As Hurricane Dorian continued its painstakingly slow and destructive trek across parts of Grand Bahama today, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said The Bahamas cannot defend itself against the catastrophic storm, which has already caused widespread damage and is still in attack mode.
“The Bahamas is presently at war and being attacked by Hurricane Dorian, he said. “And yet, it has no weapon at its disposal to defend itself during such an assault by this enemy.”
The Nassau Guardian understands that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) officials has received a barrage of calls requesting immediate help from Grand Bahama residents who are trapped in their homes.
However, NEMA has advised that rescue efforts are on standby until the weathers permits authorities to safely go out.
“We also encourage you not to attempt to leave your home, and you should move to the highest point in your house,” NEMA said in a statement.
One Grand Bahama resident said his parents were forced to retreat to their attic.
Jamie Rose, 44, whose parents live in Emerald Bay, said they are facing a life or death scenario.
“They’re basically sitting in a fish tank looking out at the water hitting the windows,” he said.
“There’s a group them there and they’re getting ready to go into the attic because if the windows fail on the windward side the debris is going to come in. That would be catastrophic.”
Zario Saunders, 44, a resident of North Bahamia, shared a similar story.
“I have a situation with my parents,” he said. “They are up in the attic over the bridge and the water is leveled with the roof.
“They are not okay. We are trying to get people up there but it’s so strong and the winds are still up.”
He said his parents have been waiting to be rescued from that attic since 4 a.m. today.
Elizabeth Burrows, another Grand Bahama resident, was emotional as she described the flooding in her room.
“The shelter is flooding,” she cried.
“I’m trying to call BASRA right now. I am stuck. I don’t know what we can do right now.”
When The Nassau Guardian spoke with Lena Chandler, a Queens Cove resident, earlier this morning, she said that storm surge had ripped of her hurricane shutter.
She said the water had already flooded the first level of her home, noting that it was “only three feet” from reaching the second level.
Around noon, Chandler posted on social media, “We are in trouble but will tie ourselves together and float if we have to.”
Dorian is the strongest hurricane to ever make landfall in The Bahamas. Yesterday, winds were estimated to be up to 185 mph. The hurricane’s intensity has since decreased.
However, Dorian remains an extremely dangerous category 4 storm. It is moving at a speed of one mph, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 11 a.m. advisory.
“This is a life-threatening situation,” an earlier advisory said.
“Residents on Grand Bahama Island should not leave their shelter when the eye passes over, as winds will rapidly increase on the other side of the eye. Residents in the Abacos should continue to stay in their shelter until conditions subside later today.
NHC reported wind gusts of up to 200 mph and storm storms up to 23 feet above normal tide levels.
“These hazards will continue over Grand Bahama Island during most of the day, causing extreme destruction on the island, ” NHC said.