Crews begin cleanup, no reports of major damage

According to Disaster Management Coordinator Carl Herbert, strong wave action during the passage of Tropical Storm Erika deposited sand into the Irish Town Bay Road between the Public Market and the area close to the Garden’s Apartments.

“That is being cleaned. They are clearing the road, also in the vicinity of Carib Supply and the Basseterre Fisheries Complex, as well as one or two small areas on the island’s main road on the north eastern side of St. Kitts,” Herbert said.

Regarding Old Road Bay, which has been problematic in past storms, Herbert noted, “There is some debris in the area, but it is not impeding traffic, and that is being addressed also.”

He indicated there have been no reports of major property damage. “I understand that shingles came off a few persons homes, but we have not received any report of loss of roofs, or any property damage… There have been no reports of damage out of Nevis,” the ND coordinator said.

The Chamber of Industry and Commerce indicated also that its members have not to date reported on property damage or any other problem associated with the storm.

Clearing-Sand-1St. Kitts and Nevis was not extensively impacted possibly because of Erika’s unexpected change of course. Herbert explained, “The projection was that it would turn more to the north-west, but it dipped more south, and that seems to be one of the reasons why, for example Dominica got impacted in that way.” On a more southerly and westward track, St. Kitts and Nevis was spared a more direct hit from the storm.

He indicated that the Met Office reported that St. Kitts received 1.41 inches of rain, and Nevis recorded 2.48 inches of rainfall. The higher recording in Nevis is attributed to the island being closer to the storm when it passed south of the federation.

TS Erika is now tracking south of Puerto Rico providing rainfall for the Virgin Island and Puerto Rico. The storm is predicted to change to a north-westerly course that would take it over the island of Hispaniola, comprising Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Fears are that a hit to Hispaniola might spark another humanitarian crisis, especially in Haiti, which is still under a long recovery process following the devastating 2010 earthquake.

Clearing-Sand-2In a formal statement from National Disaster Coordinator Carl Herbert following the passage of Tropical Storm Erika, he said, “We in St. Kitts and Nevis thank God for protection during the passage of our most recent tropical storm, Erika. We also thank residents who responded to calls for preparedness, which included staying indoors during impact and for listening to the local media for information, as to the status of the system. All agencies, entities and committees should also be commended for their actions taken in advance of the storm.

“We have been lucky; however, we extend sympathies and concern to the Dominican people who suffered devastating effects from TS Erika’s passage, as well as their relatives and friends who have worried for their safety.

“St. Kitts-Nevis is part of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency response mechanism that has been mobilised to assist in the case of Dominica, dispatching regional search and rescue personnel today. The St. Kitts-Nevis Government awaits the completion of a Needs Analysis in order to determine their involvement in the recovery efforts of the Dominican people. Persons interested in contributing to that effort may stay tuned in to local media for further instructions.

“We continue to urge residents to adhere to the advice and guidance of the Water Department about proper use of water and ask all to remain ready and vigilant during the remainder of the Hurricane Season.”

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