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Press Releases & Statements

_______________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release

August 27, 2015

Tropical Storm Erika Preparedness Efforts Recap

General Population Shelters & Pet Sheltering

Shelters opened territorywide at 6 p.m. Wednesday, at the following locations:

Herbert Grigg Home on St. Croix
Knud Hansen Complex on St. Thomas
Julius Sprauve School and Guy Benjamin Elementary School on St. John.

Bring the following items:

  • Special foods for dietary needs for 24 to 72 hours
  • One complete change of clothing
  • Sleeping bag and pillow
  • Rain gear
  • Toiletries
  • Medications and first aid supplies
  • ID and other valuable documents
  • Games, cards and toys (for youngsters)
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Flashlight and radio
  • Games toys and reading material for children
  • Baby formula for infants

Individuals needing the service of a seeing eye-dog may have their service animals with them.

Pet Sheltering - Pets are allowed at the shelters as long as they are caged and have a leash. Bring food, water, medication and litter for your pet.

Special Medical Needs Shelters are open for individuals with medical conditions needing shelter. Shelters are located at:

Charles Harwood Clinic on St. Croix.
Roy Lester Schneider Hospital on St. Thomas.

Sea Ports/Ferry

The US Coast Guard closed all sea ports to inbound commercial traffic at midnight Wednesday.

Airports

The St. Croix and St. Thomas airports open today (Thursday) until further notice.

Government Operations

Government offices closed on Thursday. Non-essential government employees asked not report in for work.

Curfew 

No curfew imposed.

Boaters / Beaches

Boaters are encouraged to seek safe haven for their vessel.

St. Croix: Salt River

St. Thomas – St. John: Mandahl Bay and Flamingo Bay are almost full but can accept small boats. Benner Bay is full no longer accepting boats.

Hurricane Hole on St. John is under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. Boaters must coordinate with the NPS for assigned mooring locations by contacting the Chief Ranger of Protection.

The Department of Planning and Natural Resources us advising residents and visitors to stay off from beaches until the community receives an all-clear from the department.

For assistance, boaters can contact a DPNR representative at:

  • 340-773-5774 or 340-244-9066 on St. Croix
  • 340-714-9510 or 340-643-6001 on St. Thomas-St. John

Boaters are urged not to attempt to ride the storm out on their vessel. Seek shelter on land.

Sandbag Distribution

Distribution points closed Thursday.

Solid Waste & Sewer System

The inflow and infiltration of storm water into the sewer system may displace manhole covers and exceed the pumping capacity at wastewater pump stations. Pedestrians and motorists are advised to proceed with caution when traversing flooded roadways, where manhole covers may have been displaced by system overflows. During this rain event until the rain and the storm water run-off subside, the sewer collection system may continue to be impacted.

Residents are asked to report any overflows and displaced manhole covers to the VIWMA at (340) 715-9100 on St. Thomas; (340) 712-4962 on St. Croix and (340) 774-2141 on St. John. The Report-A-Problem link on the Authority’s website, www.viwma.org, can also be used.

Bin and debris collection sites are closed today.

Department of Public Works - VITRAN Bus Service 

VITRAN Fixed Routes are not scheduled to run today.

The Department of Public Works’ ParaTransit Staff is coordinating with area hospitals and dialysis centers to pick up and return patients to their homes.

The department will also transport individual with special needs and the elderly to shelters as long as it safe to be on the roads and a state of emergency has not been declared.

General Assistance

For assistance call VITEMA at 340-773-2244 on St. Croix, 340-774-2244 on St. Thomas and 40-776-2244 on St. John.

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