British Virgin Islands are ‘open for business’ during flood aftermath

©The Virgin Islands Consortium

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is in “full clean-up mode” after a tropical wave caused extensive flooding in certain areas of the territory.

The hardest impact was felt on the island of Tortola, with 17 inches of rain in less than 17 hours.

Heavy and steady precipitation from the wave caused flooding in low lying areas as well as damage to streets and sporadic landslides.

Through the resilience of the residents and collaboration between private citizens and government agencies, cleanup and recovery has been ongoing.

The airport, which had been closed early on 7 August is now open, as are seaports, with ferry operators resuming normal business.

The accommodation industry reported mild flooding within a few properties, however the majority of hotels and villas remained open for business.

Community spirit

On the island of Virgin Gorda, park rangers were able to clear the footpaths leading to the baths, ensuring the famous park remained functional.

Sharon Flax-Brutus, director of tourism, said: “Clean-up continues to proceed. Several properties that reported damage were able to remedy their situations immediately after the weather subsided and the majority of our land-based accommodations and yacht charter businesses are up and running”

“The resilience of the Virgin Islands community has been on full display as residents engage in the cleanup efforts in their neighbourhoods and properties while the government disbursed teams and BVI Electricity restored power.”

Although the annual Emancipation August Festival activities have been canceled, the tourism industry is operational with guests being able to arrive and depart.

“Although several homes were flooded, there was no need for any of the emergency shelters to be activated thanks to the community spirit of our people,” said Premier D Orlando Smith

“I encourage more of our people to lend a helping hand to those who suffered loss – whether through buying groceries or helping those who lost much of their household goods to get replacements.”

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