Tweet 17 Views no discussions Share Share Straw market roofing was pulled off by strong winds on Thursday morning as Hurricane Irene hit Nassau. (Photo: Nassau Guardian)MIAMI, USA — At 8:00 pm EDT on Thursday, the eye of Hurricane Irene was gradually moving away from Abaco in The Bahamas, after battering the island chain with 115 mph winds and heavy rain.According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, a hurricane warning was still in effect for the northwestern Bahamas as Irene continued to move away from The Bahamas on Thursday night, and hurricane and tropical storm conditions were beginning to subside.Water levels will also gradually subside over the northwestern and central Bahamas during Thursday night. Irene is expected to produce rainfall accumulations of 6 to 12 inches over the northern Bahamas.The Nassau Guardian reported that two-thirds of households on New Providence were without power, due to downed power lines as a result of heavy winds or trees falling on lines,The Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) said that it conducted a controlled shutdown in several areas to protect local distribution systems from major damage and BEC teams worked until 3 am Thursday morning restoring supply to several communities in New Providence. However, as weather conditions deteriorated the restoration effort was postponed until conditions improved and the “all clear” had been given.In the Family Islands, residents in most islands, with the exception of Inagua, — where power has been restored to the majority of customers – continued to experience outages, due to controlled power station shut downs or downed power lines.In the southeast Bahamas, on the island of Mayaguana, Administrator Harvey Roberts reported that power was off, the road leading to the main town was becoming flooded, a number of utility poles were down with wires being exposed on the ground. Landlines were also down and communication was only by cell phones.Big trees have either been uprooted or completely shredded, Roberts said.On Crooked Island, NEMA received reports of approximately 100-110 mph wind gusts and some buildings had lost their roofs.On Acklins, in Lovely Bay 90 percent of the settlement was gone, with house roofs and several homes blown away. Power lines and trees were down in the road and the shelter population had increased.The tiny island of Bimini, the most western of the 700 islands that comprise The Bahamas archipelago and only 50 miles from the southeast coast of Florida, was spared from the devastating Category 3 force winds of Hurricane Irene, which skirted much further east of the island on Thursday.Michael Weber, general manager of the historic Bimini Big Game Club in Alice Town, reported no damage at the 51-room resort. Weber said all resort services including food and beverage, dive operations and the marina will be operating as normal by noon tomorrow.“We were very, very lucky to be on the outer fringes of this storm,” he said. “Our prayers and thoughts are with the greater Bahamas community that took the brunt of Irene today.” Weber described the effects on Bimini as minimal with all utilities and other island services not affected by the passing storm.“We as well as other hoteliers and businesses on Bimini intend to be open for business this weekend,” he added.Caribbean News Now LocalNews Irene batters The Bahamas by: – August 26, 2011 Share Sharing is caring!