A very good day to all in the Virgin Islands.
Tropical Storm Fiona has formed, and as of this afternoon, the Virgin Islands along with several of our regional neighbours are under Tropical Storm Watch.
I have been briefed by the Department of Disaster Management, who have been following the progress of this system closely. At 5:00 p.m. today, the system was located about 626 miles away from Road Town. It was moving toward the Leeward Islands with wind speeds near 60 miles per hour extending out up to 140 miles from the centre of the system.
Forecasters believe that this system will pass near to us this weekend, bringing heavy rains and windy conditions here as early as late Friday. That being the case, we can anticipate the likely impacts will be rough seas; flash flooding, especially in low-lying or flood prone areas; and gusty conditions.
The Department of Disaster Management is issuing regular updates via their app, website and Facebook page; and they will alert the public immediately if forecasters indicate that Tropical Storm Fiona changes course or strength. If that happens, there may be a need to issue watches or warnings. Already, the Public Service is taking steps to prepare based on established emergency plans and discussions within the Emergency Operations Centre.
I urge all households and individuals to follow suit and have emergency plans ready in case any further action is needed. As always at this time of year, it’s a good idea to check on family and business emergency stocks, essential documents, and back-up communications.
In closing, I would like to thank all BVI residents for their ongoing vigilance this hurricane season. It is gratifying to know that steps continue to be taken to protect and safeguard this Territory.