Abaco's Sandpiper Inn to reopen in another week

By YOURI KEMP

THE Sandpiper Inn in Schooner Bay, South Abaco will hopefully reopen in a week or two but needs the island's power and water supply to stabilise, the hotel's owner said.

Dr Larry Carroll, the inn's managing director and owner, said luckily the property suffered "no damage" from monster storm Dorian but faces issues getting necessary supplies to reopen his business.

"We were pretty much unscathed due to us being in the southern part of the island in Schooner Bay," he told Tribune Business. "We will reopen as soon as power is fully restored and water is made totally reliable. Our supply lines are cut however, and there is difficulty in getting food and other items in to run a hotel. But within a week or two we plan to reopen."

He added: "The good thing is that the mailboats are starting to return to Marsh Harbour, even though there is nothing in Marsh Harbour for them to come to. The roads are being slowly cleared for us to meet the mailboat when it arrives. We need fresh meat and fresh eggs and other stuff. Where Bahamas Food Services would have a truck available for us on the island, what we now have to do is go to the mailboat in Marsh Harbour for ourselves.

"Abaco Gas has reopened but not back to normal and we need the propane to be used to heat water and power our generators as well as to cook with."

He said Bahamas Power and Light recently restored power to his area last week, "but in some instances there was over voltage and it was causing damage to equipment. We are anxiously waiting for the power to stabilise."

Still, his main issue is reestablishing the inn's supply chain.

"Once Maxwell's is open, it could help us out in the short-term because we understand that the Maxwell's building is the only building that survived the storm. But boats are coming into Marsh Harbour now, so we are hopeful.

"Water supply is an issue, we just want them to get the pumping station up and running properly and for them to make clear the water table. Luckily we have our own private water supply, once the power is on we can pump our own water if need be."

When asked if his workers are all accounted for, Dr Carroll said: "We have been reaching out to our people in Crossing Rocks, where our staff members are being re-engaged at this moment. Because this is their only form of livelihood, we desperately want to be in a position to help them now. So we want to get our six staff members ready to start work as soon as possible. We plan to be ready to house recovery personnel once we are reopened, and also be available for construction staff in the reconstruction and recovery efforts."

He added: "But this week is going to prove the point if we should open up or wait for November. Once Maxwell's is open it could help us out in the short term. Boats are coming into Marsh Harbour now so everything is looking up for us.

"But something of this size and devastation is something we could not have planned for. So it's not going to be a week for us to recover, but over the long haul. A lot that is positive that can come out of this if we look at the glass as half full instead of half empty because a lot of things need to change, for example the (slackness) in enforcing the law will have to stop particularly with the lack of enforcement of our building codes.

"We got caught with our pants down but hopefully we can be better."