Recovery from the ravages of Hurricane Matthew nearly a year ago, continue on as residents throughout the communities of Grand Bahama desperately try to secure that which remains of their homes just ahead of Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, that is expected to pose serious danger beginning as early as this coming Friday, September 8, 2017.
Many homes are in a state of disrepair and on an average rainy day, residents are forced to put out buckets and pails to catch water entering their dwellings as a result of leaks in their rooftops.
Debris and garbage left behind from Hurricane Matthew, particularly in the Pineridge community, are clustered along roadways and could be hazardous projectiles in the 185 mph wind gusts of Hurricane Irma; hence Deputy Chief Councillor Ernie Barr of the City of Freeport Council (CFC) has partnered with Seaport Construction Co. Ltd. CEO Franco Miller to conduct a massive, last-minute clean-up and collection exercise.
“Beginning this past Monday, September 4 through Tuesday, September 5, I conducted an assessment of the communities of the Pineridge Constituency and noticed many residents still had debris and garbage outside their homes from Hurricane Matthew last year.
“Immediately, I reached out to Seaport Construction Co. Ltd. CEO Franco Miller along with several other contractors to coordinate a clean-up and collection exercise.
“Concerned for the safety of their fellow Bahamians and residents, Seaport Construction Co. Ltd., partnered the CFC mobilizing a team to clean up the roadsides free of charge.
“Today (Wednesday September 6) beginning at 2:30 p.m.. Seaport Construction Co. Ltd. Along with the CFC team as well as volunteers have collected more than six truckloads of garbage and debris from the Back ‘o’ Town, Hudson Estates and Mallory Lane neighborhoods.
“Another three to five truckloads are expected to be collected and transported to the landfill as we continue this process; it is our goal to clean up as much as we can so that in the event persons are forced to evacuate their homes the likelihood of them being injured as a result of debris along the street is reduced,” Barr revealed.
Cheers rang out from residents throughout Pineridge at the sight of Barr and the clean-up and collection teams removing the debris.
One senior citizen frightened by the threat Hurricane Irma poses, simply thanked God that everyone is banding together to help one another regardless of their social class or status.
Meanwhile, Barr revealed that he is hoping to possibly mobilize a team to help elderly individuals throughout Pineridge secure their homes (batten up) however, the main focus right now is to clear debris, which can become storm projectiles from the side of the street in the surrounding neighborhoods.
“Definitely, nothing that is being accomplished thus far could be done solely by myself hence I thank all volunteers specifically Mr. Miller and Seaport Construction Co. Ltd. for assisting without hesitation or delay.
“Of course many of the residents have expressed their gratitude and we are humbled, however, we understand that this is just one of the dutiful tasks that must be executed in joint partnership with the CFC, business entities like Seaport Construction Co. Ltd., other agencies, volunteers and the residents.
“We have all got to stick together not only in times of crisis but every day and while individually we cannot bear these things alone as it is too much to bear, we can achieve so much more once the CFC, the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA), Government, non-profit organizations and the church pool our resources as we have done on numerous occasions to get the job done and done right,” said Barr, who reminded all the they are their brothers’ keeper.
Furthermore, he implored all to prepare for Hurricane Irma taking all advisories seriously and admittedly, while many Grand Bahamians and citizens throughout The Bahamas, the Caribbean Region and the United States of America have weathered storms before, Barr urged everyone to work together, pray and ride out the storm.
“Certainly I believe we will overcome once we heed all warnings, do that which is necessary, look out for one another putting any and all differences aside and seeking God in prayer as He will not put more on us than we can bear.
“Stay safe and may God bless everyone,” said Barr.