Premier and Minister for Finance Andrew A. Fahie’s Message on the Approach of Tropical Storm Laura
Good day and God’s blessings to you all.
No doubt, many of you would have seen that earlier today, forecasters placed the Territory under Tropical Storm Warning as we await the imminent approach of Tropical Storm Laura.
Forecasters have advised that we can expect this system to pass over or very close to us late Friday night or in the early morning hours on Saturday, and that it may bring with it 3-to-6 inches of rain and sustained winds of 45-miles per hour, although stronger gusts are possible.
As usual, your Government has been working diligently to clear waterways, activate our contingency plans, and do all in our power to protect the Territory and prepare for this potential hazard.
Your Government continues to be immensely grateful for the efforts of public officers in the Ministries, departments, and statutory bodies who are all working together to ensure that we as a Territory continue to #BeReady for a variety of hazards.
The National Emergency Operations Centre has been activated to level one to ensure the necessary coordinating mechanism is in place. As we have become accustomed to doing in this ‘New Regular’ of COVID-19, all of this is happening while also working to minimise the local impact of the ongoing global pandemic.
We will continue to do this work so that once Tropical Storm Laura passes, we will be prepared to respond with all rapidness to any issues that may arise.
As always, we want to protect our people from being out and about in any hazardous conditions.
To that end, those non-essential public offices that would ordinarily operate on Saturdays will be closed tomorrow.
To those of you in the private sector, I encourage you to consider whether you can adjust your operations to protect yourself, your staff, and your business. In fact, knowing that rains often combine with our terrain to create slippery roads, I am encouraging you to stay safe at home until Tropical Storm Laura passes.
To the members of the Virgin Islands community, I want to encourage all of you to remain laser-focused in BVILOVE.
Your Government prays that after Tropical Storm Laura has passed, we can all look back in gratitude and say that we were a little more prepared than we needed to be, but we did it so we could all remain safe.
Conquering challenges is nothing new to us.
I always remind you that the great strengths and abilities of our foreparents are in our DNA. As wise people, our foreparents taught us how to be proactive in protecting our interests when the storms gather. They taught us that complacency is never an option! They taught us to be watchful and to pay attention to the unseen, and to be vigilant about the hopes and dreams of generations yet unborn.
Today, we may face many tests all at the same time. We do not get to pick a single battle in 2020, but we will continue to ready and steady ourselves and we will continue to work together as one in BVILOVE.
As a people, let us continue to draw on what we know best — the power of prayer — and diligent work. We will not fear, for God, Abba Father, is with us. For where GOD IS, we are, and where we are, GOD IS, and where God is, ALL IS WELL.
May God bless us and keep his Virgin Islands people and this Territory in His Hands!
I thank you with BVILOVE. We are in this together!