The National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) was partially activated at 3pm Saturday, November 7, 2020 to closely monitor the track of Tropical Storm Eta as it threatens The Bahamas with heavy rain and flooding in low-lying areas.
Captain Stephen Russell, Director of the National Emergency Management Agency activated Level II of the Standard Operating Procedures because the situation escalated into a threat of storm warnings with flooding and storm surges.
Representatives of NEMA’s Emergency Support Function (ESF) groups reported to the NEOC at NEMA on Gladstone Road to monitor the system and ensure the public receives timely and accurate information pertaining to the storm.
Facilities in the NEOC have been rearranged to allow for social distancing and other safety measures in keeping with protocols pertaining to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Captain Russell made contact with Family Island administrators in the Islands in the projected path of the system, who ensured that their respective communities were prepared for the storm and any other incident, which might be associated with it.
“I urged Administrators to partial activate their local EOCs and to have shelters in a state of readiness in the event residents need to evacuate their homes due to flooding or any other mishap,” he said.
Captain Russell further urged residents to be mindful that once the system goes over Cuba, winds might exceed 65mph and to ensure that they secure any items around their properties, which might become missiles.
“Officially, there are still three weeks left in the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season, so I urge residents to remain prepared in the event another storm threatens,” Captain Russell said.
At the time of partial activation, the Bahamas Department of Meteorology issued in its 2pm Alert a Tropical Storm Warning for the Northwest Bahamas: Grand Bahama, Abaco, Bimini, The Berry Islands, Andros, New Providence and Eleuthera.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions could be experienced in some or all of the mentioned islands within 36 hours.
Also, the Met Department maintained a Tropical Storm Alert for The Central Bahamas: Exuma, Cat Island, Long Island, San Salvador and Rum Cay.
A Tropical Storm Alert means that tropical storm conditions could be experienced in the mentioned islands within 60 hours.
The Met Department also advised Boaters in the Northwest and Central Bahamas to remain in port as Eta is expected to produce dangerous swells through Wednesday.
And, that residents in the Northwest Bahamas should have completed preparations for tropical storm conditions, being aware that localized flooding is expected in low- lying areas. As much as 18 inches of rain is expected up to Thursday, November 12, 2020.
Residents and interests in the Central and Southeast Bahamas should continue to closely monitor alerts issued by the Bahamas Department of Meteorology on Eta.
Meanwhile, Captain Russell made contact with Prime Minister the Most Hon Dr Hubert Minnis; the Hon Iram Lewis, Minister of State in the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction, and Permanent Secretary Carl Smith, regarding the storm.
More photo highlights below: