Hurricane Omar Damage In St. Kitts
Photo By Erasmus Williams
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
October 17, 2008 (CUOPM)
St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas said initial damage assessment indicates that there has been no loss of life although some of citizens in the Halfway Tree, Verchilds and Old Road communities in St. Kitts had severe damage, some permanently, to their homes and lost their household items.
“Hurricane Omar which passed northwest of St. Kitts and Nevis as a category 3 hurricane, with wind speed in excess of 120 miles per hour in the early hours of Thursday 16 October impacted the western coast line of St. Kitts and Nevis with dangerous sea swells, severe storm surge, large battering waves and torrential rains,” Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas said in a broadcast Thursday night.
Dr. Douglas, who has responsibility for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said Hurricane Omar precipitated the evacuation of residents, especially from the coastal areas of Old Road, Verchilds and Halfway Tree in St. Kitts, as well as in the Low Street area of Charlestown in Nevis.
“There has been some flooding and beach damage in the Frigate Bay and South East Peninsula areas, but we are assured that “˜The Strip’, the famous night spot in Frigate Bay is already returning to normal business,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
He said that although a more comprehensive analysis will be done subsequently, the initial damage assessment indicates that there has been no loss of life although some of our citizens in the Halfway Tree Verchilds and Old Road communities in St. Kitts had severe damage, some permanently, to their homes and lost their household items.
“There has been significant infrastructural damage also in the area of Old Road. Coastal erosion is visible from Old Road Bay to Pump Bay in Sandy Point. Sections of the road network on both St. Kitts and Nevis were blocked by debris and became impassable to vehicular traffic, in particular the Old Road Bay area was severely damaged. Repairs have started and should be completed shortly, however it will be opened for vehicular traffic by daylight Friday, although the traveling public is reminded to exercise caution at all times.
He said that as a result of downed power lines there have been interruptions of electricity on both islands. However, power has been fully restored on the island of Nevis and there was no damage sustained at the Needsmust Power Plant on St. Kitts.
“Our water sources were secured by the relevant officers causing no interruption in our water supply on both islands. Telephone services and Cable television services remained intact,” said Prime Minister Douglas, who said there were no report of damage to schools; therefore all Government schools and colleges reopen Friday. Government offices are also serving the general public.
He disclosed that the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport on St. Kitts and the Vance Amory International Airport in Nevis, remain operational with some limitations at the sea ports due to continued high seas.
Dr. Douglas thanked all those who worked untiringly throughout the night and early hours of the morning to assist in protecting life and property. The Security Forces, the members of staff of the J.N. France General Hospital, the Pogson and Mary Charles hospitals in St. Kitts and the Alexander hospital in Nevis, the staff of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Nevis Disaster Management Department, the Fire and Rescue Services, Public Utilities and Public Works Departments, private operators of heavy equipment, numerous volunteers, the media and everyone who united at this critical time was praised.