Hurricane Nicole forms on GB

Entire island expected to take direct hit

After moving over portions of Abaco yesterday, causing widespread flooding and resurrecting memories of Hurricane Dorian, Nicole last night developed into a Category 1 hurricane as it made landfall on Grand Bahama with officials saying that the entire island is expected to take a direct hit.

Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister Myles LaRoda said wind speeds on Abaco never rose above 43 miles per hour (mph), and gusts never exceeded 59 mph.  Power and water were off on the island. There was widespread flooding reported on the island.

“However, Grand Bahama may not be as lucky,” he said during a press conference at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

“There is a projection that the winds in Grand Bahama may be even more and could get to the point of hurricane status. That being said, we hope for the best, pray for the best. Grand Bahama is in line for a direct hit. Abaco mainly, the most sustained winds were in the north and central. Grand Bahama is almost on a lateral line.

“So, from Sweeting’s Cay straight to West End, we expect the hurricane to impact the whole island of Grand Bahama.”

At last report, Nicole had maximum winds of 75 mph and was moving at 13 mph.

By today, it was forecast to be out of The Bahamas and impacting the east coast of Florida.

Acting Prime Minister Chester Cooper said teams from the government will visit Abaco and Grand Bahama today, once the all clear is given.

Officials said they expect the all clear for Abaco, Grand Bahama, the Berry Islands and Bimini to be given sometime around 5 a.m. today.

“I want to assure the Bahamian people, particularly in Grand Bahama and Abaco, that the government and its agencies have deployed assets and resources necessary for search and rescue and recovery,” Cooper said.

Cooper said there have been no reports of death or serious injuries.

He said, “We’ve seen this before. We are a resilient people and I am confident that we will recover stronger than before.”

NEMA Director Captain Stephen Russell said 867 people sought shelter at government facilities.

The all clear was given for New Providence, Eleuthera and Andros yesterday afternoon.

While not getting a direct hit, there was widespread coastal damage along northern New Providence yesterday. Several roads were closed due to large waves crashing into the streets, rocking cars and piling sand in the road. There was flooding reported on Eleuthera as well.

Parts of New Providence also experienced power outages.

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Travis Cartwright-Carroll

Travis Cartwright-Carroll is the news editor. He covers a wide range of national issues. He joined The Nassau Guardian in 2011 as a copy editor before shifting to reporting. He was promoted to news editor in January 2023.

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