Governor General: Bahamas faces one of the greatest challenges in its history


Tribune Staff Reporter

THE Bahamas faces one of the greatest challenges in its history in trying to rebuild lives and infrastructure in the wake of Hurricane Dorian’s unprecedented destruction, Governor General CA Smith said last night.

Mr Smith spoke during a national address that aired on ZNS. Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis is expected to address the country tomorrow night.

"There is no question that our people and our country, have suffered a most grievous blow at the hands of nature. We all know that from time to time throughout our history, we have had encounters with hurricanes of varying magnitudes but none like Dorian. I remember a previous generation telling stories of the great storms of 1929 and 1932 but it is painfully clear that never before have we experienced such a destructive force as hurricane Dorian,” Mr Smith said.

The 1929 hurricane stalled over the Bahamas for an extended time, causing 48 deaths. The 1932 category five hurricane devastated Abaco in particular, killing 16 people in the country.

Mr Smith said: “For what must have seemed like an eternity to those in its path, this hurricane hovered over the northern Bahamas wreaking immeasurable havoc on Abaco, Grand Bahama and their surrounding cays while some of its effects were felt much further south. As we continue to progress toward a full assessment it is clear that the devastation is unprecedented in our history. Many lives have been lost. Our sincere condolences go to the families an friends of those who have lost their loves ones. I know your grief knows no bounds and words are useless, but we as a country and as your countrymen grieve with you.”

The death toll from Dorian stands at 45. The Ministry of Social Services has not said how many people have been reported missing.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the thousands of families whose homes and properties have been severely damaged or destroyed and whose lives are now shattered,” Mr Smith said.

“This is a dark and joyless time for those who have lost, but we pledge to you that there will be light and hope again. Our public infrastructure has been degraded and in many instances is now non-existent. We face one of the greatest challenges in our history - that of rebuilding the lives of our people and our country but in the midst of all this we are inspired by the performance of those who were and are still on the frontline.”