Bahamas: Post-Dorian Recovery
First posted three weeks after Hurricane Dorian struck the Northern Bahamas, this news item is being updated as and when recovery updates come in. The comments section at the bottom of the news item also has updates.
Published 4 years ago, updated 3 years ago
Updates January 2020
A great report by Behan of SV Totem:
Bahamas Cruising Post-Dorian
Little House by the Ferry
Here’s what open in Abaco
Other good local sources of information:
- Green Turtle Bulletin
- Hope Town Bulletin
- Man-O-War bulletin
- Dorian Yacht Chat And Bahamas Relief Group
- Association of Bahamas Marinas
Posted October 31, 2019
Heading South? Help the Abacos!
Left with widespread destruction from Hurricane Dorian, Man-O-War Cay is looking for visiting cruisers to lend a hand in the rebuilding efforts.
Find out more at Cruising World.
Posted October 12, 2019
The US Coast Guard came in right away to evacuate the injured and those who had lost homes and all their possessions. Currently, there is much work to be done to rebuild the damaged and destroyed structures on all of these islands. The biggest issue is that volunteers need to be able to sustain themselves with food, water, lodging, electricity and any other supplies. There are no services or accommodations. Those with construction skills (and tools), who also provide their own place to stay such as a cruising boat, are the most helpful in these challenging circumstances. The islanders themselves can’t provide any accommodations for help. Many of them still don’t have roofs on their homes or a reliable source of food and water, not to mention electricity. Check the local websites for direction and information (see list at bottom of this news item).
POST-DORIAN RECOVERY THREE WEEKS ON
Posted September 24, 2019
Three weeks have passed since Hurricane Dorian struck the Northern Bahamas on 1 September and while news of the recovery has dried up in many news channels, the enthusiasm of the yachting and cruising community to help has most-definitely not.
See more recent updates in comments at the bottom of this news item.
Post-Dorian and three weeks on, much of the impact area in Grand Bahama and the Abacos is still very much a disaster zone. Conditions are poor for recovery with a chain of tropical systems continuing to move over the islands since Dorian.
The official death toll across the Bahamas is 52 at this time, however, there are still over 1000 people missing.
Last week news came out of Elbow Cay in the Abaco Islands that relief agency Samaritans Purse has arrived there after NEMA approval and debris removal and distribution of aid has begun. Hope Town Sailing Club are doing an incredible job of posting updates and information on their website, and it’s a comprehensive source of links to recovery information, how to donate and updates on other affected islands.
The resolves of the Bahamian locals are strong, to repair and rebuild.
Hope Town’s District Chief Councillor Jeremy Sweeting stated:
“Two weeks ago, on September 1st, the worst tragedy in our history unfolded before our very eyes. In these last two weeks, there has been little time for formal statements of any sort. We have been on the ground working. After an Armageddon-like experience, we were all in survival mode, not knowing how soon or how far away help would be. Hurricane Dorian not only took a tremendous toll on many of our residential homes but it had crippled Central Abaco’s business community. The first few days we all shed tears-many, many tears. Our dreams were shattered, our lives in turmoil. But while sitting in the rubble and among the ashes in an environment that could tangibly be related to a war zone, we firmly and unequivocally committed that WE WOULD RISE AND WE SHALL REBUILD.”
Don’t Sail to the Northern Bahamas – Yet
All affected areas continue to ask that you still don’t attempt to assist under your own keel at this time. There is a high risk of debris in the water, sunken vessels, and destroyed or missing aids to navigation making navigating to this area of the Bahamas dangerous.
Public services are non-existent at this time and already the relief agencies and volunteers on the Islands who are helping in the recovery effort are putting great strain on the food and water supply available. Even if you come by boat totally self-sufficient, there may be a chance you hurt yourself, or your boat suffers damage, putting a burden on an already overloaded infrastructure.
If you come by plane, the logistics of getting to and from any airport is not safe. Any airport accepting traffic is running with volunteer help. There is no air traffic control or ground crew. Any ferries that are operational are being utilized for relief efforts.
How Cruisers Can Help
The best way to support the relief and recovery effort is through a monetary contribution, a donation of specific goods or by volunteering through the proper channels.
Countless sailing clubs, yacht clubs, and cruising communities are running fundraising events and the numerous cruisers Caribbean Facebook pages are full of ways in which you can get involved, as well as first-hand reports by cruisers that were in the Bahamas during Dorian.
Many cruisers are adjusting their cruising plans to take in the rest of the Bahamas this coming season. There is still an abundance of islands that were not affected by the hurricane, all needing your custom and dollars to help in the recovery effort.
Hurricane Dorian Leaves a Trail of Destruction in the Northern Bahamas – 1 September, 2019
- The Association of Bahamas Marinas have established their own relief fund for transportation and fuel, as one of the biggest problems facing the relief effort is getting supplies from the warehouses to the communities that need them. See their website for more details.
- Treasure Cay Relief Efforts
- Elbow Cay: Hope Town Sailing Club
- Standard Operating Procedures for Aid into the Bahamas during the Response to Hurricane Dorian – Bahamas Department of Customs
- Dorian People Search – https://dorianpeoplesearch.com/
- Bahamas NEMA – https://www.bahamas.gov.bs/nema
Related to following destinations: Abaco Islands, Bahamas, Black Sound (Green Turtle Cay), Coopers Town (Abaco), Elbow Cay, Fox Town (Little Abaco Island), Freeport (Bahamas), Grand Bahama Island, Grand Cay (Little Grand Cay), Great Abaco Island, Guana Cay, Hope Town (Elbow Cay), Man-O-War Cay, Marsh Harbour (Great Abaco Island), New Plymouth (Green Turtle Cay), Port Lucaya, Schooner Bay (Great Abaco Island), Spanish Cay, Treasure Cay, Walker's Cay, West End, White Sound (Green Turtle Cay)
Update on recovery from Bahamas Chatter 12 October:
One BOLO ferry survived at Green Turtle Cay. The others were damaged or sunk. HopeTown, Man-o-War and Guana Cay ferries were damaged or sunk. None currently operational.
Spanish Cay is selling fuel. No other update available.
GREEN TURTLE CAY
The GREEN TURTLE CLUB is partially open. They have dockage and fuel but no water or electricity at the dock. Cash is required since without electricity and Internet, the Club can’t process credit cards. The channel into White Sound is clear of debris. The Club expects to be fully operational with food and beverages, rooms, villas, dockage, fuel, water, chandlery, and gift shop by March 1, 2020.
BRENDAL’S DIVE SHOP is recovering and opening soon.
McINTOSH’S is serving food.
PHONE: ALIV cell phones are working and can be used as hotspots for Internet service.
BLUFF HOUSE sustained major destruction to the docks and buildings. There are no docks, no services there at the present time.
The same with the OTHER SHORE CLUB in Black Sound. Their main dock from the land is partially secured, but the outer pier with fuel and dockage is destroyed, so there is no way to get ashore and no facilities there.
LEEWARD YACHT CLUB had damage to its building and part of the piers. Boats were sunk there. No services are available.
ABACO YACHT SERVICES had many long-term storage boats fall off cradles and suffer damage.
Construction has already begun to restore homes and businesses and clear endless piles of debris. There is no water or electricity in the town. Some people have their own generators. Relief efforts continue with locals and outside volunteers coming in to help with construction, food, medical care, etc. The school miraculously survived as a shelter for the entire town until after the hurricane passed. The road that extends the length of the cay is open. Freight boats have been coming in with supplies and construction crews. A BobCat loader was donated to help fill the dump trucks with massive piles of debris. Watermakers has come in to help with supplying bottled drinking water for the islanders and construction crews. Also crews have set up a kitchen for workers with basic meals.
Many houses were destroyed but the marina fared better than most in the area with docks mostly intact.
Many boats were sunk at the marina. The fuel dock is gone but we understand that they are somehow selling fuel.
The entire inner harbour had many buildings completely wiped out, including the Harbour Lodge and Captain Jacks. We are awaiting a report from Hope Town Marina. Farther south on Elbow Cay, Sea Spray Marina and resort were leveled.
Maxwell’s Supermarket & Home Store plan to open November 7th.
Commonwealth Bank will be opening a satellite branch within Maxwell’s.
We are expecting to get first-hand reports from the five marinas in Marsh Harbour (Boat Harbour at Abaco Beach Resort, Conch Inn, Mangoes, Harbour View and Marsh Harbour Marina.) Basically, they were all greatly damaged and there are no services in MH at this time. It remains to be seen which will rebuild and reopen.
The electric power plant on Great Abaco is generating but the poles are all down. There is no electricity north of the plant, virtually north of Little Harbour.
The US Coast Guard came in right away to evacuate the injured and those who had lost homes and all their possessions. Currently, there is much work to be done to rebuild the damaged and destroyed structures on all of these islands. The biggest issue is that volunteers need to be able to sustain themselves with food, water, lodging, electricity and any other supplies. There are no services or accommodations. Those with construction skills (and tools), who also provide their own place to stay such as a cruising boat, are the most helpful in these challenging circumstances. The islanders themselves can’t provide any accommodations for help. Many of them still don’t have roofs on their homes or a reliable source of food and water, not to mention electricity. Check the local websites for direction and information.