$12 mil. for repairs to homes damaged by Dorian

Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister said the government estimates that over $12 million of assistance will be required for the repair of structures damaged by Hurricane Dorian.

“We estimate, just from those assessments that have been done…for the houses with minimal damage, $2,957,500; for the buildings with moderate damage, $2,540,000; for the houses with severe damage, $3,585,000; for the destroyed and non-salvageable houses, $3,050,000,” he said in the House of Assembly on Thursday.

“That’s a total of $12,132,500. As I said, we are not finished, but that will give you an idea of where we are going.”

Bannister’s comments came during debate on the Disaster Preparedness and Response (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

He said that up to last Friday, teams had completed 2,262 assessments in total on Grand Bahama and 434 on Abaco.

The assessments were of residential, commercial, mixed use and public buildings.

On Grand Bahama, 1,060 buildings had minimal damage; 420 had moderate damage; 350 had severe damage; and 210 were destroyed or non-salvageable. On Abaco, 123 buildings surveyed had minimal damage; 88 had moderate damage; 128 had severe damage; and 95 were completely destroyed or non-salvageable.

Hurricane Dorian barreled through both islands early last month, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

Thousands have been displaced and at least 65 are dead.

Many evacuees have already expressed their desire to return home.

In his first communication on Dorian in the House of Assembly over two weeks ago, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said the government is partnering with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) to prepare a comprehensive assessment of the economic and social impacts of the hurricane.

The assessment will take into account businesses that were damaged and can no longer generate economic activity, damage to critical infrastructure and the cost of temporary and long-term housing for residents.

“The assessment will put a dollar value on all of the damage, revenue losses and other costs to the government and private sectors,” he said.

The government is in the process of setting up a $6.4 million temporary housing project on Abaco to house up to 1,000 residents.

The Family Relief Center will be comprised of 250 dome structures to be set up next to the Spring City subdivision.

Additionally, 100 recreational vehicles (RVs) to house up to 300 critical government workers are slated to arrive on the island this weekend.

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Rachel Knowles

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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