough that it is time to leave now.”
Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest echoed Thompson’s concerns about the evacuations, stating that some areas will be flooded out as storm surges over 20 feet are expected to impact the island.
“I want reiterate the statements made by the minister. I know that there are still 32 people on Sweetings Cay, which is a very low-lying area. There are also people in High Rock, I want to encourage them to move,” Turnquest said. “This is a 175mph storm, something that we have not seen as a country, much less on our island. This is nothing to take lightly. I want you to give this serious consideration. Can you withstand the storm surge of 20 feet that is expected?”