People of the Virgin Islands, the Premier and I along with the Cabinet Ministers remain steadfast in our commitment to fast track recovery and relief efforts.
The State of Emergency has been extended for up to two weeks as we continue to put the necessary systems in place to deal with priorities for recovery, relief and long term rebuilding.
Cabinet and I have agreed on a recovery structure with firm plans in place to advance the Territory’s recovery and to ensure rebuilding in key areas is done swiftly which will help us to return to a state of normality and build our Territory back even better than it was before.
We also continue to re-establish government services with several government departments including the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) now operating from the Ritter House as we repair the Administrative Complex.
I reassure you that all efforts are being made, locally, regionally and internationally, to assist in our recovery and relief.
Another ship, HMS Ocean, from the United Kingdom will be arriving today (Friday, September 22) bringing vital relief supplies and expertise to further boost our efforts. The ship’s crew includes engineers who will be working with our teams on re-establishing infrastructure facilities for communications, electricity and water. The ship will also have a number vehicles and heavy equipment to assist with the ongoing road clearance and debris management process.
While this is being done, we are also working on having the Airport open for commercial flights, however it is currently only open for military, humanitarian and charter flights. I will provide a further update when possible.
The Sea Ports are open and supplies continue to arrive in the Territory. Supermarkets and banks are operational. For those in urgent need across the Territory, supplies are being distributed.
Security remains a top priority and law and order is being maintained.
I urge you to continue to demonstrate the community spirit togetherness and resilience that has been evident across the Territory in recent weeks and has filled us all with such pride.
My next address to you is scheduled for Monday, but if any urgent matters arise I will speak with you before then.
May you continue to be united as we work together to rebuild the Virgin Islands.
May God continue to bless us all in this Territory.