ISLAND NEWS

 

(Revised on October 14th, 2019)

 

From Hope Town Fire and Rescue:
 
We need your help. 
 
Our team is working day and night to help the people of 
Elbow Cay -- where Hurricane Dorian first made landfall. 
 
Donations are best made directly to: 
Hope Town Volunteer Fire and Rescue through the DonorBox 
Donate link is on our website http://htvfr.org/how-to-help.html   
 
U.S. citizens can make tax-deductible donations of $250.00 or more online via www.PercAbaco.org/how-to-donate/paypal-donations and checking Hope Town Fire and Rescue from the charity list or by check mailed to: 
PERC, Inc. (Preservation, Environment, Recreation, Community) PERC, Inc. P.O. Box 232, Grand Isle, VT 05458 USA. 
For us to receive you donation, you must say that the funds are for the Hope Town Volunteer Fire and Rescue efforts. 
Donations will be immediately process and distributed to HTVFR See their website for exact instructions and background information. https://www.percabaco.org 
 

Hope Town Volunteer Fire and Rescue (HTVFR) is making a shift from relief command. The new entity, Elbow Cay Restoration Committee (ECRC), will be the group overseeing the relief and rebuilding efforts. This committee will offer direction and decision making for key issues facing Elbow and surrounding cays. You can see more regarding this strategic plan draft by clicking here... https://docs.google.com/…/1qrr7lL8-qI_I3mL0cSqjXRWw6XV…/edit

 

 

 

Latest Albury’s Ferry Schedule:

 

7:30am MH to HT
8:00am HT to MH
9:00am MH to HT
9:45am HT to MH
12:15pm MH to HT
1:30pm HT to MH
4:00pm MH to HT
5:00pm HT to MH
5:30pm MH to HT

 

 

October 11th General Update from Hope Town Command:

We are now 5 weeks post-storm, and progress continues to move forward. A team from Operation 300, has been working with local guidance, to begin sorting and relocating debris in the settlement to our staging area, where the debris will be processed and eventually shipped to Marsh Harbour for disposal. Much of the debris in the town has been cleared, and we are starting to see a light of normalcy.

 

Samaritan’s Purse has been working alongside volunteers from the Liberty School and local crews on clearing out and securing the clinic, school, and other community areas. They have also been in coordination with the Samaritan's Purse team on Man-O-War to formulate a joint effort for debris removal and disposal.

 

Local roofing teams have been working tirelessly throughout the duration of our recovery, drying in the remaining structures on the island. We are happy to report that much progress has been made on this front, and the majority of useful structures have been secured. Many of these homes have been generously lent out to house our displaced residents as well as visiting volunteer teams; however, accommodations are still scarce. If you have a usable structure that can be used to house incoming volunteers, we cannot stress how significant this would be in helping with our relief efforts.

 

We have been in communication with representatives from Give Power, Tesla’s charitable branch, as well as Rocky Mountain Institute and Exp, seeking professional advice on our potential solutions to establish temporary power, as well as long-term solutions for independent power generation for Elbow Cay. We are considering all of our options and are keeping in mind environmental, economic and community impacts.


 

 

Frederick’s Agency Ltd & Albury’s Trucking Ltd. have been offered a temporary location in Maxwell’s Supermarket that they will be using until they can rebuild their office, and they are aiming to be operational for the first week of November.

 


 

Prime Minister Minnis outlined temporary housing plan for Abaco:

The Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction is in the process of deploying temporary housing for government employees on Abaco, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis announced in the House of Assembly on Wednesday in his second communication on Hurricane Dorian response and recovery efforts.

 

The Prime Minister said 100 RV trailers will accommodate 300 critical government personnel, who will play an essential role in reconstruction and recovery. A protocol is being determined for the relocation of individuals back to Abaco.

A land site next to the Spring City subdivision on Abaco is also being prepared to create the Family Relief Centre, which will serve as temporary housing accommodations for families affected by Hurricane Dorian.

 

The Family Relief Centre will comprise 250 dome structures that will include plumbing, drainage, a sewer system and electricity. Each dome can accommodate four to five people. The estimated cost for this facility is $6.4 million. Land is being prepared and trenching will begin this week. Materials for the infrastructure work are scheduled to arrive on Abaco next week, said Prime Minister Minnis.

 

The response to Hurricane Dorian is a comprehensive and global effort led and coordinated by the Government of The Bahamas,” said the Prime Minister. “The full resources of the Government are being deployed.”

 

 

 

Locals in the news: https://ewnews.com/life-after-dorian-hope-town-rebuild-focuses-on-communal-living

 

 

From HTVFR:

 

To our second homeowners:


Hindsight is 20/20 and extreme conditions create extreme thinking. Mistakes were indeed made by trying to control an uncontrollable situation.

If we made you feel unwanted and unwelcome we sincerely apologize. That is most assuredly not the case. You are our support and our friends and we can't wait to see you. Without you, HTVFR would not be what we are today.

We do request when you come, bring food and drink for yourselves, plan on camping and maybe donate an hour or two (or more) towards the recovery efforts.

Thank you!

 

From Troy Pritchard, HTVFR Fire Chief:

 

The situation is changing in Hope Town and we are reaching the stage when self-sufficient Home Owners are welcome. The relief stage is nearing completion and more resources hitting the shores everyday. Thank you for all your patience.

I know communication has been frustrating and all you've done for the island may have seemed unappreciated. I assure you, that's not the case. "Fog of war" in a disaster zone is very real. Timely communication is nearly impossible. The logistics of getting anyone to, and from, the island is challenging.

Self sufficient homeowners are encouraged to coordinate with other homeowners. Air, boat travel, and accommodations are easier in coordinated groups. There are a few places available to rent such as On-da-beach. Bring a tent if you can't bunk up somewhere.

Thanks for all you've done and continue to contribute to Elbow.

 

From the Elbow Cay Restoration Committee:

We appreciate our second home owner community members patience and understanding in these critical few weeks post Dorian. Thank you for everything you have been doing from abroad and we look forward to seeing you back in Hope Town in the near future. We are finally transitioning from the initial emergency response phase and looking towards the long road of recovery ahead of us. As we move forward, we will need EVERYONES continued support. Thank you Chief Troy Prichard for this message and thank you to everyone from Hope Town Volunteer Fire & Rescue for taking the lead in getting our community back on its feet.

 

 

 

Beginning Oct 7th, Man-O-War Grocery hours will be as follows:
Monday-Saturday
8am-12noon; 6pm-8pm
Closed Sundays

 

 

Albury’s Ferry reports they are now able to take credit cards as payment on the ferry.

 

 

From Maxwell's Supermarket and Home Store:

 

We're excited to announce we plan for a soft opening on Thursday, November 7th!! The supermarket is now almost back to rights! As shipping and delivery logistics are starting to improve, grocery orders have now been placed. We're still waiting on a few more register computers and refrigeration parts which we should receive by next week.

In an effort to help restore commerce on Abaco, we're also very pleased to announce that Commonwealth Bank will be opening a satellite branch within Maxwell's.

 

 

PRIME MINISTER ANNOUNCES SPECIAL ECONOMIC RECOVERY ZONES FOR ABACO AND GRAND BAHAMA.

To Feature Tax Concessions and $10 Million to assist Bahamian Small businesses in impacted area

From the Prime Minister's Address: "As special economic recovery zones, the following measures will be put in place:

1) Duty Free Purchase of all materials, fixtures, furniture, vehicles and equipment for all business needs and for all business and residential construction/rehabilitation efforts. This provision will also be extended to domestic purchase of qualifying items that I will detail shortly.

2) Waiver of Business License Fees for operations within the zone.

3) Waiver on Real Property Tax payable on all eligible properties that are reconstructed, restored or otherwise are inhabitable by October 2020.

4) A VAT credit of up to 50 percent on the sale of real property, provided that such sale will be immediately followed by material construction, on or enhancements to the property, or the utilization of the purchased property to material commercial activity.

To maintain the credit, the qualifying activity must commence within 75 days of the close of the sale and must be followed through to scheduled completion. Otherwise the full VAT becomes payable.

5) Establishment of a $10 million loan guarantee and equity financing programme to allow for qualifying Bahamian small and medium size business to secure up to $500,000 in financing under the programme to fund the restoration of businesses, or the creation of new businesses.

6) The Extension of the Provisional Business License Programme to all businesses – with limited exceptions – within the zones so as to allow for qualifying businesses to get started with their businesses within 2 business days of completed application.

7) The establishment of a business assistance One Stop Shop in Grand Bahama and Abaco that will house representatives of the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC), the Bahamas Investment Authority, the Ministry of Finance, The Bahamas Investment Authority, The Department of Inland Revenue, The Department of Environmental Health and Building Permits units of the various agencies.

This one stop shop will be equipped and empowered to ensure that all existing and new businesses will be able to work through any regulatory requirements within 5 working days.

 

 

A KEY document was released for bringing relief into The Bahamas. It is the rules (standard operating procedures) on topics including:

IMPORT TAXES & EXEMPTIONS
CUSTOMS CLEARANCE (medical, comms and vehicles)
IMMIGRATION - Briefly mentioned

It can be found at:  https://bit.ly/2mh663N

"The objective of SOPs is to describe the current procedures for the importation and temporary admission of relief

 

 

From HTVFR:

Lighthouse Marina was able to receive a supply of gas and diesel via fuel barge. However, we are still in a position where fuel must be carefully monitored and rationed to ensure we can meet the needs of the island. As of now, Hope Town residents in need of fuel are allowed 5 gallons of gas and 5 gallons of diesel each, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. There are no fuel pumps or metering capabilities as of yet, and Lighthouse Marina is not yet ready for sale or distribution of fuel. To reiterate, this is still an emergency fuel supply intended to support the immediate needs of Hope Town’s community.

 

 

From Lighthouse Marina in Hope Town:

 

Dear Valued Customers and Friends,


Hurricane Dorian has wreaked incredible havoc upon our community. Our Marina has suffered massive damage. Our beautiful home overlooking the Sea of Abaco was destroyed, but we are safe and healthy. We know that communications have been challenging. At this time we are posting this report also on our website to inform you of where things stand today.


FUEL DOCK AND SLIPS
Our new dock has been destroyed, including our fuel facility. Fortunately, our fuel storage tanks and facilities were not damaged, and in reasonably good working order. We have been serving fuel to assist those in need by way of a makeshift shore side delivery system. We hope to have a proper pump and metering system in place very soon. This will likely be accessed by way of a small fueling barge. We have both diesel and gasoline.That said, we are not yet in a position to accept cash or credit card payments for fuel. We are working on a temporary solution now.


MARINA AND LIQUOR STORE
Both of these buildings have been severely damaged, and will likely have to be taken down. These operations will be suspended indefinitely.


MAINTENANCE SHOP
Our maintenance building is damaged but will be repaired. It is inaccessible now, and will be out of service indefinitely.


BOAT STORAGE
Our storage facility has suffered severe damage. The steel racking system was blown down. Many large vessels that were moored in Mouth Harbour have been blown and/or washed into our storage yard. Boats and debris are stacked on top of one another. Our forklift was covered by the tidal surge. We are working on mobilizing heavy lift equipment to the site to commence the difficult process of sorting and securing what we can. Please understand that this will take considerable time to accomplish. WE MUST ADVISE ALL CONCERNED PARTIES THAT OUR PROPERTY IS AN EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS SITE AT PRESENT. NO PERSON SHOULD ENTER OUR PREMISES WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM ONE OF US. This prohibition applies to any and all boat owners, insurance adjusters or other concerned persons. Anyone found on our property without our written permission will be considered a trespasser. We hope that all concerned will understand that we must strictly enforce these restrictions until our facilities are safe and secure. We will attempt to respond to specific requests for information. We will not be able to entertain requests for access to the facility until we have adequate personnel on site.

 

Email will be the best way for us to communicate with our customers for the foreseeable future. Please know that Lighthouse Marina will be restored as soon as humanly possible. We look forward to being an integral part of the recovery of Hopetown and Elbow Cay.


With much love and thanks for your patience and understanding.


Linda and Craig Knowles
Managers, Lighthouse Marina

 

To obtain the new Exigency Order for the Importation of Replacement Vehicles Damaged by Dorian, please email: pamela@fredericksagency.com and she will reply with the form attached.

 

 

 

On Monday evening, September 23rd, the Elbow Reef Lighthouse turned for the first time since Hurricane Dorian!

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10221142105850815&id=1489698340&sfnsn=mo&d=n&vh=i

 

 

 

 

Due to the devastation from Hurricane Dorian, the Hope Town Christmas Village has been put on hold for this year, but plans are to return better than ever in 2020.

 

 

 

If you are in the Stuart, Florida area, save this date!

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HOPE TOWN, ABACO, BAHAMAS