Situation Report #4 Hurricane Irene impact on Turks and Caicos Islands and The Bahamas (as at 5:00 p.m.) August 27th 2011

Message: Hurricane Irene was a initially a Category 2 and then a Category 3 storm which passed over the Bahamas from August 23rd to August 26th 2011.  Irene passed over almost the entire chain of islands causing significant damage in some islands.  Hurricane Irene also passed over the Turks and Caicos Islands on August 24th 2011 as a Category One hurricane resulting in severe flooding.  Event
Based on information from the National Hurricane Centre, The Bahamas experienced Hurricane conditions as Hurricane Irene moved across the archipelago.  Hurricane force winds generally extended from 70 to 80 miles from the centre and tropical storm winds outward up to 270 to 290 miles.   The storm impacted most of the islands in The Bahamas.  

Turks and Caicos Islands:
The Turks and Caicos Islands had minor infrastructure damage and some localized flooding occurred in Grand Turk, including roads being impassable due to flooding of up to three (3) feet in some areas.   Power was disrupted on both Grand Turk and Providenciales in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Irene. Communications were also disrupted with intermittent contacts made via cell and satellite phones.  

The All-Clear was given on Wednesday August 25th 2011. At this time, power has been restored to the majority of the island of Grand Turk and Providenciales including Long Bay and Blue Hills. Flood waters subsided in Grand Turk and Providenciales both through pumping and natural run-off.  The roads were cleared of fallen cables and stalled vehicles.  By Thursday, August 26th, 2011 the Turks and Caicos Islands were in the process of returning to business as usual.

On Saturday, August 27, 2011, the Turks and Caicos Islands formally made an offer to use Providenciales as a Forward Staging Area for relief into the Southeastern Bahamas.

The Commonwealth of the Bahamas:

Hurricane warnings have been lifted for The Bahamas.

Hurricane Irene impacted several islands in the Southeastern, Central and Northwestern Bahamas. Preliminary indications are that significant impacts occurred on the Southern and Central Islands of Cat Island, Exumas, Crooked islands, Acklins, Rum Cay, North Eleuthera and Harbour Island Eleuthera.  

Initial indications are that there was flooding in several communities and several government buildings, clinics, schools, police stations and other infrastructural facilities, experienced serious structural damage across some south-eastern and central islands of the Bahamas archipelago.

Approximately 1383 persons occupied 22 shelters throughout the island chain as a result of the passage of Hurricane Irene; 156 persons were accommodated in New Providence.  Several persons are returning home in the least affected areas. No injuries or fatalities have been reported.

The following is a summary of preliminary impacts throughout The Bahamas.  

There was little damage to homes in Inagua, however shelters were activated for 54 persons some of which are Haitian migrant populations.  Government buildings were secured with little or no damage.  The airport remains opened.  

No injuries were reported but the road leading to the main town is flooded. Several homes experienced damage, utility poles have been downed and power shut off. Three (3) shelters were activated.  The clinic and the police station have experienced some damage.   Communications were also affected, but the airport remains open. Several churches also suffered severe damage.  

Crooked Islands
The settlements in Crooked Islands have experienced considerable amount of roof damage to homes and other buildings. Some flooding occurred in parts of the island. Two shelters were activated.  Communication on Crooked Islands is currently based on battery charged phones and the police communication system.  The Clinic also suffered roof damage. No injuries were reported.  The Colonel Hill airport is clear.

Acklins Island
The electricity is off as power lines are downed. At Lovely Bay, ninety percent (90%) of the settlement has been severely affected, this includes the roofs and several homes blown away. Eight (8) shelters were activated with one hundred and forty seven (147 people). Schools in Acklins have considerable damage.  Communication was also severely affected.
The airport is open.

Long Cay
Long Cay experienced power shutdown and six (6) persons were placed in a shelter.

Long Island

Flooding occurred in Clarence Town and several of homes and a church have experienced roof damage.  Power was also down around the area of Hamilton’s and Deadman’s Cay.  Shelters were activated in these areas.  Communication was also affected.  Nonetheless, the Deadman’s Cay & Stella Maris airports are open.

Rum Cay

In Rum Cay minor damage occurred to the settlements as fifteen (15) homes were damaged and two (2) were destroyed.  Flooding occurred in some areas, with some areas impassable. The Port Nelson bridge was damaged.   The island had no power for sometime but generators provided back up supplies.  One shelter was activated. Communication via landlines was not feasible, however cellular phones are operational.

San Salvador

Most impacts were due to flooding of homes and some places impassable as a result of flood waters.   Minor damages such as lost shingles to roofs occurred. Power failure occurred. Six (6) shelters were activated.   Communications have also been negatively impacted.

Ragged Island
At Ragged Island shelters were activated and the airport is open.

Cat Island
Homes and Government Buildings have received severe structural and roof damage. Arthur’s Town and Dumfries are experienced flooding with roads impassable. Power Lines and poles were downed and power out.   Two (2) shelters were activated.  The Clinic has also suffered some roof damage as well as the Police Station in Arthur’s Town and the St. Andrew’s Church roof.  Little or no communication has been reported on Cat Island as all power lines and phone lines are down.

The Airport has been cleared with no visible damage to terminal building, however there is no power.

Central Andros
Central Andros had little or no damage to settlements or utilities. Power and communications have been restored there.

In North Eleuthera approximately twenty percent (20%) of homes had lost shingles. There was minimal damage to electrical lines.  Communications are down as a result of damage to phone lines, poles and cables.  

In Harbour Island – Eleuthera, there was roof damage to settlements in Harbour Island and minimal roof damage to the clinic.    There is no electricity and damage to communications.  There was extensive damage to the Public Library while minimal damage occurred to the Administrator’s complex & the Police Station.  The dock at Valentine resort is also damaged.

In Spanish Wells Eleuthera, minor roof damage occurred and some marine damage to vessels.  Residents were without electricity which is gradually being restored.  The health facility has structural damage.  Phone lines are down. Persons were evacuated from Russell Island to the main land. Water supply has been affected but most persons have access to private wells and rain water reserves.   All roads are accessible.

In Central  Eleuthera, homes sustained shingle damage and some homes in Cupids Cay were flooded.  These is no electricity, some power lines and poles are down. Utility poles are down at the airport.  Six (6) shelters were activated.  There is no communication from the Airport in Central Eleuthera heading North.   The Governor’s Harbour airport is open.

South Eluethera experienced flooding and damage to roofs throughout the community. Power supply was also affected but is partially being restored.  Five (5) shelters were activated.  The Clinic and police station suffered roof damage. Several schools have suffered extensive damage.   Communication is limited.  The airport is open.

In Rock Sound - Eleuthera, shelters were activated and communication is limited between settlements.  The airport is closed.

Flooding, power failure and communication challenges have been experienced in some settlements.  Many homes and other buildings including the clinic, the administrator’s building and residence have experienced damage to the roof.  Seventeen (17) shelters have been activated on the Main Land.


In Central Abaco - Marsh Harbour, three (3) shelters were activated. Communication is undertaken via cellular phones only.

In South Abaco - Sandy Point, there is slight flooding and no power.   One (1) shelter has been activated.  The cellular service is functioning but the land lines are down.  The airport is open.

Grand Bahama
Grand Bahama was not severely impacted.  In Freeport, some flooding occurred and some homes received structural damage.  There is no power as lines and poles are down. Ten (10) shelters were activated.  The Airport is flooded.

Preliminary Needs Identified

Water, tarpaulin, food, building materials

Regional Response

1.    A shipment of relief supplies from the CDEMA Sub-regional Warehouse in Jamaica, left Kingston today (Saturday, August 27, 2011) for hurricane impacted Acklins and Mayaguana Islands in the Bahamas. The 4,000 lbs of humanitarian supplies comprising, tarpaulin, blankets are for the hardest hit areas. This is a follow-up to the aerial reconnaissance yesterday.

2.    CDEMA supported the Government of the Bahamas in undertaking an aerial reconnaissance of Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Island, Rum Caye, Cat island and Eluthera for an initial overview of the extent of damage on Friday August 26, 2011.  The reconnaissance team included representatives from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), The Bahamas Meteorology Office, United States Agency for International Development/ Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) who funded the flight, Jamaica Red Cross, and CDEMA. This provided authorities in The Bahamas with a preliminary assessment of overall impact and damage that would allow for immediate planning, prioritization and emergency relief.

3.    CDEMA CU has deployed two representatives to the staging area who are working to facilitate a coordinated deployment and redeployment of relief supplies and technical teams to support the impacted for a CARICOM response if necessary.

4.    Regional Technical Teams in key areas of emergency response remain on standby from the Caribbean region. This includes technical teams from the Southern Caribbean and from the Sub-regional focal point for the north-western sub-region (Jamaica).

5.    The regional warehouses located in the North-western sub-region (Jamaica), Eastern sub-region (Antigua), Central sub-region (Barbados) and Southern sub-region (Trinidad) remain on standby, and the regional inventory for emergency supplies have been updated.

6.    CDEMA continues to collaborate with regional partners within the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) including its 18 Participating States, Regional Security System Central Liaison Office (RSS/CLO), University of the West Indies (UWI), Caribbean Electricity Services Corporation (CARILEC), who have placed their teams on standby both for rapid needs assessment and for response/recovery efforts as required.

7.    CDEMA is also collaborating with international partners who interface with the Regional Response Mechanism such as the Department for International Development (DFID), Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and the United States Agency for International Development/Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) and the Government of Brazil to complement the efforts of the Caribbean region to support the affected states as necessary.

8.    The CDEMA Coordinating Unit continues to monitor the situation, with at least twice daily contact with the impacted states. So far the CDEMA CU has prepared and shared five (5) Information Notes and four (4) Situation Reports on the system since its development.

The RRM remains on standby. The CARICOM Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU) is also on standby and arrangements continue to be advanced for deployment of military engineering teams if needed.

CDEMA will continue to monitor and assess the situation and provide updates as required.

Contact Details: The CDEMA CU 24hr contact number is 1 246 425 0386

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