Governor: Guard Against Flooding & Mudslides From TS Isaac; Six Shelters Opened
BVI Platinum News
Updated: August 23, 2012 10:21 am AST
Published: August 22, 2012 6:03 pm AST
Governor Boyd McCleary has urged residents to expedite preparations in advance of Tropical Storm Isaac, which is expected to dump approximately six inches of rain between this evening and Friday morning.
The Governor and Premier, Dr. D. Orlando Smith held a media briefing this afternoon, August 22 following meetings with several Government departments about their preparations ahead of the storm.
According to the Governor, a Hurricane Watch and Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect. He said that based on the warnings and after consultations with Cabinet Members, he has given authorization to activate the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC).
"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 mudslides," the Governor warned.
He added, "Vessels should be secured now and in safe anchorage. Sea conditions have deteriorated and swells are increasing and could reach 8-12 feet by tonight. A warning for sea bathers has been issued; please avoid the waters until sea conditions have returned to normal. Small craft operators should remain in port."
The Governor also shared that as it relates to Government offices, a decision was taken that all Government officers, with the exception of emergency and essential officers, were allowed to leave at 3:00 pm after securing equipment and vehicles.
Government employees are being asked to tune into the radio stations tomorrow for announcements about their return to work. Governor McCleary stated that all emergency services will remain fully operational and should be ready for rapid deployment.
Premier Smith called on residents to secure their property, develop an emergency plan, put together a disaster supplies kit and know the emergency shelters nearest to their home.
It was disclosed that six shelters have been opened, namely on Tortola - the East End/Long Look Community Center, the Long Trench Community Center and the Road Town Methodist Church. Other shelters are the Emile Dunlop Community Centre on Anegada, the St. Ursula Catholic Church on Virgin Gorda and Jost van Dyke Primary school.
"I am calling on all residents to remember the communities that we are all part of. Check in on your families, friends, neighbours and the elderly to ensure they are prepared at this time," Premier Smith urged.
In the event of major damage, Governor McCleary noted that the Territory will receive support from RFA Argus, a United Kingdom ship which had docked in the Territory earlier this week.
About TS Isaac
Governor McCleary shared that Isaac is currently moving in a westerly direction near 21 miles per hour and this is expected to continue for the next 24 hours which would place the center of the storm 280 miles south of the Virgin Islands early Thursday morning.
Winds could gust up to 70 miles per hour; however, the Governor pointed out that there is uncertainty among some weather experts regarding the track that Isaac will take as it is unclear how much northward movement which occurred last night was actually due to the reformation of the center of the system.
"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," the Governor stated.
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