A very good day to all in the Virgin Islands.
I would like to bring you a brief but important update regarding Tropical Storm Fiona, which was upgraded to a hurricane at 11:00 this morning, and brought at least one gust in excess of 46 miles per hour to Road Town overnight.
Teams from Public Works assessed and cleared roadways very early this morning. Preliminary reports coming from around Tortola and the main Sister Islands do not indicate any major damage to roads, infrastructure, or essential facilities. For all this, we should be extremely grateful.
However, experts advise us that based on the storm’s movement and strengthening, we should brace for periods of showers and wind gusts throughout today Sunday. This means that there is still the possibility of flash flooding, rock falls, and other impacts associated with ongoing showers in our unique terrain.
We continue to be under a small craft warning due to expected high seas, which means that persons should also avoid sea bathing or boating today.
All Virgin Islands airports and seaports remain closed today, but we expect they will be able to operate as planned beginning Monday morning.
To reiterate, the centre of Tropical Storm Fiona has passed the Territory, but the risk associated with this system is not over.
For all residents who do not need to be out in these conditions, please stay safe and stay home. I also ask that those who normally host Sunday afternoon worship services do so remotely today.
Again, these conditions may change, so please keep a close eye on the regular updates being issued by the Department of Disaster Management.
Finally I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all those persons who have worked so hard to ensure that the BVI can Be Ready for Fiona and throughout this hurricane season and to you the public for adhering to notices from DDM, and taking the needed precautions to safeguard your homes, businesses and families. Essential workers, your commitment to keeping all of our lights on, roads clear, and critical facilities open is deeply appreciated.