Ag. Deputy Chief Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations
The public is informed that utility services are likely to be disconnected during a hurricane.
With the impending weather approaching the British Virgin Islands due to Hurricane Irma, the British Virgin Islands Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) and the Water and Sewerage Department services may be affected.
Deputy General Manager of BVIEC, Mr. Henry Creque said, “We are expecting to execute an ‘orderly shutdown’ of the network if any part of the system shows signs of being compromised. This means that we will turn off the power in geographical phases.”
He added that the orderly shutdown will be implemented contingent on the approach and force of the hurricane system. If the Hurricane impacts the north as predicted, Anegada and Virgin Gorda will be taken off the grid first, then East End, Road Town on to West End and Jost Van Dyke. This shutdown plan is a provisional measure for wind gusts over 40 miles per hour.
The purpose of the shutdown plan is to safeguard the electrical grid so that it does not sustain damages during the natural disaster and to ensure the safety of others from electrical hazards.
Additionally, the public is reminded that with the absence of electricity, public water service will also be disconnected and preparations should be made to store water.
Director of the Water and Sewerage Department, Mrs. Perline Scatliffe-Leonard said, “I am encouraging persons to start filling bottles and containers with water and ensure that containers are disinfected and cleaned before use.”
The Water and Sewerage department said the best practices for storing water should be to:
- Collect water for at least three days, allocating one gallon of water per person per day.
- Clean, disinfected bottles and containers (preferably plastic) before filling with water.
- Cover and store water in a safe place.
- Boil water for drinking and the preparation of foods before use.
For more tips visit the department’s Facebook page @VIWaterandSewerage.
Post-hurricane reconnections will be carried out after areas have been cleared as “safe” before electricity and water services are restored.
The community is advised to stay abreast with updates about Hurricane Irma on the Department of Disaster Management website, www.bviddm.com and local radio weather forecast.