September 05, 2017
As Hurricane Irma continues to make its way to The Bahamas, residents throughout New Providence said yesterday they are taking no chances as they begin early preparations for the storm.
The city buzzed as thousands of people flocked to water depots, grocery stores, and building supply stores, anxiously preparing themselves for what could be the third hurricane to hit the country in three years.
"I started preparing since Friday, because after last year, what we experienced, I can't take no chances," said Mynez Cargill-Sherman, 52, a resident of Blue Hills Estates.
"It was devastating. We had a long time without light and water, so this year we can't take it for granted."
Cargill-Sherman said though her home did not receive any major flooding, it received a lot of structural damaged.
She said last year she took for granted cutting her hedges and that cost her, her fence.
She said the damage to her home from Hurricane Matthew ran up to nearly $50,000.
Cargill-Sherman also noted that the lightning from the storm struck several utility poles in her area, so she was out of power for almost three weeks.
She said her preparations this time around include getting a lot of flashlights, a generator, a lot of ice, water and definitely cutting her hedges.
While in Kelly's on Robinson Road, The Nassau Guardian also spoke to Danny Arazi, a tourist from Israel, visiting The Bahamas for two weeks.
Arazi, 26, said this will be his first experience with a hurricane.
"I am preparing not to die," Arazi said.
"We are buying stuff like lights and gasoline and it's going to be okay, I think.
"I'm in a hotel in Cable Beach, so we are going to be here during the storm.
"...It's going to be fun."
Robert Plank, operations manager at Kelly's, said customers have started purchasing hurricane supplies days in advance to prepare for the coming storm.
"Customers started coming in last week Wednesday doing hurricane prep, which is much earlier than normal," Plank noted.
"It is normally four days in advance, so this is well in advance of that.
"So obviously everyone is taking what they learned last year and applying it to this year."
Plank assured that the department store is fully stocked with inventory.
"Although you may come and find us a little bit low at times, it is constantly being replenished," he said.
"We have lots of inventory to get through this storm, including back up generators, batteries, flashlights, foam, etc."
Chelsea's Choice Water Company on Abundant Life Road was also overflowing with residents preparing for the hurricane.
Cars were backed up in bumper-to-bumper traffic as far as Soldier Road, towing the line and waiting to be served.
Don Rodgers, assistant manager at the water company said they were busy all day yesterday and even needed police assistance for crowd control.
Rodgers estimated that "thousands" of people visited the water company in preparation for the hurricane.
"We had people who were in large vehicles, they got for, like, their family, so they came for like 20-25 bottles per car or per truck," Rodger said.
"I know we are going to be extremely busy for the rest of the week, extremely busy.
"Right now, we are going to be pushing until 9 o'clock tonight, to make preparations for water to be out there in the morning."
The water company operates from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m from Monday to Friday and 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Rodgers said there is currently no plan to extend the hours of operations, but encouraged patrons "the earlier the better."
He insisted that the company is fully equipped to handle the large number of people expected to purchase water over the coming days.
At Super Value on Baillou Hill Road, Patsy Russell, a resident of southeast Nassau, said she was near the end of her hurricane preparations as she stocked up on cases of water and other non-perishable goods.
"You can't wait for the last moment," Russell said.
"Even though they are not sure how this thing is going for sure, we know that it is coming, so I just want to be on top of this game so I don't have to be running around at the last minute, making this preparation."
Russell said she has completed her grocery shopping and her shutters are ready to go and just waiting to be put up.
"Everything is in readiness," she said.
She also warned her fellow Bahamians "not to take this thing lightly".
"Matthew would have been a warning, as strong as it was, for those who were not prepared to be prepared this time around," Russell added.
Josh Dean, a resident of eastern New Providence, also gave a warning to fellow Bahamians to begin their preparations early.
Dean spoke to The Nassau Guardian as he was purchasing several bags of sand from J.B.R Building Supplies.
"I am doing everything that you are supposed to do whenever you hear a storm is travelling," he said.
"It is nothing new to me. I never wait for the last day."
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News date : 09/05/2017 Category : Nassau Guardian Stories