Grand Bahama Emergency Water Relief Foundation re-cap of Hurricane Sandy activation, October 24-28, 2012.

 

During the approach of Hurricane Sandy the RO machine was run for 9 hours on Wednesday and 8 hours on Thursday, which put about 5,000 gallons of water in the tank. This was done utilizing the standby generator filled with donated fuel to reduce any electricity bill.

Thank you to Mr. Tony Miller (Rotary Club of Grand Bahama Sunset) and Freeport Oil Company (FOCOL) for the donation of fuel and for their anticipated continued support of the plant.

Hurricane Sandy impacted Grand Bahama for much of Friday and into the evening and early hours of Saturday.

The plant was re-activated early Saturday morning and Rotarians began to assemble and sanitize and fill the one gallon jugs which had been collected and stored in the plant throughout the year (about 500 of them).

 

On Saturday between the hours of 10:45am and 7pm we estimate that we gave away approximately 3,600 gallons of water to persons who came to the plant either with their own jugs or took the one we had to give them. In addition we sent two of the tank trailers (275 gallons each) with Rotarian Peter Turnquest(Rotary Clun of Lucaya and past ADG) to be taken to East End Grand Bahama once the water subsided which was on Sunday morning.

The Grand Bahama Fire Brigade made two trips with 55 gallon drums to flush toilets at some of the old folks homes on the island.

Yes, Rotary water is good for flushing toilets as well! If we had been short in our supply of RO water we would not have given water for flushing.

By Sunday morning most of Freeport City had city water trickling through the pipes, however certain pockets did not, in particular the entire East End area from the missile base and the entire settlement of 8 Mile Rock (the largest settlement in the country), nor did West End.

On Sunday, a small group of Rotarians met at the plant and gave away an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 gallons of water including to the Ministry of Education who filled 15 five gallon jugs.  The crunch was over but we felt that those who were coming were saving money in this tough economy and also not having to line up at the stores and water depots.

This was a good test of the plant and our response system. There were many lessons learned and notes taken on how to improve our performance next time, including more self serve fill stations outside working from a gravity fill system, the grading of a parking area, a stereo so we could listen to updates on ZNS radio and a refrigerator for refreshments for the workers. Credit must be given to ZNS northern service for broadcasting our announcements about the water plant being open and their continued storm coverage.

The tank is now filled to capacity with the Ozone treatment system activated and the generator will soon be serviced by Sonny Waugh’s youngest son Brian. We all felt Sonny’s presence watching over us and his approval and satisfaction at Rotary’s response to the need after this event.

A dialogue has also been started with Lions Club with the thought of them setting up a food kitchen alongside the plant to feed the needy. Other service organizations will be approached as well.

I personally would like to thank all those in Districts 5280, 7020, 6990 and on GBI who helped make this project a reality. It truly did its job when needed and helped many persons in the community and brought Rotarians together in service in a meaningful way.

Mike Stafford, ADG 2013-2014 District 6990