The Prime Minister is the Minister responsible for NEMA (the National Emergency Management Agency). Why wasn’t NEMA up, running and available to Nassau residents during Tuesday’s massive flooding? The Prime Minister was not truthful to the Parliament the following morning when he said all agencies were mobilized from that night. ZNS itself showed that NEMA was closed Tuesday night, and residents confirmed receiving no answer to repeated phone calls to NEMA. A natural disaster in progress in Nassau and the government was nowhere to be found. No shelters mobilized – nothing.
This weather system was not a surprise to forecasters. NEMA should have been activated – inclusive of activating shelters – ahead of the storm system. Every Nassau person knows that just a regular rainstorm can cause major flooding – so a heavy rain-bearing system like the one we encountered this week should have raised all the relevant alarms and prompted all the relevant pro-active action plans.
The Prime Minister is the Minister responsible for NEMA. He must account to Nassau and the nation for this, as well as for what will be done now for flood victims on New Providence. If the way last year’s Hurricane Sandy victims were treated is any indication of what is to be expected, it will be a long and painful road for Nassau flood victims, who in numerous cases lost all their belongings and/or their home to flood damage.
Hurricane Season begins June 1 – just around the corner.