Updated Friday, September 13, 2019
GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND BEGINS THE JOURNEY TO RECOVERY FOLLOWING THE PASSAGE OF HURRICANE DORIAN
Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, September 13, 2019…. Hurricane Dorian passed over the Northwestern Bahamas on Monday, September 2nd through Tuesday, September 3rd. The unprecedented Category 5 Hurricane generated180 miles per hour winds, and 200 mile an hour gusts, and brought heavy rains island wide, storm surges (18-25 feet) and widespread flooding before departing. Tragically, the Commissioner of the Royal Bahamas Police Force has advised that to date, eight persons have lost their lives, and many more are still presumed missing.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is the Bahamian government agency coordinating the relief and recovery response. Grand Bahama Island has been severely impacted by the storm, with thousands of homes and businesses destroyed, but the residents and stakeholders are determined to rebuild. Assessment teams from the Department of Social Services are fanning out across the island, visiting individual communities, and forty-two meal and water distribution centers have been established at various locations.
The Grand Bahama Power Company crews have been working round the clock restoring electricity to homes and businesses in areas deemed safe by the Grand Bahama Port Authority.
The Grand Bahama Port Authority has joined forces with Samaritans Purse, Fowlco and the Bahamian government to set up a mobile hospital in Freeport. The water supply has been partially restored by Grand Bahama Utilities for sanitation purposes only; water for consumption must be boiled until further notice. The Freeport Harbour is open and operating (limited schedule). All main and arterial roads have been cleared, including roads leading to the Port Lucaya area.
The island’s tourism industry is shaped by close public/private sector partnerships, and all are committed to restoring the economic livelihood of the people of Grand Bahama Island. Several of the hotels sustained some damages; those that are open are hosting emergency responders, displaced families and relief workers. Assessments are actively being carried out and a detailed list will be available during the week of Monday, September 16.
The Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board asks for the public’s patience as we work towards creating an environment conducive for visitors to the island.
There has been a tremendous outpouring of support from relief organizations, American, Canadian, European and Caribbean governments and tourism entities, and industry stakeholders both locally and overseas.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is carrying out a two-fold support initiative. The company is accepting monetary donations online through its partner, Mission Resolve, as well as donated supplies at its Riviera Beach warehouse. Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines is providing between10,000 to 20,000 thousand hot meals per day to persons in Grand Bahama and assisting with evacuation efforts. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is augmenting these hot meals with non-perishable relief supplies. Carnival Cruise Lines has renewed its commitment to the Grand Bahama project, a vote of confidence in Grand Bahama Island’s ability to recover from this tragedy. Celebrity Cruises has partnered with the Pan American Development foundation (PADF) to provide disaster relief to Bahamian communities. Balearia Caribbean has provided assistance to families requiring special assistance with evacuating the island, as well as providing ‘Free’ shipping of emergency relief supplies to NEMA, Rotary, Red Cross, Reach Out Ministries and RAV Bahamas to deliver relief supplies to Grand Bahama Island.
Nevertheless, the scale of the disaster is unparalleled, and the trauma inflicted on the people of Grand Bahama Island is without precedent. The Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board will continue to monitor the on-island situation and issue specific property updates as more details become available.
There have been many requests for information from those who wish to contribute specifically to the relief efforts for Grand Bahama Island. For more information, and to assist with the recovery and reconstruction process, please visit the following sites: https://www.gbdisasterrelief.org/; https://rotary6990.org/; and https://www.bahamas.com/relief .
Updated Sunday, September 1, 2019
Dorian was upgraded to a Category 5 Hurricane and is expected to make land fall on Grand Bahama.
Safety is of paramount importance for both our citizens and visitors. Therefore, the Government of the Islands of the Bahamas has activated its National Emergency Response Centers in New Providence and Grand Bahama and is providing timely updates on the status of the storm and its affected areas.
In addition, hoteliers and tourism stakeholders have activated their hurricane response programs and are taking all necessary precautions to protect remaining visitors and residents.
Visitors that are holding reservations, please contact your hotel directly for information on cancellation policies.
We will continue to monitor the weather reports and will attempt to provide updates on a timely basis.
To track Hurricane Dorian, visit www.nhc.noaa.gov .
Posted Friday, August 30, 2019
Grand Bahama Island has activated their hurricane response programs and is taking all necessary precautions to protect visitors and residents.
On its current track, Hurricane Dorian should approach the Northwest Bahamas on Saturday, August 31, moving near or over portions of the area on Sunday, September 1. A hurricane alert remains in effect for the Northwest Bahamas, including Nassau and New Providence, Eleuthera, Abaco, Grand Bahama, North Andros, Bimini and The Berry Islands – signaling that hurricane conditions are expected in these islands within 48 – 60 hours.
Residents should ensure that all hurricane preparation are put in place as they can begin to experience the effects of Hurricane Dorian by Saturday night.
Hotels and timeshares have strongly advised their guests to leave in anticipation of Hurricane Dorian’s passage, and are actively facilitating the departures.
Below is information on the status of airports, hotels, airline and cruise schedules at this time.
FERRY, CRUISE AND PORTS
o Grand Bahama’s Freeport Harbour closed as of 14.00 Friday.
o Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s Grand Celebration will sail at 14.00 on Friday, and will also accommodate anyone booked to sail on Saturday or Sunday. All passengers should be on board by 13.00. They will resume operations ASAP following passage of the storm.
o Balearia Caribbean sailed at 12.00 on Friday. All passengers should be on board by 11.00.
o US Customs and Border Patrol closed at 12.00 Friday until further notice
o Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO) GBI Airport will close as of 22.00 on Friday. The airport will not open again until 0600 Tuesday 3rd Sept at the earliest. This is subject to prevailing conditions.
o Bahamasair operated their last FPO/FLL flight at 09.10 Friday, and their last FPO/NAS flight leaves at 20:15 Friday.
o American Airlines departed FPO at 12:13 p.m., Friday, August 30.
o Silver Airways will confirm a time for two post-cleared flights Friday, August 30.
o Flamingo Air flights on Friday, August 30 may be impacted; travelers should contact the airline directly.
The Bahamas is an archipelago with more than 700 islands and cays, spread over 100,000 square miles; there could be a tropical storm or hurricane warning for parts of the country while other parts remain unaffected.
As the northernmost island of The Bahamas, and the closest major island to the United States, Grand Bahama Island is a beautiful, and convenient, vacation destination, and home to some of the friendliest people on Earth.