Natural disasters in the Bahamas
The Bahamas are also greatly affected by natural disasters.
Here are some of the previous disasters that have occurred.
Nassau Hurricane of 1926
The Nassau Hurricane of 1926, also known as the Bahamas-Florida Hurricane of July 1926 and Hurricane San Liborio, was a destructive Category 4 hurricane that affected the Bahamas at peak intensity. Although it weakened considerably before its Florida landfall, it was reported as one of the most severe storms to affect Nassau in the Bahamas in several years until the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane, which occurred just two years later. The storm also delivered flooding rains and loss of crops to the southeastern United States and Florida. Although damage reports are not clear, the storm was reported to be destructive around Nassau, where "some roofs were torn off entirely" and that the storm was "more fearful and devastating than any most people can remember", according to an eyewitness account posted in the July issue of the Monthly Weather Review. Trees, power poles, and various debris littered streets, and many people were left homeless. Automobiles at Nassau were also reported damaged by the storm, and flooding was reported. The hurricane also caused heavy damage nearby on Eleuthera and Andros, as well as in the Exumas.
1928 Okeechobee Hurricane
The Okeechobee Hurricane, or Hurricane San Felipe Segundo, was a deadly hurricane that struck the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and Florida in September of the 1928 Atlantic hurricane season. It was the first recorded hurricane to reach Category 5 status on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale in the Atlantic basin; as of 2006, it remains the only recorded hurricane to strike Puerto Rico at Category 5 strength, and one of the ten most intense ever recorded to make landfall in the United States.The hurricane caused devastation throughout its path. As many as 1,200 people were killed in Guadeloupe. The storm directly struck Puerto Rico at peak strength, killing at least 300 and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. In south Florida at least 2,500 were killed when storm surge from Lake Okeechobee breached the dike surrounding the lake, flooding an area covering hundreds of square miles. In total, the hurricane killed at least 4,078 people and caused around $100 million ($1 billion 2006 US dollars) in damages over the course of its path. The eye of the hurricane passed just south of Grand Bahama as a strong Category 4 hurricane, again causing very heavy damage. According to a firsthand account from the island, it was the worst storm in memory to strike the area. As in Puerto Rico, however, authorities in the Bahamas were aware of the hurricane's passage well ahead of time, and preparations minimized the loss of life in the islands. The only report of fatalities was from a sloop lost at sea in the vicinity of Ambergris Cay with 18 on board.
1929 Florida Hurricane
The 1929 Florida Hurricane was the second hurricane and the only major hurricane during the very inactive 1929 Atlantic hurricane season. The hurricane was the only hurricane to cause any significant damage, resulting in $676,000 in damage. Only a year after the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane, the hurricane caused only three deaths in southern Florida, a low number due to well-executed warnings. The hurricane was much more severe in the Bahamas, where damage was near extreme due to the hurricane stalling over the area for an extended period of time. There, the hurricane caused 48 deaths.
A weather station in Nassau recorded an unofficial pressure reading of 938 mbar (27.64 inHg). The weather station also recorded a wind gust of 164 mph. According to the Associated Press, the hurricane's 12 ft (3.7 meters) storm surge flooded a road and damaged a seawall, while property damage was severe. In Fresh Creek, the hurricane destroyed six houses and damaged ten others. It also damaged a communications station, disrupting telegraph service. Ten deaths were reported on Andros Island, and according to press reports, 24 people were declared missing. Elsewhere in the Bahamas, the hurricane damaged or destroyed 63 homes and buildings brought flash flooding that left Andros Island under 20 ft of water. Offshore, a steamship was ran aground near Abaco Island, while a tanker broke in two near Andros Island. Eight sailors perished when their 18-foot schooner sank during the storm. In Fresh Creek, four small boats sank near the Andros Lighthouse, drowning more than 20 sailors. The 1932 Bahamas Hurricane was a powerful Category 5 hurricane that struck the Bahamas at peak intensity. The storm never made landfall on the continental United States, but its effects were felt in the northeast part of the country and in the Bahamas, especially on the Abaco Islands, where damage was very great.
Hurricane Andrew is the second-most-destructive hurricane in U.S. history, and the last of three Category 5 hurricanes that made U.S. landfall during the 20th century, after the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 and Hurricane Camille in 1969. The storm caused 65 deaths. The first named storm of the 1992 Atlantic hurricane season, Andrew struck the northwestern Bahamas, southern Florida at Homestead, and southwest Louisiana around Morgan City, Louisiana in August. Andrew caused $26.5 billion in damage, with most of that damage cost in south Florida. Its central pressure ranks as fourth-lowest in U.S. landfall records and Andrew was the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history until surpassed by Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 season.Damage in the Bahamas was estimated at $250 million.
Hurricane Betsy was a Category 3 hurricane that struck the Leeward Islands, Hispaniola and the Bahamas during the 1956 Atlantic hurricane season. Hurricane Betsy was a powerful hurricane of the 1965 Atlantic hurricane season which caused enormous damage in the Bahamas, Florida, and Louisiana. Betsy made its most intense landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River, causing significant flooding of the waters of Lake Pontchartrain into New Orleans; at the time it was the costliest hurricane in the history of the United States, and, as the first hurricane to cause over a billion dollars in damages, earned the nickname "Billion-Dollar Betsy".
Hurricane David was the fourth named tropical cyclone, second hurricane, and first major hurricane of the 1979 Atlantic hurricane season. A Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, David was among the deadliest hurricanes in the latter half of the 20th century, killing over 2,000 people in its path, mostly in the Dominican Republic. David was a Cape Verde-type hurricane, traversing through the Lesser Antilles, Greater Antilles, and East Coast of the United States during late August and early September. With winds of 175 mph, Hurricane David was the strongest hurricane to strike the Dominican Republic since the 1930 Dominican Republic Hurricane. Also, the hurricane was the strongest to hit Dominica in the 20th century, and was the deadliest Dominican tropical cyclone since a hurricane killed over 200 in September of the 1834 season. David was the second male name for a tropical storm in Atlantic history and the first to be retired.
Hurricane Hortense was the eighth tropical storm, sixth hurricane, and second Category 4 hurricane of the 1996 Atlantic hurricane season. Lasting from September 3 to September 16, Hortense brought torrential flooding as it moved through the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, and Dominican Republic. Hitting only one year after Hurricanes Luis and Marilyn and weeks after Hurricane Bertha, it caused 39 deaths and $158 million in damage.
If you are in the Bahamas and need the emergency services you can call 911.