Friday, September 24 – Response agencies, both government and private and have been extremely active since Sunday’s flash flood.
On the 19th September 2010, as Hurricane Igor moved northward, it drew most of the moisture from a tropical wave south of the Virgin Islands. This resulted in the showers and intense thunderstorms that affected the local area on Sunday afternoon, causing many areas to experience flash flooding.. These impacted roadways, caused overflowing of ghuts, flooded homes and businesses, damaged some vehicles and caused some roads to be impassable.
The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) recorded 3.6 inches of rain for September 19th at its station in McNamara. The areas that were most affected were Carrot Bay, Hannah’s Estate, Purcell Estate, Pockwood Pond and Port Purcell. According to reports, no significant effect was felt on the Sister Islands.
The emergency shelter in Long Trench had to be activated to accommodate the displaced flood victims from the Purcell Estate area. Fire Officers from the Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Service and soldiers from the Navy Vessel Wave Ruler were deployed to assist with the cleanup effort while DDM launched teams to perform damage assessments and file claims from affected persons. Overall, 70 persons were significantly affected by this event and will require some form of assistance.
In an effort to address the situation in the Purcell Estate area, the Governor, in consultation with Cabinet, declared it a disaster/emergency area. The order allowed for access to surrounding properties to re-establish the natural waterways and to provide for other emergency activities to take place. The community has lent its support to the relief efforts.
DDM has received assistance from the Rotary Clubs to purchase medication and other supplies and the Red Cross has provided clothing and assistance to flood victims. A donation of household items has also been provided by the Sands Hotel in Anegada, through the Rotary Club.
The public is again reminded that we are in the peak of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Persons in flood prone areas are to be on high alert at all times. Having an evacuation plan and knowing where the shelters are is encouraged. Personal belongings should be secured on upper shelves in homes that are in flood prone areas. Persons are also reminded not to engage in activities that may block the natural waterways.
DDM continues to monitor all tropical systems and provide releases as necessary. Please visit the Department of Disaster Management’s website at www.bviddm.com for continuously updated information.