Search | Index | Contact | Home    

Disaster Declaration: The Commonwealth of the Bahamas - Hurricane Frances September 5, 2004

From September 2 to September 4, Hurricane Frances passed through the islands of the Bahamas with maximum sustained winds ranging from 105 mph to 145 mph. According to the Bahamian National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), significant property damage occurred in all islands of the Bahamas, particularly Grand Bahama, the Abacos, Mayaguana, San Salvador, Acklins, Cat Island, Eleuthera, and New Providence, including the capital Nassau. Hurricane Frances killed two people and displaced approximately 700 residents. The hurricane damaged or destroyed more than 50 houses and damaged sea walls, schools, bridges, roads, and docks, interrupting the delivery of drinking water to the family islands. Strong winds knocked down trees, blocking many roads, and damaged electricity and telecommunications systems.

On September 1, four members of a USAID/OFDA Disaster Assistance Response Team (USAID/DART) joined the USAID/OFDA/Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) consultant to the Bahamas in Nassau and established an operations center in advance of Hurricane Frances. The USAID/DART met with U.S. Embassy officials, National Disaster Response representatives, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in preparation for Hurricane Frances and assisted Post and local counterparts in assessing the impact of Hurricane Frances, determining humanitarian assistance requirements, and coordinating USG humanitarian assistance.

On September 5, 2004, U.S. Ambassador John D. Rood issued a disaster declaration due to the damage caused by Hurricane Frances. In response, USAID/OFDA is providing $50,000 to support the local purchase of relief commodities, in-country air transport, the distribution of emergency relief supplies (ERSs), and to facilitate aerial assessments of the affected areas of the Bahamas. In addition, as of September 7, USAID/OFDA conducted two airlifts of ERSs from Miami to the Bahamas, carrying blankets, hygiene kits, jerry cans, plastic sheeting, and water bladders.


Hurricane Frances FINAL Update 15 - September 5, 2004, 8:00 a.m.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), as of 8:00 a.m. EDT, the center of Hurricane Frances was located near latitude 27.3N longitude 80.7W and 125 miles east-southeast of Tampa, Florida. Frances is moving toward the west near 8 mph soon. A continued west to west-northwestward track across the Florida peninsula is expected today. Maximum sustained winds are near 95 mph with higher gusts, making Frances a Category Two hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. Some weakening is expected as the core of Frances moves over land. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 85 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 200 miles from the center. In the Bahamas, storm surge flooding of between three and five feet above normal tide levels may still be possible on the west and south sides of the islands of the northern Bahamas.

On September 1, four members of a USAID/OFDA team joined the OFDA/Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Consultant to the Bahamas in Nassau and established an operations center in advance of Hurricane Frances. The USAID/OFDA team continues to meet with U.S. Embassy officials, National Disaster Response representatives, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to formulate an appropriate response to any consequences of Hurricane Frances. The USAID/OFDA team will assist Post and local counterparts in assessing the impact of Hurricane Frances, determining humanitarian assistance requirements, and coordinating USG humanitarian assistance if required. Four USAID/OFDA team members are working directly with the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) and will conduct joint assessments as soon as weather conditions permit. The USAID/OFDA Team Leader is scheduled to conduct aerial assessments with the Ambassador and Government of Bahama officials as of this morning.

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Tropical Storm and Hurricane Watches/Warnings

Bahamas: A hurricane warning remains in effect for Grand Bahama, Abaco, Bimimi, and the Berry Islands. The hurricane warning has been discontinued for the remainder of the northwestern Bahamas. A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area within the next 24 hours.

Click for Image

Hurricane Frances Update 11 - September 3, 2004, 2:00 p.m.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), as of 2:00 p.m. EDT, the eye of Hurricane Frances was located very near the southern tip of Great Abaco in the Bahamas (25.7N, 77.2W) and 200 miles east-southeast of the lower Florida East Coast. Frances is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph, and this track is expected to continue with some decrease in forward speed during the next 24 hours. A west-northwest to northwestward motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected during the next 24 hours. The core of the hurricane will continue to move near or over the northwestern Bahamas today. Maximum sustained winds are near 115 mph with higher gusts, making Frances a Category Four hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 85 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 185 miles from the center. In the Bahamas, storm surge flooding of six to fourteen feet above normal tide levels, with battering waves, can be expected near the eye of the hurricane on the west side of Eleuthera Island and on the north side of Grand Bahama Island. Storm surge flooding of between four and six feet above normal tide levels can be expected on the west side of the other islands of the Bahamas. The NHCÍs projected five-day trajectory of the storm is depicted below.

On September 1, four members of a USAID/OFDA team joined the OFDA/Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Consultant to the Bahamas in Nassau and established an operations center in advance of Hurricane Frances. The USAID/OFDA team continues to meet with U.S. Embassy officials, National Disaster Response representatives, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to formulate an appropriate response to any consequences of Hurricane Frances. The USAID/OFDA team will assist Post and local counterparts in assessing the impact of Hurricane Frances, determining humanitarian assistance requirements, and coordinating USG humanitarian assistance if required.

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Tropical Storm and Hurricane Watches/Warnings

Bahamas: A hurricane warning remains in effect for the central and northwestern Bahamas. A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area within the next 24 hours.


Hurricane Frances Update 9 - September 3, 2004, 8:00 a.m.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), as of 8:00 a.m. EDT, the center of Hurricane Frances was located over Eleuthera in the Bahamas (25.3N, 76.4W) and 260 miles east-southeast of the lower Florida East Coast. Frances is moving toward the west-northwest near nine mph, and this track is expected to continue with some decrease in forward speed during the next 24 hours. The core of the hurricane will continue to move near or over the northwestern Bahamas today. Maximum sustained winds are near 120 mph with higher gusts, making Frances a strong Category Three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 85 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 185 miles from the center. In the Bahamas, storm surge flooding of six to fourteen feet above normal tide levels, with battering waves, can be expected near the eye of Frances on the west side of Eleuthera Island and on the north side of Grand Bahama Island. Storm surge flooding of between four and six feet above normal tide levels can be expected on the west side of the other islands of the Bahamas. Eleuthera recently reported sustained winds near 100 mph, and Nassau reported wind gusts of 75 mph. The NHC's projected five-day trajectory of the storm is depicted below.

On September 1, four members of a USAID/OFDA team joined the OFDA/Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Consultant to the Bahamas in Nassau and established an operations center in advance of Hurricane Frances. The USAID/OFDA team continues to meet with U.S. Embassy officials, National Disaster Response representatives, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Frances. The USAID/OFDA team will assist Post and local counterparts in assessing the impact of Hurricane Frances, determining humanitarian assistance requirements, and coordinating USG humanitarian assistance if required.

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Tropical Storm and Hurricane Watches/Warnings

Bahamas: A hurricane warning remains in effect for the central and northwestern Bahamas. A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area within the next 24 hours.


Hurricane Frances Update 9 - September 2, 2004, 2:00 p.m.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), as of 2:00 p.m. EDT, the eye of Hurricane Frances was located very near San Salvador Island in the Bahamas (23.8N, 74.4W) and 660 miles east-southeast of the lower Florida East Coast. Frances is moving toward the west-northwest near 13 mph, and this track is expected to continue with a gradual decrease in forward speed during the next 24 hours. The core of the hurricane will continue to move near or over the central Bahamas this afternoon and evening. San Salvador Island is currently reporting 86 mph winds. Maximum sustained winds are near 145 mph with higher gusts, making Frances a Category Four hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 185 miles from the center. In the Bahamas, storm surge flooding of six to fourteen feet above normal tide levels, with battering waves, can be expected near the eye of the hurricane on the west side of Eleuthera Island and on the north side of Grand Bahama Island. Storm surge flooding of between four and six feet above normal tide levels can be expected on the west side of the other islands of the Bahamas. The NHC's projected five-day trajectory of the storm is depicted below.

On September 1, four members of a USAID/OFDA team joined the OFDA/Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Consultant to the Bahamas in Nassau and established an operations center in advance of Hurricane Frances. The USAID/OFDA team met with U.S. Embassy officials, National Disaster Response representatives, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on September 1 in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Frances. The USAID/OFDA team will assist Post and local counterparts in assessing the impact of Hurricane Frances, determining humanitarian assistance requirements, and coordinating USG humanitarian assistance if required.

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Tropical Storm and Hurricane Watches/Warnings

Bahamas: A hurricane warning remains in effect for all of the Bahamas. Hurricane Frances passed over Turks and Caicos Islands with minimal damage and the hurricane warning has been lifted. A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area within the next 24 hours.



(NHC's projected sequence of five-day trajectories of the storm are depicted above, click for larger view)

Hurricane Frances Update 7 - September 1, 2004, 5:00 p.m.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), as of 5:00 p.m. EDT, the eye of Hurricane Frances was located approximately 35 miles north of Grand Turk Island (22.0N, 71.0W) and 650 miles east-southeast of the east coast of Florida. Frances is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 mph, and a gradual turn to the northwest is expected to continue during the next 24 hours with a decrease in forward speed. On this track, the core of the hurricane will move near or over the southeastern Bahamas tonight and Thursday. Maximum sustained winds remain near 140 mph with higher gusts, making Frances a Category Four hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 185 miles from the center.

As of September 1, four members of a USAID/OFDA team have joined the OFDA/Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Consultant to the Bahamas in Nassau and established an operations center in advance of Hurricane Frances. The USAID/OFDA team is meeting with U.S. Embassy officials, National Disaster Response representatives, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on September 1 in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Frances. The USAID/OFDA team will assist Post and local counterparts in assessing the impact of Hurricane Frances, determining humanitarian assistance requirements, and coordinating USG humanitarian assistance if required.

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Tropical Storm and Hurricane Watches/Warnings

Bahamas: The Government of the Bahamas has issued a hurricane warning for the southeastern Bahamas, which includes Acklins, Crooked, Inaguas, Mayaguana, and Ragged Islands, and for the Turks and Caicos Islands. A hurricane warning has also been issued for the central Bahamas, which includes Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay, and San Salvador. A hurricane watch has been issued for the northwest Bahamas, which includes Abacos, Andros, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama, and New Providence. A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area within the next 24 hours. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area generally within 36 hours. Dominican Republic: The tropical storm warning for the north coast of the Dominican Republic has been discontinued. Puerto Rico: A tropical storm warning remains in effect for Puerto Rico, Culebra, and Vieques. British Virgin Islands: A tropical storm warning remains in effect for the British Virgin Islands. U.S. Virgin Islands: A tropical storm warning remains in effect for the U.S. Virgin Islands of St. Thomas, St. John, and surrounding islands. Leeward Islands: The tropical storm watch has been discontinued for St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, and St. Croix. The tropical storm warning has been discontinued for Antigua, Barbuda, St. Maarten, Anguilla, Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Eustatius, Saba, and Guadeloupe. Florida: A hurricane watch will likely be issued for portions of the Florida East Coast tonight.


Hurricane Frances Update 6 - September 1 , 2004, 11:00 a.m.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), as of 11:00 a.m. EDT, the eye of Hurricane Frances was located approximately 85 miles east of Grand Turk Island (21.7N, 69.8W). Frances is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph, and this motion is expected to continue during the next 24 hours with a gradual decrease in forward speed. On this track, the core of the hurricane will pass near or over the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas during the next 24 hours. Maximum sustained winds remain near 140 mph with higher gusts, making Frances a Category Four hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 185 miles from the center. The NHC's projected five-day trajectory of the storm is depicted below.

Three members of a USAID/OFDA team have arrived in the Bahamas in advance of Hurricane Frances. A fourth member of the team is scheduled to arrive in the Bahamas on September 1. The USAID/OFDA team is meeting with U.S. Embassy officials, National Disaster Response representatives, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on September 1 in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Francis. The USAID/OFDA team will assist Post and local counterparts in assessing the impact of Hurricane Frances, determining humanitarian assistance requirements, and coordinating USG humanitarian assistance if required.

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Tropical Storm and Hurricane Watches/Warnings

Bahamas: The Government of the Bahamas has issued a hurricane warning for the southeastern Bahamas, which includes Acklins, Crooked, Inaguas, Mayaguana, and Ragged Islands, and for the Turks and Caicos Islands. A hurricane warning has also been issued for the central Bahamas, which includes Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay, and San Salvador. A hurricane watch has been issued for the northwest Bahamas, which includes Abacos, Andros, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama, and New Providence. A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area within the next 24 hours. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area generally within 36 hours. Dominican Republic: The Government of the Dominican Republic has issued a tropical storm warning for the north coast of the Dominican Republic from Punta Gorda westward to Manzanillo Bay. Puerto Rico: A tropical storm warning remains in effect for Puerto Rico, Culebra, and Vieques. British Virgin Islands: A tropical storm warning remains in effect for the British Virgin Islands. U.S. Virgin Islands: A tropical storm warning remains in effect for the U.S. Virgin Islands of St. Thomas, St. John, and surrounding islands. Leeward Islands: The tropical storm watch has been discontinued for St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, and St. Croix. The tropical storm warning has been discontinued for Antigua, Barbuda, St. Maarten, Anguilla, Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Eustatius, Saba, and Guadeloupe.


Hurricane Frances Update 4 - August 30, 2004, 11:00 a.m.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), as of 11:00 a.m. EDT, the eye of Hurricane Frances was located approximately 175 miles northeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico (20.0N, 64.0W). Frances is moving toward the west near 15 mph, and this motion is expected to continue today with a gradual turn to the west-northwest. On this track, the core of the hurricane will pass well to the north of the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico later today; however, the outer bands of Frances will affect these islands today. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 135 mph with higher gusts, making Frances a Category Four hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 175 miles from the center.

The USAID/OFDA Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) team continues to monitor the situation. As the hurricane tracks towards the Bahamas, the OFDA/LAC Regional Office in San Jose, Costa Rica and the OFDA/LAC sub-regional office in Bridgetown, Barbados are working closely with the Mission Disaster Relief Officer (MDRO) in the Bahamas.

LAC Tropical Storm and Hurricane Watches/Warnings

Bahamas: The Government of the Bahamas has issued a hurricane warning for the southeastern Bahamas, which includes Acklins, Crooked, Inaguas, Mayaguana, and Ragged Islands, and for the Turks and Caicos Islands. A hurricane watch has been issued for the central Bahamas, which includes Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay, and San Salvador. A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area within the next 24 hours. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area generally within 36 hours. Dominican Republic: The government of the Dominican Republic has issued a tropical storm warning for the north coast of the Dominican Republic from Punta Gorda westward to Manzanillo Bay and has discontinued the tropical storm watch south of Punta Gorda. Puerto Rico: A tropical storm warning remains in effect for Puerto Rico, Culebra, and Vieques. British Virgin Islands: A tropical storm warning remains in effect for the British Virgin Islands. U.S. Virgin Islands: A tropical storm warning remains in effect for the U.S. Virgin Islands of St. Thomas, St. John, and surrounding islands. Leeward Islands: The tropical storm watch has been discontinued for St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, and St. Croix. The tropical storm warning has been discontinued for Antigua, Barbuda, St. Maarten, Anguilla, Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Eustatius, Saba, and Guadeloupe.


Hurricane Frances Update 2 - August 30, 2004, 11:00 a.m.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), as of 11:00 a.m. EDT, the center of Hurricane Frances was located approximately 300 miles east-northeast of the northern Leeward Islands (19.3N, 58.7W). Frances is moving toward the west near 13 mph, and this motion is expected to continue with a slight increase in forward speed today. Maximum sustained winds are near 120 mph with higher gusts, making Frances a Category Three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 85 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 125 miles from the center.

The USAID/OFDA Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) team continues to monitor the situation. As the hurricane tracks towards the Bahamas, the OFDA/LAC Regional Office in San Jose, Costa Rica and the OFDA/LAC sub-regional office in Bridgetown, Barbados are working closely with the Mission Disaster Relief Officer (MDRO) in the Bahamas.

LAC Tropical Storm and Hurricane Watches/Warnings

Leeward Islands: Tropical storm warnings remain in effect for the following islands: Antigua, Barbuda, St. Maarten, Anguilla, Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Eustatius, and Saba. A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area within the next 24 hours. The Government of France has issued a tropical storm watch for St. Martin and St. Barthelemy. A hurricane watch may be required for some of these islands later today. British and U.S. Virgin Islands: A hurricane watch remains in effect for the British and northern U.S. Virgin Islands, including St. Thomas, St. John, and surrounding islands. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area generally within 36 hours. Puerto Rico: A tropical storm watch has been issued for Puerto Rico and the island of Vieques. A hurricane watch remains in effect for the island of Culebra.


Hurricane Frances Update 1 - August 27, 2004, 5:00 p.m.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), as of 5:00 p.m. AST, the center of Hurricane Frances was located approximately 800 miles east of the Leeward Islands (15.7N, 49.8W). Frances is moving toward the northwest near 12 mph. A motion between west-northwest and northwest is expected to occur for the next 24 hours or so. Maximum sustained winds are near 115 mph with higher gusts, making Frances a Category Three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours, and Frances could become a Category Four hurricane over the weekend. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 105 miles from the center.

The USAID/OFDA Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) team continues to monitor the situation. As the hurricane tracks towards the Bahamas, the OFDA/LAC Regional Office in San Jose, Costa Rica and the OFDA/LAC sub-regional office in Bridgetown, Barbados are working closely with the MDRO in the Bahamas.


Sonia Biswas
Information Officer
Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance
U.S. Agency for International Development
Email: sbiswas@usaid.gov