Gas stations, food stores, convenience stores, building supply stores and water depots were crowded yesterday –Thursday, August 29 – as residents flocked to various locations to purchase items on their hurricane preparation check list.
With Hurricane Dorian forecasted impact Grand Bahama this weekend, residents appear to be taking the advices of the relevant authorities and getting preparations complete before the storm arrives.
Officials at Freeport Oil Company Ltd. on Thursday noted that until further notice, business hours remain the same and urged residents not to panic as it relates to fuel supply.
General Manager Stephen Adderley, appealed to residents to take all the necessary safety measures to protect person and property. FOCOL was highly praised for its readiness and customer relations during Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
Public Relations Consultant, Peter Adderley of Creative Works, stated that from the boardroom to those who maintain the restrooms, at every level, the FOCOL family is committed to a spirit of excellence.
Meanwhile, as early at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, food stores had lines of customers eagerly awaiting doors to open to purchase much needed supplies. Lines at various gas stations and water depots were no different.
Before 9:00 a.m. long lines could be seen, from a distance, at several water depots. As early as Wednesday, many water depots were forced to close temporarily, to replenish their stock as a result of the influx of early customers.
Building supplies stores were no different, as vehicles were in and out loaded with plywood, tarpaulin and the like, to secure homes and other assets.
This daily visited Dolly Madison, a hardware store, and spoke with General Manager James Rolle Thursday afternoon.
He noted that Grand Bahamians, based on his assumption, are indeed taking the threat of Hurricane Dorian seriously.
“There has been a steady flow of customers coming into the store securing hurricane products. I think it speaks to the fact that a lot of our Bahamian residents are taking these storms more seriously than they used to, which is a good thing. Safety is of primary concern.
“In our business we want to make sure that we are carrying the products which are essential for survival during a storm and so, we do have a full line of candles, matches, flashlights, generators and fuel tanks. All of the little odds and ends,” said Rolle.
Also included in the list of hurricane preparedness inventory, Rolle noted, was tarpaulin, nails and other necessities to secure one’s properties.
“It is good that people are taking heed of the meteorologists’ forecast and are responding, in my opinion, quite adequately.”
Rolle added that due to the impending storm, store hours have been extended from Thursday to Saturday, August 31, weather permitting.
“We announced the extension of our store hours as of Friday, August 30. We normally open at 8:00 a.m. which we will continue. But on Friday, we will remain open until 8:00 p.m. and then on Saturday we will re-open at 8:00 a.m. for normal hours. We will remain open until weather permitting. It all depends on how the weather progresses to this area, our store hours will be contingent on those conditions,” he explained.
“I just want to encourage the Grand Bahama population to always be vigilant, always be prepared. Please take serious effort to get yourselves ready for the storm. It is always better to be prepared, and nothing happens than to not be prepared and have to face a situation where you really cannot be responsive to what is going on,” Rolle advised.
Dorian is expected to make landfall in the Northern Bahamas late Saturday night into Sunday morning, as possibly a Category 4 storm packing winds between 131 – 155 mph and 13 -18 feet storm surges.