Count in shelters close to 600

Almost 600 residents are still in shelters, according to the latest update from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

A recent report from NEMA disclosed that there are presently 585 persons registered and occupying shelters in New Providence, in the aftermath of the devastating and fatal Hurricane Dorian.

In Grand Bahama, displaced persons without fixed abodes, are requested to make contact with the NEMA offices in Eight Mile Rock and Freeport.

Relief assistance will be provided.

The NEMA head office in Grand Bahama is presently operating from the Urban Renewal office, located in the National Insurance Board Building. Family Services, Human Resources and Department of Rehabilitative Services are operating from the Insurance Management Building.

The office’s hours of operation are from 9am to 2pm, weekdays.

The report also revealed that the Department of Social Services has concluded social needs assessments on Abaco.

The final assessment team went into Abaco on November 4, 2019 and returned to New Providence on November 10, 2019.

Moving forward, the Department of Social Services, Marsh Harbour Office will be managed by rotating officers from New Providence. Residents requiring assistance are to visit the office during normal office hours.

Also, in New Providence, assessments continue to be conducted from the Department of Social Services in the Sunshine Plaza for evacuees from Grand Bahama and Abaco, requiring ongoing assistance.

Approved uniform assistance applicants are being issued gift cards between 5 pm – 8 pm at the Sunshine Plaza on Baillou Hill Road. Approved applicants must present a valid identification in order to collect the gift card.

There are two shelter areas on New Providence, namely the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium which has 457, inclusive of three tents, and Bahamas Academy which houses 128 persons.

Numerous residents left Abaco and Grand Bahama for New Providence after Dorian destroyed the majority of their material possessions including their homes and vehicles.

Hurricane Dorian made landfall on Grand Bahama on September 1, 2019 after devastating Abaco. The category 5 storm Dorian struck the eastern end of the island first, devastating settlements such as Sweeting’s Cay, McLeans Town, Free Town, Pelican Point, and High Rock. It also ruined homes in the residential areas east of the Casuarina Bridge.

After moving further in land in Grand Bahama, the storm impacted areas such as the Heritage Subdivision, Hudson Estates, the Downtown area, Back-of-Town and parts of Bahamia.

Dorian left many residents in Grand Bahama, particularly in the east homeless. Some found refuge with family members and friends and others are living in tents on the properties where their homes once stood.

The Department of Social Services, The Freeport News has been informed, continues its efforts to stay in touch with residents in the Eastern area.

By late October that the department had processed about 2,400 assessments within the Grand Bahama community.

The government has approved a temporary housing initiative, to cover rent for displaced persons from the area in the amount of $700 per month for three months. The requirements are: to identify a landlord, get a letter from that landlord verifying an agreement and to submit the same to the department.

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