Flooding Emergency

Minister of Public works inspecting the High Rock seawall.

As a result of hurricane Matthew in 2016, Grand Bahama obtained 70 percent of the economic loss and damages of The Bahamas (Hartnell, 2018). Most infrastructure in The Bahamas is lacking the scientific backing it needs to withstand extreme weather. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) urged for coastal communities to be relocated.

There is little protection from coral reefs due to rapid erosion destroying over 50 percent of the natural infrastructure (Hartnell, 2017). Increasing effects from climate change result in rising sea levels and higher water temperatures which increases the risk of flooding. Sea walls and bridges in some areas are improperly built and in effective in severe weather (Hamilton, 2018).

Grand Bahama six feet surge risk zone map.

Flood maps show the vulnerability of the northern parts of Grand Bahama to storm surges. Three feet of surge dominates almost half of the island and emphasize how susceptible we are to floods (Silverman, 2019). Improvements of current systems of flood management and infrastructure will take a significant amount of time and money. Hurricane Dorian exposed the weaknesses in flood management and emergency housing. Flood management is feasible as a long-term objective, with proper guidance from scientific research.