PAHO/WHO EOC Situation Report #3 Hurricane Irene
Hurricane Irene swept through eastern coast of the United States with Category 1 strength winds making landfall in North Carolina on August 27 and moved to Canada as tropical storm and eventually dissipating by August 29. This caused floods and damaged homes, especially in the New England area. Although Irene landed with less vigor than forecasted, the large storm brought heavy rain (up to 15 inches), floods, and 100 mph winds in some areas causing disruption in public services and fallen trees. Highest impacts were in lower New England sates including Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts.
Hurricane force winds extended up to 80 miles from the center, impacting most of the islands in the Bahamas archipelago as the category 3 hurricane swept through Bahamas until August 25. Damages have been reported after Hurricane Irene pass through Turks and Caicos on August 24 mainly due to flooding.
Early damage reports indicate low to moderate impacts except for some south eastern islands in the Bahamas which lay directly in Category 3 Hurricane Irene’s path. In addition, significant damage has been done in some of the smaller islands in the Bahamas.
There have been significant impacts on Southern and Central Islands of Cat Island, Exumas, Crooked Islands, Acklins, Rum Cay, North Eleuthera, and Harbour Island Eleuthera. Infrastructural damage includes flooding in several communities, government buildings, clinics, schools and police stations. The 400-bed Princes Margaret Hospital in Nassau, the only heath facility providing tertiary care reported extensive damage to the roof which covers the medical records, ECG equipment, dental services, the ICU, the equipment store and medical supplies.
Close to 1,380 people took refuge in 22 shelters throughout the islands. In some islands, health facilities reported structural damage. Water supply has been affected, but most people have access to private wells and rain water reserves.