Monstrous Storm Threatens Bahamas, U.S. Coastal Areas

NASSAU, BAHAMAS (August 23, 2011) – Residents are bracing for the anticipated onslaught of Hurricane Irene that is predicted to increase to a category four storm and pass through the central islands sometime Wednesday before moving on towards the southeastern coast of the United States.

“We are pretty much prepared for this storm and are well aware of the effects of hurricanes on these islands,” writes Joshua Sands Jr. in an email to family and friends. Sands, an Evangelical Covenant Church minister, serves as pastor of Lifeline Ministries and campus pastor of Kingsway Academy in Nassau.

“Thankfully, the building code of most of the buildings in the Bahamas is able meet threats of hurricanes up to category four and five,” he notes, adding that many structures are not up to code, which could result in a considerable loss of life and damage to property.

“Please remember us in prayer and all of the other places in the path of the hurricane,” Sands writes, a request no doubt echoed by Covenant pastors and others in the storm’s path, especially along the coastal regions of Florida and the Carolinas, where the brunt of the storm is expected to hit sometime this weekend.

Hurricane Irene already has ripped through Puerto Rico, tearing up trees and knocking out power to more than a million people, according to news reports. That area has been declared a disaster zone, making it eligible for federal help.

The hurricane is the first to seriously threaten the U.S. in three years – the last hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. was Ike, which pounded Texas in 2008.

Forecasters predict the hurricane could grow to a category four storm with winds of more than 131 mph before coming ashore this weekend on the U.S. mainland. Current computer weather models have the storm’s outer edge skirting along Florida later this week before heading to the Carolinas this weekend.

Covenant News Service will monitor reports of any damage to Covenant ministries and properties and publish additional information as it becomes available.

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