October 12, 2016
President of the North Andros Chamber of Commerce and Employers' Confederation Darren Bethel said Hurricane Matthew would have a great economic impact on the island, particularly for residents of Lowe Sound, who appeared to have sustained the most damage from the storm on that island.
The Category 4 storm is said to have had the worst impact on Grand Bahama and North Andros. Speaking with Guardian Business, Bethel explained the economic and social impact of the storm.
"In Lowe Sound, I would say 95 percent of the houses have some type of damage but more than 70 percent of the houses are completely damaged. The people are pretty much distraught," he said.
Bethel added that severe flooding and strong winds would have caused most of the damage. From a social standpoint Bethel added:
"You have a lot of women and kids that are homeless. I really feel that as if they need to be paid first attention. Of course, you know Lowe Sound has a growing population so that is where you want to pay a lot of attention to." The business environment, he said, will take a while to truly assess.
"Lowe Sound had a lot of the key businesses like Burns House, key groceries stores, and the key water and sewage supply, which were destroyed. "So, the economic impact is going to be great," said Bethel.
Prime Minister Perry Christie said the estimated cost of Hurricane Matthew is likely to be three to four times greater than Hurricane Joaquin. There is no specific cost evaluation for each island as yet.
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