Weather Alert

Thursday 30th, May 2013 / 00:02 Published by

A week after sections of New Providence were severely affected by flooding, meteorologists predicted yesterday that up to 15 inches of rain could be dumped on the island over the next few days, leaving residents in flood prone areas with a similar dilemma.

Hundreds of residents in areas such as Pinewood Gardens, Nassau Village, Kemp Road and Elizabeth Estates were impacted by the flooding last week.

Yesterday, the Department of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning around 1 p.m. and said residents should brace themselves for “excessively prolonged rainfall” until Friday night.

According to the bulletin, a broad area of moist unstable air extending from the Caribbean Sea will generate heavy rainfall and thunderstorms across The Bahamas.

While there is a high chance of flash floods, particularly in low-lying areas, tornadoes are also likely to form, the warning said.

“The Department of Meteorology is appealing to residents in flood prone areas to be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice,” read the bulletin.

“Residents are advised not to drive, walk or play in flood waters as the depth can easily be misjudged. All efforts should be made to protect lives and property.”

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) called an emergency press conference an hour after the bulletin was issued.

NEMA Director Captain Stephen Russell encouraged residents to safeguard their property before the weather deteriorates in the hours to come.

Russell said announcements will be made about shelters, which will remain open until Saturday.

He urged residents to pay close attention to the weather advisories.

“We are going to experience some excessive flooding throughout the entire Bahamas as the system approaches,” Russell said.

“Persons are encouraged to safeguard themselves and their properties throughout the course of this week.”

Deputy Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis said teams from the Ministry of Works were traversing the island assisting with the thunderstorm preparation.

Meanwhile, several residents in Pinewood Gardens were observed clearing drain grates yesterday.

Several residents in Fox Hill said they were scrambling to safeguard their houses and elevate their valuables.

Many of those residents are still struggling to replace clothes, furniture and other valuables, and repair portions of their homes.

Tekesa Mackey, a Fox Hill resident, said she was simply afraid.

Mackey said she is making every effort to secure as much as she can this time around.

“I don’t know what will take place,” she said. “I lost a lot of stuff last week. No one has come here to assist me, and looking at the weather it looks like it will be another catastrophe.”

Juliette Armstrong, a Romer Street, Fox Hill resident, said her home was flooded with several feet of water last week, after only one day of torrential rain.

“We had to take up all the carpet and the couch and everything was damaged,” she said. “Even the doors swelled up.”

Asked what precautions she and her family were taking, Armstrong said, “What to do? Where to go? Nowhere is safe if you ask me.”

During NEMA’s press conference, Assistant Commissioner of Police Hulan Hanna said police are prepared to transport residents to shelters.

“We are ready to respond to persons and we will deploy within the context of the distress the available resources that we have so that we can get people through these difficult times in an efficient manner,” Hanna said.

The emergency numbers for police are 302-8356 and 322-6881/2.

By: Royston Jones Jr.
Source:  The Nassau Guardian

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