EMO Update: Buses, Ferries, Schools & More

October 14, 2016

[Updated with video] Ferry service will resume tomorrow, assessments are still being conducted regarding the resumption of bus service, Government offices will open on Monday, and garbage collection has resumed as normal.

This information was provided at a press briefing today, with Premier Michael Dunkley, National Security Minister Jeff Baron, Commissioner of Police Michael DeSilva and BWS Director Kimberly Zuill all providing comments.

The Premier’s full comments are below:

Good afternoon and thank you for coming.

Bermuda is strong… Bermuda is resilient… and Bermuda is blessed.

That is the Island-wide sentiment after having come through Hurricane Nicole.

In a few moments the Minister of National Security, Commissioner of Police and Director of the Bermuda Weather Service will provide an update regarding Government services, public safety matters and post Nicole weather information.

But as we can see already there is some sense of normalcy returning to the Island with main road arteries being cleared, power being restored, damaged property being repaired and businesses reopening.

Since the passage of the storm tremendous progress has been made.
However there is still work to do and services to be restored and I expect that will continue into the weekend.

At this time I wish to take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to the Minister of National Security Sen. Jeff Baron, Commissioner of Police Michael DeSilva and the entire Emergency Measures Organization for their fearless guidance during what was undoubtedly a very anxious and tense time for our island.

These men and women, across many different organizations, rode out the storm away from their families. They did this to ensure the safety of us all and for that they deserve our sincere gratitude.

The consistent messages of preparedness and public safety certainly resonated with our community and that helped tremendously in ensuring there was no loss of life, serious injuries and with our ability to recover so quickly.

Finally, I must commend the people of Bermuda for our perseverance and strength as we prepared to face Hurricane Nicole.

I had an opportunity to visit parts of the island earlier today and it made me so proud to see Bermudians out and about doing their part to get their homes, neighbourhoods and Bermuda back to normal.

It filled my heart with pride to see residents working together and helping one another following what was truly a very serious and dangerous storm.

Without question, we are very strong and proud people and we’ve weathered tough storms before; so, a special note of appreciation to the people of Bermuda for your tenacity and resilience.

As I invite Minister Baron to the microphone, I want to reassure you that the EMO is working around the clock and be assured that Bermuda will be back to normal shortly.

Thank you Bermuda and please continue to stay safe.

Minister Baron’s full comments are below:

Good afternoon everyone:

As Minister of National Security and Chair of the EMO I certainly wish to add my voice to the Premier’s and all of those in our community in commending the members of the Emergency Measures Organisation for their steadfastness and professionalism pre, during and post Hurricane Nicole.

These are some incredibly dedicated individuals from our public and private sector agencies, and it was an honour to serve side by side with them during this storm.

With that, the EMO met this afternoon and here is what we can provide as an update at this time.

Throughout the course of today, we are seeing signs of Bermuda returning to normal.

Significant progress has been made with BELCO getting more customers online today, the Causeway reopening last night and the L.F. Wade International Airport reopening today.

We have seen the first flights arrive this afternoon and there have been no flight cancellations for today. We also can report that regular cruise calls will resume next week. Work crews from the Ministry of Public Works, Department of Parks, the Royal Bermuda Regiment and BELCO continue their clearing and restoration works around Bermuda. These works will continue into the weekend.

And like the Premier, I had the privilege of spending some time with the RBR as they conducted their clean up works around the Island.

As you can appreciate there were significant road obstructions around the Island following the hurricane and I want to commend the RBR for working incredibly hard from first light this morning to clear our roadways.

The damage reports coming in from around the Island include residential roof damage, downed power lines, poles and trees and some flooding.

As we noted earlier this morning, the main roads are mostly clear, we continue to ask motorists to use caution as there is still debris in the road. Minor roads are being assessed and continue to be cleared.‎

As it relates to public transportation, bus and ferry service has been cancelled for today. However, ferry service will resume tomorrow.

And assessments are still being conducted regarding the resumption of bus service and we will provide a confirmation update to the public later today regarding buses.

It will be business as usual for Government on Monday, with all offices being open.

We are currently assessing our Government schools; which includes an assessment of power and structural damage; and we are aiming to have schools reopen on Monday. We will confirm that with the public on Sunday.

The Hospital is operating as normal.

Garbage collection resumed as normal today.

The Hamilton docks are doing assessments and we expect a public update over the weekend.

The Government shelter reported three dozen members of the public using that facility during the hurricane. And at 10 am this morning, those residents returned home and the shelter closed.

These are the pertinent public services updates and the EMO will continue to provide progress reports as we continue to get Bermuda moving again.

Update 6.43pm: The Government provided an update on bus service:

After a careful assessment by the Department of Public Transportation, a decision has been taken to suspend bus service on the following routes until further notice:

  •  Route 1 from Hamilton to St. George’s via Tuckers town
  • Route 8C which services Cedar Hill.

Hurricane-related safety issues have precluded the operation of these two routes at this time, but the DPT has advised that all other bus services will return to normal as of Saturday.

The two effected routes – Route 1 from Hamilton to St. George’s via Tuckers town and Route 8C which services Cedar Hill – will be returned to normal as safety permits.
Bus operators and maintenance staff who are scheduled to work should sign in for duty tomorrow.

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