A Pleasant Good Day to all.
By now, most of you have seen or heard reports of the latest system approaching the Virgin Islands, Tropical Storm Isaac. This morning, the Antigua Meteorological Service issued a Hurricane Watch for the Virgin Islands. The BVI still remains under a Tropical Storm Warning as well.
A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area.
As a result of these watches and warnings and after consultation with Cabinet members this morning I have given authorization to activate the NEOC as of 3pm today. All response actions will be coordinated by the team at the NEOC and therefore all further instructions will come from the Center.
Isaac is currently moving in a westerly direction near 21mph. This motion is expected to continue for the next 24hrs, which would place the centre of the storm 280 miles South of the Virgin Islands early Thursday morning. Reports coming out of St. Lucia this morning indicated that they were experiencing significant rainfall.
While the centre of Isaac may pass south of the Territory, we are expecting approximately 6 inches of rain between this evening and Friday Morning. Winds could gust up to 70mph
Presently, there is uncertainty among some of the weather experts regarding the track that Isaac will take as it is unclear how much of the northward movement which took place last night was actually due to the reformation of the center of the system. But we need to heed the lessons of the past, and prepare for impact. Please remain vigilant and monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Isaac closely.
Residents are urged to expedite preparations in advance of the storm approaching the Territory. To residents in low lying and flood prone areas; please be prepared to move to higher grounds as moderate flash flooding is possible. Residents near slopes should guard against mud slides. To boaters; vessels should be secured by now and in safe anchorage. Sea conditions have deteriorated and swells are increasing and could reach 8-12 ft by tonight. A warning for sea bathers has been issued; please avoid the waters until seas conditions have returned to normal. Small craft operators should remain in port.
All residents should note that the last collection of garbage will be at 9pm tonight, so all garbage should be delivered to receptacles in good time before then.
Regarding operations of Government offices, a decision has been made that all Government officers with the exception of Emergency and Essential Officers be allowed to leave at 3pm today after securing all equipment and vehicles.
Please stay tuned to the radio stations tomorrow for announcements about your return to work, and. All Emergency Services will remain fully operational and should be ready for rapid deployment. The DDM will continue to regularly update www.bviddm.com on the progress of Isaac. Residents are asked to pay close attention to all local TV and Radio stations, and all local online media services for developing information.
If there is any major change in the situation I will make a further statement. Remember to “Be Aware, Be Prepared, Be Alert”.
Message read at 3:30 on 22nd August, 2012.
His Excellency Governor Boyd McCleary
STATEMENT BY PREMIER AND MINISTER OF FINANCE
DR. THE HONOURABLE D. ORLANDO SMITH, OBE
PREPARATION FOR TROPICAL STORM ISAAC
August 22, 2012
Good afternoon to all.
His Excellency the Governor; would have just provided an update on the latest system approaching the Virgin Islands.
It is important that we begin thorough preparations in and around our homes, businesses and communities doing what is necessary to protect life and property.
Since May of this year, the Public Information and Education Sub-Committee (or PIE) of the National Disaster Management Council has been impressing upon us the importance of hurricane awareness and preparedness. And, now it is the opportune time to put what we were taught into action.
I am calling upon all residents of the Virgin Islands to secure your property, develop an emergency plan, put together a disaster supplies kit and know the emergency shelters nearest to your home. Stock up on drinking water and canned goods. Clear up your yards by removing all garbage and unsecured items to prevent the scattering of debris during high winds. Prepare an emergency travel bag and secure your valuable documents. You can also go to the Department of Disaster Management’s website at www.bviddm.com for more tips.
As disaster recovery is under my remit, I know how very important mitigation is to counteract or lessen any damage that may result from the approaching storm. This is why I am asking all residents to “Be aware, Be prepared, and Be alert.”
In preparation for the impending strong gusts and squalls brought by the tropical storm, be watchful for any and all weather updates. Tune into local radio and continue to monitor the weather online to ensure you are in the know.
To the first responders, I know that in the event of emergency, we can depend on you to do your best. Know that my Government and this Territory’s residents appreciate your hard work and understand that at times you have had to sacrifice to get the job done. We have counted on you before and are counting on you now to extend a helping hand, where necessary. That is not to say that residents are not to help themselves and others.
I am calling on all residents to remember the communities that we are all a part of. Check in on your families, friends and neighbours and the elderly to ensure they are prepared at this time. Let us all join in prayer and ask for our continued safety and that God continues to bless the Virgin Islands which we call home.
D. Orlando Smith, OBE