The destruction from Hurricane Dorian is still being felt in the Bahamas. Relief and clean-up efforts are still underway, and the full damage from the storm is only just being calculated.
A new report revealed that Hurricane Dorian caused around $3.4 billion in losses for the Bahamas. That is equivalent to one-fourth of the country’s gross domestic product.
The category 5 storm stalled over portions for the Bahamas for days, causing the intense destruction. It left 29,500 people homeless, without jobs, or both. And those were the ones lucky enough to escape with their lives. In addition to the monetary loss, the storm also claimed several lives. Right now the official death toll is at 67 with 282 still missing.
The report states that the reconstruction of the devastated areas will require big investments and take many years. Ragged Islands, which was devastated by Hurricane Irma two years ago is still officially listed as “uninhabitable”. The local government and foreign aid have been working hard to restore Grand Bahama and the Abacos, but there is still much work to be done.
Hurricane Dorian was the most powerful Atlantic hurricane to ever make landfall in the Bahamas. The powerful winds and storm surges destroyed homes and other buildings in addition to infrastructure, causing $2.5 billion in damages. An estimated 9,000 homes were damaged, and seven schools were destroyed. So far this led to the reassignment of 1,500 displaced students.
Another $717 million in losses was caused by Hurricane Dorian’s impact on the products of goods and services provided. The storm also caused a massive oil spill in Grand Bahama, which in addition to debris removal and demolition, cost around $221 million to clean up.
The Bahamas’ primary revenue source is tourism, which took a hit in the weeks after the storm. Tourists are still advised not to visit Grand Bahamas and the Abacos. The nation has been urging visitors to instead visit other family islands such as Exuma and the capital, Nassau. Overall, the Bahamas still has a long way to go to heal after the storm but there is still hope.