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Breaking News:

Evacuees to be returned home at govt expense

  • Stephen Russell.

Published: Sep 11, 2017

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Director of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Captain Stephen Russell has advised that all residents from the southern Bahamas who were evacuated by the government ahead of Hurricane Irma will be returned to their islands at the expense of the government.

More than 1,000 people were evacuated to New Providence from Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, Inagua, Long Cay, Ragged Island and Bimini.

In a statement on the weekend, Russell said, “The exact date of return flights to the islands will be announced after the proper technical assessments have been made to ensure the safety of those who will be returning.

“Barring any unforeseen circumstances, residents evacuated from Bimini are expected to be returned at the earliest opportunity.

“NEMA wishes to thank all those agencies and persons who participated in making the entire process of evacuation a success.”

Russell said yesterday it would be difficult to give an estimation of how much it will cost to return the evacuees to their homes, as some airlines will charge the government their regular prices per passenger, while others have volunteered their services.

He said evacuees could find out as early as today when they will be able to return after an assessment of the islands is conducted.

“Hopefully they (damaged properties) can be rapidly repaired,” Russell said.

“But we won’t know until possibly tomorrow (Monday), when we visit those islands.

“We will tell them what the next step is.”





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