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Grand Bahama Residents in Low-Lying Areas Urged to Move Before Arrival of Hurricane Matthew
By Robyn Adderley, BIS
Oct 5, 2016 - 5:24:12 PM

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FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – Members of Grand Bahama’s Disaster Preparedness Committee held a press briefing on Wednesday morning in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Matthew, which is currently moving through The Bahamas as a Category 3 storm.

Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville said “Grand Bahama is in its final stage of our Disaster Response Plan and I’m quite pleased with my travels from East to West Grand Bahama, that the residents are taking this storm very seriously.”

He stressed that those residents in low-lying areas ought to seek refuge in the Hurricane Shelters that were opened from 12 this afternoon.

“We are pleased with the coordinated efforts with the private sector, including Sanitation Services. We know that the PHA and all of the various clinics are prepared. We also know that the Emergency Shelter, which is at the Foster B. Pestina Centre, will be open for business.”

He said that it is important that people get to the shelters early so that they can be accounted for. “I’m pleading to the residents of East Grand Bahama, because we know that we have low lying areas, particularly in McLean’s Town and some aspects of Gold Rock area that we need to move immediately to get out.”

Minister Darville said the command centers are up and running and the final stages of preparation will be activated.

“Flooding is a very serious aspect of the storm and so we are pleading, and pleading and pleading with residents in the low-lying areas to please come to higher ground and utilize our shelters which are there to ensure your safety.”

Following the briefing, officials from the Ministry for Grand Bahama, Administrators, and Local Government practitioners travelled from West End to East End to do their final assessment.

All equipment has been moved from the construction site at the Fishing Hole Road and it is now clear for passage. Members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force will inform the emergency services as to when the road is closed for further passage.

He said, “We have passed many storms and done extremely well. God is on our side, but preparing ourselves for what is to come is essential and so we are asking one more time for the residents of the Northern Bahamas as well as the entire country to move now, get to higher ground, make your final preparations and ride out the storm.”

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