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Sands: Hurricane Dorian an opportunity for research on architectural improvements

A road cuts through the rubble of homes that belong to the same family, destroyed by Hurricane Dorian in Rocky Creek East End, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. Bahamians are searching the rubble, salvaging the few heirlooms left intact by the Category 5 storm. AP

The Bahamas must not miss the opportunity to lead the research on the effects of Hurricane Dorian on the country’s built environment, former president of the Bahamian Contractors Association (BCA) Leonard Sands said yesterday, adding that so far that aspect of the storm’s aftermath seems to be missing.

According to Sands, the University of The Bahamas (UB) should eventually have its students presenting scholarly papers on the effects of a super storm like Dorian on a small island state.

Sands explained that he has never seen structural damage like that on Abaco and Grand Bahama and Bahamians should document it and prepare the information to present to the world.

“We’re missing an opportunity to present to the world our findings from this hurricane,” Sands said.

“UB should be leading the research and documentation of what exactly happened. This is something we have to record for the world’s consumption.

“You’re talking about concrete beams, belt courses being ripped apart because of the sheer strength and magnitude of the storm and storm surge. That’s stuff we need to document and study.

“Where’s the research… where is the spirit of wanting to know?”

Sands said it would be a shame for Bahamians to simply leave all of that information for foreign researchers to collect and use to receive grants and accolades, when Bahamian students and researchers are already on the ground.

He added that many parts of the world have never seen storms of Dorian’s intensity, explaining that Bahamians should be leading the design and development of architectural improvements in the wake of this historic storm.

“There’s a huge opportunity for businesses to talk about how to project in the future, true sustainability,” Sands said.

“Out of the hurricane we’re not talking about the missteps because we’re not analyzing properly.

“Where are the experienced scientists who tell us what happened, take that knowledge, tabulate that and suggest what we do going forward?”

Sands contends that Marsh Harbour should not be rebuilt until the area has been properly and sustainably planned and designed.

Chester Robards

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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