"FREEPORT  , Grand Bahama -- Rotarians on Grand Bahama came together during Hurricane Sandy with the activation of the emergency Rotary Water Plant from October 24-28, 2012.  Commissioned after the devastating hurricanes of Frances and Jeanne in 2004, the plant provides potable drinking water to residents during times when serious weather impacts the local supply.

Rotarians activated the plant's RO machine in advance of Hurricane Sandy, putting about 5,000 gallons of water in the tank.  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 Rotary volunteers began to assemble to help.  They were put to work sanitizing and filling the nearly 500 one-gallon jugs which had been collected and stored in the plant throughout the year.

On Saturday, between the hours of 10:00am and 7:00pm, Rotarians estimate they gave away approximately 3,600 gallons of water to persons who came to the plant either with their own jugs or took those which they had to give them. In addition, they sent two tank trailers (275 gallons each) with Rotarian Peter Turnquest to be taken to East End Grand Bahama once the water subsided.  The Grand Bahama Fire Brigade also made two trips with 55 gallon drums to flush toilets at some of the old folks homes on the island.

By Sunday morning most of Freeport had city water trickling through the pipes, however certain pockets did not, including East End, from the old missile base,

the entire settlement of Eight Mile Rock, and West End.  Parts of East End are still without water mid-week post-Sandy.

Rotarians met again at the plant on Sunday and gave away an additional estimated 1,500 to 2,000 gallons of water.

The Rotary water plant crew would like to credit ZNS northern service radio for broadcasting their announcements about the water plant being open and for the station's continuous storm coverage.  All the Rotary volunteers who assisted with the emergency water plant project were pleased the plant performed flawlessly and that they were able to continue Rotary's motto - Service Above Self - and help many persons in the community in a meaningful way.

The Grand Bahama Emergency Water Relief Foundation (The Rotary Water Plant) was envisioned by the TK Foundation who saw Rotary as the perfect partner and commissioned a joint project involving Rotary Districts 5280 - Los Angeles, CA; 7020 - Nassau and the Caribbean; and 6990 - Grand Bahama and South Florida; with assistance from the Rotary Foundation, and numerous corporate sponsors. -  (press release written by PP Mike Stafford of the Freeport, Grand Bahama Rotary Club, D6990)


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Lindsey Cancino
District 7020 DRFC