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Fury of Fiona leaves Turks and Caicos virtually unscathed

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By Deandrea Hamilton & Dana Malcolm

Editorial Staff

 

#TurksandCaicos, September 30, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos breathed a heavy sigh of relief, recognizing with the passage of major category three Hurricane Fiona, the archipelago had been miraculously spared serious damage.  Hurricane Fiona, which is blamed for 27 deaths across the Atlantic Basin, devastated larger nations from September 16-24 to the tune of $12 Billion.

Fiona wreaked havoc on Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Bermuda and Canada leaving millions without electricity and dozens homeless. There was intense flooding in Puerto Rico and the entire island lost power, landslides and flooding damaged homes in the DR and whole seaside homes washed out to sea in Canada where Fiona lashed five Atlantic provinces.

In spite of being hit by the hurricane at category three strength, The Turks and Caicos has only minimal damage to report, according to Premier Washington Misick.

“Early assessment indicates that well hit by a category three hurricane the Turks and Caicos suffered level-one damage which is a credit to the state of our preparedness and the credibility of our infrastructure.”

Misick also credited the country’s resilience to the careful planning of the islands emergency response and the flawless execution by Deputy Governor Anya Williams and her team as well as the upgraded infrastructure installed post Irma and Maria

While the Turks and Caicos is still recovering, according to Governor Nigel Dakin the crisis period has in the rear view mirror of the islands now.

Once the all-clear was given, the main airport, the Providenciales International Airport (PLS) was reopened to air travel. A week after the storm, all airports and ferries were operational again. Digital connection was mostly restored as was electricity.

At the start of this week, Governor Dakin said information shared in recovery meetings exposed the bruises caused by Hurricane Fiona included severe damaged to the one mile causeway linking North and Middle Caicos.

Poles were also laid flat in the hurricane’s 150mph winds.

“Ninety-five of customers across the country now have electricity after Hurricane Fiona,” said FortisTCI, the nation’s electricity provider in its fifth report on restoration work.

At that time, Middle Caicos stood at 55 percent with power back on, once the causeway was cleared of debris. Bambarra and Lorimers on the island, were among the last to get electricity.  FortisTCI reported on Friday September 30, both settlements were reconnected.

“At 11:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 29, Middle Caicos now has 96 percent of customers restored.  The majority of customers in Bambarra and Lorimers now have electricity.  Only a small pocket of customers were pending restoration at the time.  The focus has been to energize both settlements via Conch Bar’s electricity generation unit, while crews rebuild damaged sections of the main transmission and distribution network.”

The Governor also updated on the cruise ship industry.  He explained Carnival Cruises, after addressing the damage, set a potential opening date for October 4th, pushed back from Thursday September 29 as was listed on the Grand Turk Cruise Centre website.

Students in Grand Turk and the sister islands were able to start attending school by Monday September 26th a week after Fiona and the resulting outages.

Ten days after the storm, FortisTCI has restored connectivity to 99.3 percent of customers across the country. Grand Turk residents were the hardest hit and as of Thursday night, some 95 percent are back online.

The electricity restoration now speeds up reconnections and repairs with FlowTCI, on September 28 the telecoms company gave an update on Grand Turk and North Caicos.

“Fixed broadband for all Flow business customers has been successfully restored. A few customers’ services remain impacted due to a lack of commercial power,” said Flow about Grand Turk, for North Caicos, “The realignment of link between our Minorca Hill and Stubbs Road has been successfully completed.  Teams were deployed in North Caicos today (September 28) to focus on restoring fibre connectivity to residential customers and bringing First Caribbean Bank ABM services back online.”

Digicel, less than 48 hours after the hurricane, reported that all of its networks were running, hampered only by customers who were waiting on electricity restoration.  Digicel, following Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 decided to migrate to an underground network, which went unaffected in the passage of recent Hurricane Fiona.

Humanitarian support was also immediately available to the Turks and Caicos Islands.  With both the Governor and Premier out of the country, due to the State Funeral and National Security meetings in the United Kingdom, it was handy having the TCI Regiment and UK soldiers on hand to led military-styled assistance.

Co-chairs of the National Emergency Operations Center, Anya Williams (acting) Governor and E. Jay Saunders, (acting) Premier were part an aerial reconnaissance mission thanks to the HMS Medway; its helicopter allowed a birds eye view of the damage done by the storm.

The intel gain guided clean-up and allowed the leaders to connect with islanders who faced the most ferocious part of the storm, this included Salt Cay.

Despite the fairly swift recovery Governor Nigel Dakin reminds that the season is not yet over and residents should prepare for a potential second encounter, praying for the best while expecting the worst.

Since then, Hurricanes Gaston, Hermine and Ian have formed.  Ian, which grew to near category five strength over the state of Florida, is now blamed for 21 deaths, has left 2.5 million in the dark and as the surge waters subside, US President Joe Biden pledged full support to rebuild.

News

Stolen Vessel Recovered

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***MEDIA RELEASE***

 

July 20th, 2024.

 

#TurksandCaicos, July 20, 2024 – Shortly after 10 am yesterday (July 19th), the Police Control Room received a report of a stolen boat in the Turtle Cove district.

The description of the vessel given to officers was a black, 26-foot Hurricane boat with two Yamaha engines. Officers were told that the owner had secured the vessel on Thursday evening and had discovered it missing the following day.

Inquiries were conducted, and based on information received, Marine Branch Officers and Response and Operation Unit Officers searched a mangrove just off Five Cays today (July 20th) and recovered the vessel.

Two suspects were seen, one of whom was a 23-year-old from the Bight, Providenciales, who was caught and arrested for suspicion of stealing the vessel. The other suspect managed to escape.

The RTCIPF is asking anyone with information on illegal activities that may assist the police with enquiries to contact 911, the closest police station, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 and anonymously give any information.

Additionally, persons are being asked to download the CrimeStoppers P3 app.

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Crime

Firearm and Drug Charges

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Media Release

 

July 15th, 2024.

 

SHAIWANZO MISSICK of South Back Salina, Grand Turk, has been charged with six counts of firearm-related offences.

Missick, 30, was charged on July 13 after police officers consulted with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The offences against Missick are:

  • One Count – Discharging Firearm
  • One Count- Discharging Ammunition
  • One Count-Possession of Firearm with intent to commit a serious offence
  • Two Counts-Possession of Ammunition
  • One Count –Possession of Firearm
  • One Count-Possession of Controlled Drugs
  • One Count- Possession of Controlled Drugs with intent to supply.

The charges against Missick came following a report made on Saturday, 29 June 2024,  following a shooting incident in Breezy Brae.

Officers obtained a warrant and searched the accused’s residence based on the information received.

The RT&CIPF is asking the public to notify the closest police station, contact 911, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477, and anonymously give any information on illegal activity.

Additionally, persons are encouraged to download the Crime Stoppers P3 app from the Google Play Store or Apple Apps and share information anonymously.

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Crime

Five Cays Shooting Update

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#TurksandCaicos, July 19, 2024 – Shortly after noon on July 12th, the Control Room of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force received reports of a shooting in Five Cays, Providenciales. A team of offices was dispatched to Granny Hill.

Upon arrival, several interviews were conducted, and evidential items were retrieved.  Thankfully, no one was injured.

Given the investigation’s sensitivity and lines of inquiry, the RT&CIPF cannot comment further.

We are aware of audio videos and photographs purporting to be the location of where the incident allegedly occurred and ask that persons circulating such be mindful of exposing victims.

The RT&CIPF is again reaching out to the public, emphasising their crucial role in this investigation.

We urge you to notify the closest police station, contact 911, the Serious Crime Unit at 231- 1842, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477, and anonymously provide any information on this shooting or any illegal activity.

Your cooperation is vital in ensuring justice is served. Additionally, persons are encouraged to download the Crime Stoppers P3 app from the Google Play Store or Apple Apps and share information anonymously.

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