After peaking as a category 3 hurricane, a much weaker tropical storm Danny reached the Leeward Islands on Monday and brushed the British Virgin Islands on late Monday night, early Tuesday morning with some welcome showers. No sooner this was over, tropical storm Erika approached the same group of islands causing catastrophic floods and at least twelve deaths in Dominica. It then continued northwest, but still much lower than projected. However, its effects were felt on Thursday night, early Friday morning, when it aggressively lashed the islands with winds up to 70 miles per hour, but brought little or no rain. Extensive black-outs affected Tortola, on the other hand most phone lines were operative.
At 5:00 a.m. on Friday, the centre of Tropical Storm Erika was estimated near latitude 17.7 degrees north, longitude 67.7 degrees west or about 222 miles west-southwest of the BVI. Erika moved on toward the west near 17 mph causing serious problems in Puerto Rico.
The BVI’s all clear came on Friday morning shortly after 8 am, when Tortola and Virgin Gorda slowly resumed some semblance of business as usual. According to DDM, initial assessments following the passage of Tropical Storm Erika revealed downed trees, fallen rocks, debris from the sea and utility outages. Emergency teams were despatched to clear roadways and restore services.
Acting Governor, Mrs. V. Inez Archibald, CBE urged residents to stay off roadways to allow emergency personnel to complete their work. By noon, the BVI Ports Authority advised that its offices were open and operations had resumed at Port Purcell and ferry terminals for domestic travel only. The resumption of operations at the USVI Ports Authority came a few minutes later.