Good evening people of the Virgin Islands.
We have safely made it through the direct passage of what started out as a Tropical Storm and quickly strengthened into Hurricane Dorian, with no reported loss of life or limb. The Hurricane Warning that was previously in place has been lifted as of 8:00 p.m. For this we are extremely thankful.
Dorian’s centre is now about 60 miles north-northeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico. What lingers of Hurricane Dorian is expected to result in sporadic heavy showers and thus a flash flood warning is still in effect for low-lying and flood prone areas of the Virgin Islands until 2:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. There is still the potential for severe flooding and damage to property and livelihoods.
As of 5:00 p.m. this afternoon, the National Emergency Operations Centre has provided an All-Clear for Essential Services personnel ONLY. The Government has begun the important task of restoring power and water, assessing any damage, determining the state of key infrastructure, and the clearing of roads of any debris. Electricity has been restored in several areas of Tortola and will continue to progress as the BVI Electricity Corporation carries out their assessments.
I am urging the public to remain indoors where it is safe while the outermost portion of Dorian passes, and to allow for the safe and efficient completion of any necessary works. To ensure residents’ continued safety, a curfew remains in effect until 6:00 a.m. Thursday morning. Government services are expected to resume tomorrow. Heads of departments and other Government managers should report to work at 8:30 a.m. as usual to assess their various departments, while other public officers should report for duty at 10:00 a.m unless they are notified otherwise.
I reiterate my heart-felt appreciation for those police, fire, medical and other essential services and emergency personnel who worked so diligently to ensure that we could all stay safe, as well as to the DDM for coordinating the NEOC. I am also incredibly grateful that you the people of the Virgin Islands were prepared early and stayed safely sheltered as the most intense portion of Dorian passed. Thank you for your cooperation.
Please continue to monitor all media platforms including radio, the websites of the Department of Disaster Management (bviddm.com) and the BVI Government (bvi.gov.vg), as well as the DDM’s Facebook page for further updates, such as the final all-clear and any other critical information you may need as we seek to return to our routines tomorrow.
May God continue to bless and protect the Territory.