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EMO: safe to start moving around

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Satellite image of Tropical Storm Karl heading towards the island (Graphic via www.wunderground.com)

The Emergency Measures Organisation has announced that it is safe to start moving around.

However, it urged “extra caution” as there may be loose wires and low hanging branches along with standing water in low-lying areas.

It comes as Tropical Storm Karl has started to turn to the northeast, accelerating away from the area.

“I’d like to thank all those men and women who worked through the night and who were ready to respond to any emergency,” Senator Jeff Baron, the Minister of National Security, stated. “Thankfully, there have been no reports of injury or property damage. I also express my thanks to the public for their co-operation and support overnight by staying off the roads and allowing emergency services full access as needed.”

Speaking during a live update interview on The Weather Channel this morning, Mr Baron said “Bermuda is open for business”.

“We are working,” he added. “And the Bermuda tourism industry is open.”

According to the EMO, there have been no reports of trees down or power outages.

The Department of Public Transportation is doing a final assessment before the buses start running.

Further updates will be issued throughout the day as services return to normal.

Meanwhile, a Belco spokeswoman advised yesterday that crews had been stationed across the island in case of power outages.

“In order to move into restoration mode quickly once the storm has passed, trucks and equipment have been stationed at the east and west ends of the island as well as at the Central Plant. Once the storm subsides and it is safe to work, crews will begin the restoration process.

“Crews will not be sent out during the height of the storm as it is not safe or practical to do so. During this time, we ask that customers not call 955 as phone lines must remain open for emergency calls.”

She added that regular updates on outages and restoration work will be provided through the media and social media on Belco’s Facebook page and Twitter.

The company also advised the public to prepare for the coming storm, recommending that they:

• Have flashlights, batteries and a manual can opener ready. Also, fill bath tubs, sinks and jugs with water

• Set refrigerators and freezers to the coldest settings before the storm

• Never touch downed wires since they may be live even if you can’t tell by looking at it — if you see a downed wire call Belco at 955

• Never pull fallen trees away from lines or try to carry out repairs by yourself

• Stay away from areas with a lot of debris or fallen trees, there may be concealed wires hidden in the debris

• Avoid chain-link or metal fences, they may have become energised by fallen wires