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Bahamas spared Ian’s wrath

Islands in the northern Bahamas saw minor impact from Hurricane Ian, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Director Captain Stephen Russell reported yesterday.

The all clear was issued for the northern Bahamas yesterday morning.

During the weekly press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister, Russell said there were reports of roof damage to the clinic on Bimini, as well as flooding on the island.

The storm knocked out power on the western area of Grand Bahama. Teams were on the ground trying to rectify those issues, Russell said.

On Bimini, he said, “We had to relocate the people in the clinic to the building adjacent.

“Teams from the defense force are in Bimini. They are going to assist with clearing the roof of that clinic to make sure no further damage is done to the facility being exposed to the elements.

“We hope to have that sorted out before noon with some tarps on the clinic there in Bimini.

“There are some reports of flooding in the Alice Town, Porgy Bay area of Bimini. That’s a standing problem. Earlier in the year when potential tropical cyclone one passed through, the minister, myself, and a team from the Ministry of Works went to Bimini and looked at a drain issue they have in Bimini.

“They are trying to design a system on how best to rectify that flooding problem in central Bimini.

“It has something to do with water coming in from the sea and backing up into the land. When you have high tide you automatically have flooding in that area.”

Russell said, “We are truly pleased with how we fared with this system, a very powerful storm impacting the western coast of Florida.

“We thank God we have not been impacted by that system.”

Ian was on a northern path and headed towards the Carolinas. While it weakened into a tropical storm, it surged back to hurricane status in the Atlantic late yesterday.

There was widespread damage in western Florida as the state was hit with historic flooding.

Rescue workers were busy throughout Thursday saving people from floodwaters.

It was unclear what the death toll was.

“This could be the deadliest hurricane in Florida’s history,” US President Joe Biden said yesterday.

“The numbers are still unclear but we are hearing early reports of what may be substantial loss of life.”

Ian slammed into the state as a powerful Category 4 storm, with maximum wind speeds of up to 155 miles per hour, two miles shy of Category 5 status.