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Hurricane Frances - 5 September 2004
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Page 1 of 1Total of 4 messages
Posted by:Sep 5th 2004, 04:59:41 pm
Fig Tree News TeamSpanish Wells update:
Jan Gamage just had a call from Abner Pinder via sat phone. Everybody is o.k., no injuries. Damage to the island is limited to roof/shingle damage. All boats are fine as are the crawfish stored on the docks from the boat's first trip. The place is a mess from trees/debris. They experienced hurricane force winds for 30 hours except for one hour during the eye. Winds there now are about 50 mph as they are still experiencing the back side of the storm. Abner said they hope to have the power up and running within the next two days. Cell phones are out due to the repositioning of the dishes on the towers due to the wind. Hopefully that will be addressed within the next couple of days as well. You know, these SW folks remind me of ants on an anthill! They should give lessons on how to prepare for a hurricane! Hope this is helpful to everybody concerned.

Jan G
Posted by:Sep 5th 2004, 03:40:12 pm
Bahamas: 'We survived it'

Weary Bahamians expressed relief as preliminary reports indicated Hurricane Frances caused less damage than anticipated.


NASSAU - As Hurricane Frances chugged along this island chain Saturday, boats broke away from their anchors and floated out to sea, while jet skis and tractor trailers doubled as rescue vehicles amid rising floodwaters. At least two deaths were reported.

The full extent of Frances' impact remained unknown Saturday as deteriorating weather, even after the eye of the storm had passed, forced Prime Minister Perry Christie to cancel a flight across the hardest hit of the chain of 700 islands to survey the damage.

Christie hopes to fly out early today, along with Bahamian and U.S. disaster officials, to gauge the amount of destruction left behind by Frances.

Some preliminary reports indicated far less damage than anticipated.


''Besides some infrastructure damage, downed utility poles and some road damage, overall we survived it fairly, fairly well,'' said Matt Maura, a public information officer for the National Emergency Management Agency. ``We are blessed to tell you the truth.''

But others expressed concern about unknown losses.

''We anticipate there will probably be hundreds of homes that have been affected,'' Health Minister Marcus Bethel told reporters.

Timothy Callagahan, who was leading the U.S. government's assessment team here, said he feared the damage in Grand Bahama, where Freeport is located, would be much greater than on the island of New Providence, where the capital city of Nassau is located.

Authorities today planned to send four disaster experts to the islands of San Salvador, Long Island, Mayaguana and Eleuthera -- believed to be the hardest hit of the islands. Abaco and Grand Bahama, also battered by Frances, will receive visits from assessment teams as soon as weather permits, officials said.

Residents and vacationers in the Bahamas seemed to heed advice from authorities even as they grew impatient with the unwelcome Frances. The biggest challenge was trying to persuade people to remain indoors as the weather turned calm over Freeport for several hours Saturday morning, creating a false sense of security.

''Some persons felt it was over because it was calm, but we were in the eye of the storm,'' said Donald Glass, director of public relations at the 900-room Crown Plaza resort in Freeport, which was packed with guests.

Various neighborhoods and the Freeport International Airport were submerged from storm surges as high as 14 feet. Jet skis and tractor trailers were used in evacuations.

At least two deaths were reported and a third man remained missing after his wooden home collapsed.

One man on the western end of Grand Bahama Island apparently drowned in three feet of water as he presumably tried to swim to safety from his flooded yard. A second man was electrocuted as the storm raged through Nassau on Friday. Authorities feared a third death of an elderly man whose wooden house collapsed near the western tip of Grand Bahama. Rescue teams had not located the man as of Saturday evening.


Minor injuries also were reported in Abaco when the roof of a clinic collapsed Saturday morning. Several people were injured and expected to be flown to a hospital in Nassau today.

New Providence seemed to have been spared by Hurricane Frances' full wrath, but the powerful Category 3 storm did leave Bahamians some reminders of its destructive power: beach erosion, broken tree limbs, power outages, flooded front yards and submerged streets.

In Grand Bahama, 1,200 of the more than 100,000 residents went into shelters, forcing authorities and volunteers to rescue people living along canals and low-lying areas during the storm's strong winds and rising floodwaters. In the Howksbill neighborhood, about 500 people had to be evacuated.
Posted by:Sep 5th 2004, 03:29:31 pm
Fig Tree News TeamNews from Brian Fischer on Whale Point:

I finally have some news about that area, however not much.

Eugene Arthur took his boat over to check on his property and his father was nice enough to give me some updates. The houses that he passed are still standing with only some damage.

The roads are washed away and not passable in some areas on the far end. I will post more information as soon as I hear more. I hope to be in contact this evening.
Posted by:Sep 5th 2004, 02:23:32 pm
Fig Tree News TeamMorning news from Ben Knox:

Hi Kimberly,
I'm actually using a satellite internet link (Direcway) - I've got a dish on the side of my house. It works pretty well, even with the clouds and a little rain. Fortunately the dish didn't get blown out of position!

I have an Iridium phone too, but even when the sky is clear I've found it to
be pretty poor.

By the way, it seems that the phones are back - I've been able to make a couple of calls to the US and UK this morning. [Ed. note: Brilanders can call off the island, but outside calls aren't getting through yet, as of 2:30p EST.]

No power yet (at least at the North end of the Island - I haven't been into town yet).

It's a gloriously sunny day today.


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