Video & Text: Press Conference On Gonzalo

October 15, 2014

[Updated] Hurricane Gonzalo “looks set to be a direct hit on the Island,” Premier Michael Dunkley said today [Oct 15], while the Bermuda Weather Service said to expect 27 hours of tropical storm force winds beginning on Thursday, with hurricane force winds expected on Friday.

Speaking at a press conference today, Premier Dunkley said that “resources have been pre-positioned at the east end of the island, including elements of the Bermuda Regiment, the Bermuda Fire & Rescue Service, the Bermuda Police Service and staffing for the Lamb/Foggo Urgent Care Centre.”

“Additionally, a shelter will be available from 3.00 pm tomorrow, Thursday, at CedarBridge Academy for those who wish to attend before the storm.”

14 minute video of the full press conference:

“Government Offices and schools will be closed on Friday, 17th October and an announcement regarding closure of the Causeway will be made based on an assessment of weather conditions,” added the Premier. “The aim is to keep the Causeway open as long as it is safe to do so.”

Update 3.52pm: When asked are we looking at another Fabian, BWS Director Kimberley Zuill said,”This path is similar to Fabian, the behaviour is similar to Fabian.

“It is already a Category 4, it will, as it approaches Bermuda downgrade to Category 3, but as of the noon advisory it is expected to pass over Bermuda as a Category 3 hurricane which is the strength of Fabian. The direction of the swell and the winds will be very reminiscent of Fabian.”

The Premier’s full statement follows below:

By now most will be aware of the forecasted track of Hurricane Gonzalo. Unfortunately, at this time this powerful storm looks set to be a direct hit on the Island.

All agencies have been hard at work clearing away the downed trees and other debris left after Tropical Storm Fay. Now we must turn our attention to preparation for what is likely to be a more severe storm with greater impact.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is important that all preparations for this storm are completed by Thursday afternoon as the winds will likely increase to tropical storm strength by Thursday night.

Outdoor furniture, plants and anything that might become a projectile in such high winds should be well secured. Boats should be checked and secured and all necessary supplies like batteries should be in hand.

Digicel and CellOne have again agreed to provide text message alerts to their customers on behalf of the EMO. This service will reiterate some key messages for a storm of this kind and it is important that these advisories are taken seriously and preparations made in good time which will help to reduce property damage and the likelihood of injuries or loss of life.

We have weathered storms before and we are well versed in how to manage our homes and our property. However, I urge people to err on the side of safety every time.

In keeping with this note of caution, Government Offices and schools will be closed on Friday, 17th October and an announcement regarding closure of the Causeway will be made based on an assessment of weather conditions.
The aim is to keep the Causeway open as long as it is safe to do so.

Much of the effort to clear roads after Fay was hampered by traffic and what amounted to “sightseeing”.
In advance of this storm and again in the immediate aftermath, it is very important that people stay off the roads. Downed trees can hide dangers like live wires and blocked roads can be hazardous to navigate.

I wish to assure the people of Bermuda that the EMO has fully appreciated the potential of this storm and as such resources have been pre-positioned at the east end of the island, including elements of the Bermuda Regiment, the Bermuda Fire & Rescue Service, the Bermuda Police Service and staffing for the Lamb/Foggo Urgent Care Centre.

Additionally, a shelter will be available from 3.00 pm tomorrow, Thursday, at CedarBridge Academy for those who wish to attend before the storm.

Depending on impacted buildings, shelters in the east and west ends of the Island will be available after the impact as necessary.

The Emergency Broadcast Station, 100.1 FM will be on throughout the storm and will continue broadcasting with up to date information on the hour and every half hour.

In closing, I would ask that as a community we continue to be mindful of our neighbours, lending a hand where we can; especially to our seniors. In the coming days it will be important for us to work together and to assist where we can to recover from whatever damage results from this hurricane.

I am confident in the ability of all of the public and private sector agencies to deliver on well exercised plans and to provide the kind of service which has seen Bermuda recover quickly in the past.

Thank you.

-

For all our coverage of Tropical Storm Fay click here, for all our coverage of Hurricane Gonzalo click here, and for our live blog covering both Gonzalo and Fay click here.

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Comments (22)

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  1. seascape says:

    Saltus is closed tomorrow and Friday.

  2. Yes I says:

    Thanks Kimberley! Bermuda stay safe and inside!

  3. Yes I says:

    How much tornado activity can we expect with a storm of this nature??

  4. Wake up Bermuda says:

    Question, if they are predicting that this storm will be one that resonates the like of Fabain. BMA and Somersfield is closing tomorrow to prepare their buildings for the upcoming storm. Why is the Government not closing for the same reasons.

  5. enough says:

    Well Mr Roban hopefully this will be good enough for you this time.

    • CommonSensenBda says:

      For the King of B****ing & Moaning…..FAT CHANCE!

      Wait until Friday morning, he will have something else to complain about!!

  6. Layla says:

    Why are government schools only closed on Friday? The private schools have it right! So when are the students and staff supposed to prepare and be off the roads? What a shame.

    • somuchless says:

      And if they closed at the end of day today someone would complain that the kids have too many days off. Damn if you do, Damn if you don’t. You can never ever please them all.

    • Shell says:

      I’m keeping my son home tomorrow regardless. I can’t be worrying about doing what has to be done and then get a call asking me to pick him up early.

    • Kunta says:

      If parents of public school students send their children school today their just as stupid as this Govt.

  7. Chris Famous says:

    Katrina

    Bermudians better wake up.

    • SMH says:

      Chris, do you think it will be worse that Fabian? Wowza I hope not. I really hope it’s not still a Cat 4 when it hits

    • And hat more should be done Chris?!

      Or did you just hear of this storm becuse Greta got a Press Release about it.

    • longbay trading says:

      Says the MAN from St. Kitts
      Chris F sit and REALLY

      think about your relevance with the TRUE Bermuda experence. U have NO idea So STOP writing about BDA as u think u know it. – U DON’T.

  8. Brazil says:

    While it is important for our students to receive the required number of days in school it is vital that everyone is prepared and safe. How can ALL residents do this if public schools are in tomorrow? Come on now this decision doesn’t go with the “Ladies and gentlemen, it is important that all preparations for this storm are completed by Thursday afternoon” statement made by the Premier earlier this afternoon. Hopefully this will be looked at again and a new decision which will ensure EVERYONE will be prepared in a timely manner will be sent out before tomorrow morning. STAY SAFE EVERYONE!

  9. longbay trading says:

    Have to say am somewhat confused that the Premier and the EMO want all folks to get ready asap Thursday afternoon yet are saying Govt offices will remain open all day Thursday. How are we to get prepared by afternoon Thursday if we must remain in at work till end of biz day??? Which is it ???

  10. Herb says:

    Winds on thursday, today, are predicted to be 20-25 knots right up until friday morning, I think we are being panicked by the media etc.

    The top winds, if the storm keeps to the west, will be 60-75 with a possible gust now and then. As long as there arent too many tornadoes embedded the damage should be minimal, much less than Fay did last weekend.

    The centre of the Hurricane is very tight and will be moving fast when it gets up here.

    I get my information from the European weather forecasters which in general have been right.

    • Crazy says:

      I hope you still prepare for the worst as its the top right quadrant that you have to be concerned about……………

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