Just over two weeks after the devastating passage of Hurricane Dorian, the second-strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic and the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Bahamas, the Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board has released an update on the destination’s rebuilding efforts.
The first phase of the emergency management response centered on immediate activities such as search and rescue, the organization said. The next phase is focused on restoring basic services and lifelines, including roads, bridges, airports and helicopter landing sites, even on a temporary basis. The final phase will be focused on reconstruction.
Solar panels are being set up around the island, to enable people to power their homes and mobile devices, connect with families and register for aid. Several humanitarian organizations have stepped in to assist with the relief effort, shipping and distributing much needed supplies to residents, churches and relief centers across the island. At the request of the World Health Organization and the Bahamas government, Samaritan’s Purse deployed its Emergency Field Hospital to provide life-saving care by it teams of doctors and nurses. The 40-bed mobile hospital has the capacity to serve up to 100 patients per day with an emergency room, intensive care unit, obstetrics ward and an operating room for up to 10 surgeries per day.
Cruise Ships and Ferries
The Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport, an important facility for major cruise lines such as Carnival and Royal Caribbean, has resumed normal dry dock operations, the tourism board said. Since it has full power and freshwater available, the facility is also feeding hundreds of workers each day at its cafeteria.
The scheduled arrival of Carnival Ecstasy on October 5 is on track, and the Carnival cruise ship will begin a dry dock upgrade which should be completed by October 16. In total, the shipyard has 29 dry dockings for the remainder of the year.
Freeport Harbour is also operational, with Balearia Caribbean offering sailings. Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is operating relief cruises only.
Terminals at Grand Bahama Airport are not operational, and runways are accessible only for relief and emergency flights. Domestic commercial flights are available via Bahamasair, Western Air and Flamingo Air.
The Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach will reopen November 1, with more than 50 percent of newly renovated rooms. It will be the first hotel to resume normal operations. Old Bahama Bay Resort and Marina will also reopen November 1.
Lighthouse Pointe, Grand Lucayan and Pelican Bay Hotels are closed to the general public, as they are housing relief workers and displaced families.
Bell Channel Inn, Castaways Resort & Suites, Coral Beach, Dolphin Cove, Mayfield Beach, Ocean Reef Resort and Royal Islander are all open for business.
Flamingo Bay Hotel and Marina sustained some damage; however, it will reopen on October 10.
Island Seas/Island Palm Resorts, Taino Beach Resorts, Freeport Resort & Clubs and Sunrise Resort are currently conducting assessments and will provide updates by September 30.
On-Island Transportation and Places
H. Forbes Charter Services, S & D Coach Tours, Taxi Services, Hertz, Avis and other rental car services are available.
The Fish Fry at Smith’s Point, Out Da Sea Bar & Grill, Flying Fish Gastro Bar, The Stoned Crab Restaurant, Sabor and Upstairs Restaurant at Bell Channel are all operational.
UNEXSO and the Dolphin Experience, Bahamas Adventures, Pirates Cove Zipline & Waterpark and Tony Macaroni Conch Experience (limited schedule) are all operational.
Pier One Restaurant sustained minimal damage, and it is scheduled to open November 1.
Garden of the Groves and Grand Bahama Nature Tours suffered damages and are estimated to reopen in mid-December.
The Port Lucaya Marketplace is carrying out assessments and will provide an update by September 30.