Turks and Caicos, September 4th, 2017 – Providenciales – An evacuation for Salt Cay will be issued tomorrow morning, and schools and public offices are expected to be shutdown by Wednesday as Hurricane Irma continues to build in strength throughout the region. These announcements came as Premier Cartwright-Robinson, the governor and DDME officials addressed the public at today’s DDME’s press conference.
Governor Freeman explained that Hurricane Irma “a category three, could well turn into a four.” As such, the DDME strongly advises residents, especially those who reside in flood-prone areas “before the storm, to evacuate, seek shelter with family or friends” or to seek shelter at one of the government’s facilities.
With the exception of Salt Cay, there are 11 shelters stationed throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands. These include Turks and Caicos Islands community college’s Common Room, Salem Baptist Church, and H.J Robinson High School’s auditorium in Grand Turk. There is also the Community Centre in South Caicos, and Conch Bar Community Centre in Middle Caicos. Additionally, Sandy Point Community Centre, Adelaide Oemler Primary School and Kew Primary School will be used as shelters for North Caicos. In Provo, residents can go to the Enid Capron Primary School, Oseta Jolly Primary School and Faith Tabernacle also known as Butterfield church.
Premier Robinson also advised the public to have their personal family plans, board up homes and made a direct appeal to the business community to have mercy and not to engage in price gouging. The Premier also emphasized that the DDME is the official voice and the public should not expect to hear politicians during this period.
As per advised through a teleconference with the Bahamas Met office this morning, based on the direction in which the storm is heading, the right side of the storm is expected to pass closer to the Turks and Caicos islands. This will now mean that the islands will have heavy impacted winds and rain bands – which is now feel like a mix of both Hurricane Ike (windstorm) and Hannah (rainstorm) previously experienced on the islands.
Story By: Kay-Marie Fletcher