Ready…Fight! How the Bahamas fared with Hurricane Ian

Last month, thousands of Bahamians prepared for and got ready for the strong winds, heavy rains, and flooding in low areas that Hurricane Ian was sure to bring.

According to reports from news stations and weathercasts in and around the Bahamas, the islands were not in any immediate or major danger from the hurricane, but that did not mean people were not closely watching the forecast.

As a Bahamian-American myself, I have lots of relatives and friends in the Bahamas, specifically in the Grand Bahama area. I caught up with my Auntie Rasheeda and she gave me an inside feel of what it is like preparing for Hurricane Ian.

“Our officials have given us warnings throughout the week of preparing cautiously for the heavy rain and the potential 4-6 inches we may get,” she says. “According to them, we will not have a direct hit, but still have bad weather and lots of rain. So right now, we are doing our usual hurricane protocol and getting the supplies we need to make due until the storm passes.”

For Bahamians, hurricanes are as frequent to them as casual rain is to us in the United States. This probably explains why my family looked at me like I lost a few brain cells when I asked them how they are preparing for Hurricane Ian.

However, some residents in Grand Bahama are still repairing home damages that happened due to Hurricane Dorian three years ago.

“There are a lot of houses with improper foundations and missing pieces of drywall from Dorian,” Auntie Rasheeda says concerned. “I feel worse for them if we get the storm how bad we are supposed to get it.”

According to my relatives on the island, There is still damage to housing from the previous Hurricane Dorian scattered amongst different regions of the island.

The Ministry of Education announced that schools in Grand Bahama, Grand Cay and Bimini will be out of an abundance of caution in preparation for Hurricane Ian.

The Grand Bahamas felt tropical storm conditions over the next few days as Ian headed toward Florida. Until then, Bahamians did what they usually do before a hurricane and went through the casual procedures in getting ready for another “casual” hurricane. Bahamians are truly in a way, built different.

Storm damage from Ian was slight, although there was flooding and some structural damage in places around the island. It was a much different situation in September of 2019 when the Category 5 Hurricane Dorian struck the Bahamas and caused catastrophic damage to Grand Bahama Island and the Abaco Islands. Damage was estimated at $3.4 billion and more than 200 lives were lost. Recovery from Dorian continues today.


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