Members of the public have been given clearance to proceed on the roadways, following the impact of a tropical wave enhanced by an upper level trough which caused landslide and rock falls in some areas.
The clearance was issued by His Excellency, The Governor John S. Duncan after consultation with the Acting Premier, Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering and Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Mark Vanterpool.
During last night into this morning, a tropical wave enhanced by an upper level trough impacted the Territory causing strong winds, heavy rainfall, thunderstorms and lightning which resulted in electrical outages, landslides, excessive runoff and debris blocking roadways.
In his statement to the public, Honourable Pickering said, “This event is occurring early in the hurricane season and may be an indication of what is to come as waters in the Atlantic are warm now and there is evidence of several waves being generated off the coast of Africa”.
He added, “This situation is evidence of changing weather patterns which we continue to observe.Similar circumstances occurred in 2003 whentwo systems combined to produce thunderstorms and heavy rainfall in excess of four inches in a 12-hour period.”
Teams from the Public Works Department were deployed early to address road blockages that had occurred, particularly in the area of Bellevue.
Minister of Communications and Works, Honourable Mark Vanterpoolsaid “emergency restoration teams were focused on clearing all roadways and restoring electricity”.
Electricity has been restored to all areas except for some customers in the areas of Georges Northside, Spooners, Harrigan, Long Look, Lambert, Hawks Nest and Virgin Gorda. The BVI Electricity teams will continue works until all power is restored throughout the Territory.
The Minister also pleaded with residents to control dumping trash in ghutswhich was evident as many of the waterways were impacted by debris. He also reminded homeowners to check around their properties especially cistern water outflows and other areas that may become destabilized as a result of excessive rainfall.
The Antigua Meteorological Office lifted the Flash Flood Warning at 12 noon today, however, across the BVI, the wave will continue to be enhanced by an upper level trough thus maintaining a high chance for heavy showers and thunderstorms throughout today and into tonight. Small craft operators and sea bathers should continue to exercise caution.
Photo Caption: Acting Premier, Dr. The Honourable Kedrick Pickering and Minister of Communication and Works, the Honourable Mark Vanterpool delivering a statement at the Operations Room of the Department of Disaster Management.
Audio Clip: Joint statement by Acting Premier and Minister for Communications and Works