Abaco, GB residents breathe a sigh of relief after Nicole

After Hurricane Nicole swept through the northwest Bahamas, some Family Island residents are breathing a sigh of relief that the storm did not do much damage.

“There was very little impact,” said Philip Moss, 23, of Bailey Town, Bimini.

Moss, who lives near the sea, did not sustain any flooding, and is grateful that the storm was not worse than it was.

“It was overcast and there were some gusts of wind every now and then, but conditions here are still pretty good,” he said.

“The island is super thin and Bimini would not have been able to handle it.”

Also thankful for minimal impact is a resident of Chub Cay, Berry Islands.

Acting Prime Minister Chester Cooper reported yesterday that both Abaco and Grand Bahama were spared any major damage and noted that there were no reports of injuries or loss of life.

Rhashanna Curry, 29, a high school teacher and resident of Freeport, Grand Bahama, is relieved that Nicole was not a repeat of Hurricane Dorian.

“I think, overall, I can speak for many residents of Grand Bahama, that we are grateful that the impact of Nicole was not tremendous because a lot of people have yet to fully recover from Dorian,” Curry said.

“You find that some people still have roofs that are not prepared. And I think that this storm, had it been more severe, would have really caused people to psychologically, emotionally and even financially be drained.”

One of those residents, Prisca Hunt, of West End, a settlement that is notorious for sustaining the worst effects of any hurricane that crosses its path, noted that the only damage in her area was seaweed along the roads.

“Some of the roads you couldn’t get past because of the seaweed from the water coming over the seawall,” Hunt said.

“The ponds that we have, the water would usually settle. But yesterday (Wednesday) morning, by 10 a.m., it had already cleared up.”

The teacher at Eight Mile Rock High School, who noted that many homes are still under repair from hurricanes Matthew, in 2016, and Dorian, in 2019, said the only damage to her home was a few shingles that flew off. 

“The only long-term issue that we have been experiencing is power outages,” she said yesterday in the middle of another power outage. 

“Our power cut off shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday and didn’t come back on until the following morning after 9 o’clock,” she explained. 

“And it’s been off since 9:12 last night (Wednesday).”

Pastor Silbert Mills, whose Friendship Tabernacle Church in Dundas Town was used as a shelter, said he is grateful that Abaconians were spared from what could have been a catastrophic event.

“Thank God we are all well,” said Mills.

“Once the storm was over late yesterday, people started dispersing and went back to their home and the flooding receding rather quickly overnight. This morning, it was business as usual. Everyone went back to work. School reopens officially tomorrow; all the government schools.”

Mills added, “We were grateful to have the deputy prime minister and a delegation here visiting us today and touring the sites and we feel good that we’re going to rebound. All we’re asking the government for is to do what they can to extend the duty-free provisions for Abaco.”

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