DORIAN HITS BVI: NO MAJOR DAMAGE, APART FROM STRESS

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There was a sigh of relief when Hurricane Dorian moved away from the Territory without
causing any major damage.
This was the first hurricane to affect the BVI since the calamitous visits of Irma and Maria in
2017 and as a result feverish preparations and depressing worry were widespread. The
preparations began on Monday with a statement from His Excellency Governor Augustus
Jaspert and the cancellation of flights.
The cancellations were done by LIAT after tropical storm watches were issued for certain
islands within its flight network. The airline said that it anticipated that destinations within
its network would have been affected and was acting in the interest of passengers and crew
safety.
By Tuesday a tropical storm warning was issued for the Territory and preparations began in
earnest. For instance residents were seen in supermarkets buying lots of supplies.
Early Wednesday morning the Governor announced that the centre of the storm was going to
pass about 60 miles south of the Territory that afternoon and that he consulted the Premier
and activated the NEOC.
Following the Governor’s announcement there was a message that all government Offices
were closed and persons were asked to avoid being on the road. The BVI Bank Association
issued a notification that all of the Banks were closed in preparation for the storm.
The airports and seaports within the Territory were also closed and it was announced that
interCaribbean which flies between BVI, San Juan, Dominica, St Lucia. Dominica Republic,
and Antigua began cancelling flights.
By midmorning both the electricity and the water supply were turned off and residents
waiting patiently, while sms messages informed that a curfew was in place from 2:00 pm on
Wednesday to 6:00am on Thursday. The curfew was stringently enforced by officers of the
Royal Virgin Islands Police Force who were strategically placed at key locations on Wednesday
night instructing persons who broke curfew to return home.
The Governor later issued a statement announcing that “the Territory safely made it through
the direct hit of what started out as a Tropical Storm and quickly strengthened into Hurricane
Dorian, with no reported loss of life or limb.” On Monday and early on Tuesday, Dorian had
hit most of the islands of the Eastern Caribbean as well as Barbados with such a precision that
it suspiciously looked like as if it was supervised by a human mind.
Following the all clear Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Andrew Fahie issued a
statement expressing gratitude that hurricane Dorian did not have a major negative impact
on  the Territory: “Thanks be to God that we have had no reports of loss of lives, serious
injuries, major property damage, crimes or problems in relation to businesses being
compromised. We did, however, experience some major flooding on the outskirts of Road
Town with some damage to buildings reported and debris on some roads in those areas,” the
Premier said.

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