Over 2,000 in shelters on New Providence

As of yesterday morning, 2,043 people were being housed in shelters across New Providence, according to National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Spokesperson Carl Smith.

Smith said that there were 1,357 people at the Kendall G. L. Isaacs National Gymnasium; 239 at the Fox Hill Community Center Shelter; 85 at Calvary Baptist Church; 27 at the Salvation Army; 64 at the Pilgrim Baptist Church; 226 at the Bahamas Academy Gymnasium; and 45 displaced children who are staying in children’s homes across the island.

Asked whether there are concerns that there will not be enough space for evacuees, Smith said there is enough shelter.

When one reporter asked whether there is a crisis given observed crowding at the Kendall G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium, he said, “There’s not really a crisis. It is at full capacity.

“All of these shelters have a capacity. That one is at full capacity. As we indicated during the briefing, as the need arises, we will open other shelters. There are offers, so as the need arises, they will be made available.”

Disaster Relief and Reconstruction Committee Chairman John Michael Clarke said on Monday that there are plans to house 4,000 people in temporary housing in Marsh Harbour.

“We will put up two relief areas in Marsh Harbour,” he said.

“The areas would be one to the south of Marsh Harbour and one to the north of Marsh Harbour. Those are to get persons back quickly who would want to rebuild their homes right away and then that temporary transition space will be no more.

“As far as how long the shelters will be up in New Providence, what’s happening on the ground is we still have some assessments to do. Those assessments will commence tomorrow, and based on what they find in their assessments, we’ll be able to better determine the timeline of how long that will take.”

Clarke added, “We are right now investigating the best option for the relief centers, because these won’t be there for weeks. These could be there for anywhere between 180 days to 365 days, depending on what we find in our assessments.”

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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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