354 James Walter Francis Drive
RJT Edifice Building, 5th Floor
Road Town, TORTOLA VG1110
Tel: 284 468 2730
Fax: 284 468 2750
STATEMENT BY MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS AND WORKS
HONOURABLE KYE M. RYMER AT THE FIFTH SITTING OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE FIFTH HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS ON TROPICAL STORM PHILIPPE RECOVERY
Tuesday 31st October 2023
Madam Speaker, I wish to inform you and the public that Tropical Storm Philippe caused significant damage to the Beautiful Virgin Islands when it made landfall on October 3rd, 2023. The storm brought approximately eight (8) inches of rain, resulting in overwhelming amounts of mud and debris in our ghuts and our waterways. Fallen trees, boulders, and mud have also blocked roads and drains across the territory.
The Public Works Department (PWD) has been actively responding to the aftermath of the storm and torrential rainfall thereafter. Their response team has been working tirelessly in each district, focusing on clearance and preparatory efforts to ensure the safety of residents and minimise property damage. I take this time to acknowledge the staff of the PWD for their dedication and hard work in these challenging times.
Unfortunately, the continuous rainfall has delayed the Department's ability to grade the roadways, causing some inconvenience to residents especially those using unpaved tertiary access roads. To aid in rapid response and relief, we have also involved each District representative to take ownership of their communities along with an assigned member of the public works team to address any related issues from the storm. This approach will ensure that no area is left out and that every community receives the necessary remedial attention.
In order to address the ongoing cleanup efforts and prepare for future weather events, we kindly request the public's assistance. We encourage everyone to be our eyes and ears by sending pictures of blocked drains, ghuts, undermined roads, and any other related issues to the Public Works Department’s email address at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your contributions will greatly help us in identifying areas that may have been missed and prioritise our response accordingly.
Lastly, as we are still in the Atlantic Hurricane Season, I urge the public to remain vigilant and stay informed by monitoring the government's Disaster Management weather updates and advisories. By staying informed and following the recommended guidelines, we can collectively ensure the safety and well-being of our community.
Thank you, Madam Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to provide this update on the recovery efforts following Tropical Storm Philippe.