NEMA Director Partially Activates NEOC

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The National Emergency Management Agency’s (NEMA), National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) was partially activated at 6pm Tuesday evening (September 27) for further monitoring of Hurricane Ian, following the issuance of a Tropical Storm Warning for the Islands of Grand Bahama and the Biminis by The Bahamas Department of Meteorology.

The NEOC will remain open throughout the response period. A Tropical Storm Warning means that Tropical Storm conditions could be experienced in the mentioned islands within 36 hours.

During Partial Activation, certain NEOC Team Members (known as Emergency Support Functions) are activated to monitor certain risks and/or hazards in areas that could be impacted by weather conditions associated with the passage of a storm, and as a means of communicating with/supporting disaster managers and planners and disaster consultative committees on the ground in those areas. The NEOC is responsible for executing emergency management and ensuring the continuity of operations for the entire country.

Residents in Grand Bahama and the Biminis are being advised to prepare for the possibility of sustained Tropical Storm-Force winds on Wednesday night through Thursday. Residents in the remainder of the northwest Bahamas, including Abaco, the Berry Islands, North Andros, New Providence and Eleuthera, could experience winds gusting to gale-force during this period. Forecasters at The Bahamas Department of Meteorology note that rainbands associated with Hurricane Ian, will continue to affect the islands of the northwest Bahamas on Wednesday and Thursday.

Residents in these islands are asked to exercise extreme caution as the rainbands will bring severe thunderstorms, gusty winds and possible tornadic activity. At 8pm (Tuesday night) Hurricane Ian was about 250 miles west, southwest of Alice Town, Bimini; 310 miles southwest of Red Bays, Andros; 305 miles southwest of Freeport, Grand Bahama; and approximately 360 miles west, southwest of New Providence. Ian is moving towards the north-northeast near 10 miles per hour with a reduction in forward speed forecast for tonight and Wednesday. On the forecast track, the Centre of Ian is expected to move over the south-eastern Gulf of Mexico, pass west of the Florida Cays later tonight, and approach the West Coast of Florida as an extremely dangerous Major Hurricane (Category III or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Scale) on Wednesday.

Total rainfall amounts of 4 to 6 inches are expected with isolated amounts of up to 8 inches through Friday. As a result, severe, localized flooding is possible in low-lying and flood-prone areas. Residents of low-lying, flood-prone areas of the north-western Bahamas, are asked to take special precautions during any heavy and/or prolonged rainfall event.The National Emergency Management Agency, in collaboration with The Bahamas Department of Meteorology, is also monitoring an area of Low Pressure located several hundred miles off the Cabo Verde Islands (also known as the Cape Verde Islands) that has a high chance (70 percent) for Tropical Cyclone formation over the next five days.

Residents are being asked to pay close attention to all of the NEWS ITEMS, Public Forecasts, Severe Weather Warnings and/or Special Weather Statements issued by The Bahamas Department of Meteorology.