Residents of the BVI, once again we have been spared significant impact from a tropical weather system, and we are grateful to God.
The passage of Tropical Storm Erika resulted in fallen trees, coastal debris on some roadways and utility outages. Emergency teams are working to restore utilities and clear debris from the affected areas. I have been advised by the Ministry of Communications and Works that the portion of road between Cox Heath and Towers is now clear for vehicular traffic.
The Honourable Premier and I have consulted and we have jointly decided to resume government operations. The National Emergency Operations Centre has been deactivated.
We thank the public, the businesses, and the visitors who were with us, for the level of cooperation we have received. The media and cellular service providers have been extremely supportive in disseminating messages to the BVI community, and this was supported by the many Government departments which ensured that we were ready for the storm. All decisions taken during the passage of the system were done to ensure the safety of our people, of our visitors and of our property.
I pause here to remember our brothers and sisters in the United States Virgin Islands, who are still assessing the damage caused by Tropical Storm Erika.
We remember, too, the people of Dominica who have been gravely affected by the storm. Both airports have been significantly flooded and are closed, so those who wish to offer support, should contact the BVI Red Cross or the Dominica Progressive Club of the BVI.
Regional organisations such as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and the Pan American Health Organisation have dispatched teams to assist with the response and rehabilitation efforts.
We ask for your prayers and other support for the Dominica nationals who live and work among us, particularly those who are most affected by the devastation from the storm.
We call on residents of the British Virgin Islands to remain in a constant state of readiness as we are now in the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. Already, there are other systems coming off the coast of Africa which have the potential to develop.
The Honourable Premier and I thank you once again and we ask that you continue to be safe as we move forward to restore services and resume operations throughout our Virgin Islands.
Thank you and God bless.