Premier praises Island’s response
‘We will recover’ was the resounding message from Premier Michael Dunkley this morning as Bermuda woke to the trail of destruction left by Hurricane Gonzalo.
The Premier praised residents for their preparation saying it was ‘key’ to minimising the effects of the devastating hurricane.
And he said the island’s roads and infrastructure were in a much better shape than many might have expected.
Mr Dunkley said: “I think all of Bermuda would agree that we took a licking. We are a bit bruised. But we will recover from this.
“The storm was very powerful and lasted longer than many expected.
“I want to thank people for getting their preparation done and staying in their houses.
“We had no fatalities but some minor injuries.
“All in all we came out of this storm much better than we expected. Preparation was key.
“I would now ask for people’s patience. Now we have to stay off the streets and let the services do their work.”
Speaking on the Emergency Broadcast Station this morning he added: “As far as roads and infrastructure we are in a much better position than many people might have thought.
“A lot of the major arteries are open and the hospital fared well.
“The initial assessment of the airport shows it is in pretty good shape.
“There was no flooding in the arrivals hall. The only thing we need to do now is check the runways.
“We need to get that airport open tomorrow. All in all we look pretty good there.”
No fatalities have been reported as a result of Hurricane Gonzalo, but the Premier said there had been some minor injuries.
A total of 66 residents made use of the shelter facility at CedarBridge during the storm.
Teams from all agencies have now fanned out across the Island and the restoration effort is expected to be assisted by helicopter reconnaissance provided from HMS Argyll which travelled behind the storm and is now within flying distance of Bermuda.
The Emergency Measures Organisation met at 8am this morning and an assessment of the damage sustained across the Island and the work to restore Bermuda has already begun.
The Premier said he was extremely proud of the way Bermudians had rallied together in the aftermath of the hurricane.
He said: “A number of our overseas friends especially the United States and the UK have quickly offered assistance to us and we are very grateful. The expertise that they offer will be put to best use as soon as we have completed the assessment of the priority of work required.”
“The EMO will meet again this afternoon. At that time we will have better information on where things stand and we will be able to inform the public about public transportation, the airport and the Causeway.
“Make no mistake, this was a dangerous hurricane but Bermuda today is dealing with property damage, blocked roads and a loss of electricity; all things that can be replaced and restored.
“Thankfully, there has been no loss of life and for that we must give thanks.”
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