Situation Report #5 Hurricane Irene impact on Turks and Caicos Islands and The Bahamas (as at 11:00 a.m.) August 30th 2011
Message: Damage Assessments being conducted in severely impacted Family Islands of Acklins, Mayaguana and Cat Island; Turks and Caicos Islands returns to state of normalcy.
Event Hurricane Irene, initially a Category 2 and then a Category 3 storm, 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.
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.
Turks and Caicos Islands:
The Turks and Caicos Islands had minor infrastructure damage and some localized flooding (up to three (3) feet in some areas) occurred in Grand Turk rendering some roads impassable. 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 Irene impacted several islands in the Southeastern, Central and Northwestern Bahamas. Significant impacts occurred on the Southeastern and Central Islands of Cat Island, Acklins and Mayaguana.
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 an update of preliminary impacts throughout The Bahamas. Damage Assessment is concentrated focused on the severely impacted areas of Cat Island, Acklins Islands and Mayaguana.