Images showing yesterday’s impact of Tropical Storm Nicole on Abaco and Grand Bahama were heartbreaking, said Prime Minister Philip Davis, adding that he will prioritize assessing damage once he returns to The Bahamas from COP27 in Egypt.
“I’m talking to the Met Department and they’ve been keeping me abreast,” Davis said in a video message from Sharm El-Sheikh.
“I’ve been getting pictures from persons in New Providence showing the flooding. All of that is just breaking my heart as I speak.”
When asked about his priority upon return to The Bahamas, Davis replied, “First priority is to assess, to get an update on what’s going on and address the normalization of what has been disrupted by this hurricane.”
Nicole impacted Abaco throughout the day yesterday. There were reports of storm surge around four feet north of Treasure Cay by 9 a.m.
Flooding was reported throughout areas like Green Turtle Cay where some residents reported at least two feet of water entering their homes.
Grand Bahama did not start experiencing the effects of the storm until later in the evening.
As the storm made its way across the two islands, which were devastated by Hurricane Dorian three years ago, the prime minister told residents to “take heart”.
“Remember that the Lord is not going to put on us more than we can bear,” he said.
“I understand the trauma that you are undergoing now, the recoil that you would be having after Dorian with this visiting of Nicole. Just please stay safe. Adhere to the warnings.”
Davis traveled to Egypt on Friday to join other world leaders at COP27, a United Nations conference focused on climate change and environmental issues.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation Chester Cooper has been acting as prime minister.
Davis thanked Cooper for his efforts to ensure that residents were alerted about the storm and were able to take “necessary action” to ensure that no lives were lost and that minimal damage was caused.
“You must remember: this is our new reality,” he said.
“We must become accustomed to events such as this. That’s why we are here making the point that we can’t do it alone and that our new reality is not as a result of what we would have done but what the industrialized world would have done and, therefore, they must come to the rescue of small island developing states such as ours.”