Above: Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham
There was no no loss of life or significant injury to anyone in the Bahamas due to Hurricane Irene, Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said in a statement to the nation today.
“This is truly remarkable,” he said. “We pray that territories to our north in the United States of America will fare well during the next several days as the storm moves along its eastern seaboard.”
The Bahamas has discontinued all hurricane alerts now that Irene has left the archipelago.
Ingraham commended the work of the National Emergency Management Agency.
A total of 1,016 people sought refuge at Bahamian hurricane shelters, with 156 in New Providence and 860 in the Out Islands. All New Providence shelters are now closed.
“I also wish to commend the Bahamian people, who in the main took heed of advisories, preparing their homes and businesses against the storm,” he said. “Hurricane Irene was a big and dangerous storm and we are especially fortunate to have sustained damage primarily to vegetation and to structures.”
Ingraham said preliminary indications were that serious structural damage was reported to government offices and other infrastructure on several islands, including Abaco and Exuma. There was also damage to private homes and businesses in Acklins, which saw the most devastation, Crooked Island, Cat Island, Mayaguana, Exuma and Abaco.
According to the prime minister, other communities saw varying levels of damage. In Mayaguana, Rum Cay, San Salvador, Cat Island, Long Island, Eleuthera, Spanish Wells and several others, many homes’ roofs were destroyed.
Grand Bahama, which was hardest hit by the series of hurricanes that hit the Bahamas in 2004 and 2005, was spared the worst of the impact. In Exuma, however, several hotel and beachfronts experienced what he called “considerable damage.”
None of Grand Bahamas’ oil storage and transshipment terminals were damaged.
“It is likely that we will experience some setback as a result of Irene’s passage, but we are also mindful that things could have been much worse,” he said.
–Bahamas Information Service