Video: Press Conference On Winter Storm

January 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

[Updating] Minister of National Security Renee Ming and BWS Director Dr Mark Guishard are holding a press conference this afternoon [Jan 27] to provide an EMO update regarding the forecasted weather conditions, with the BWS having issued a Storm Warning for tomorrow. We will have additional coverage later on and in the meantime the live video is below.

Update: Dr Guishard said, “Conditions first thing tomorrow morning will be fairly pleasant, but then a rapid deterioration of the weather by lunch time will be evident. We are expecting gale force winds to have started by early afternoon Thursday.

“Occasional storm-force winds [48 knots or more], and hurricane force gusts are then anticipated on Thursday late afternoon, through evening. Associated with this system, a cold front will cross the area during the day, bringing periods of rain and heavier embedded showers.

“During the day on Friday, a cold surge of air will bring the temperatures down to the low teens Celsius / low-50s Fahrenheit, and northwest gales will continue. This will feel especially cold in heavy showers, perhaps occasionally even producing thunderstorms and small hail on Friday. Winds will gradually decrease into Friday evening, as high pressure starts to reassert itself.

“Seas outside the reef will also increase rapidly 20-30 feet on Thursday, but no adverse surge is anticipated with this winter system, unlike the hurricanes that come out of the south and often spend days building up the water levels before passing us. In general, these conditions are not anticipated to be as impactful as a hurricane, but caution and common sense must still be applied in making any preparations and going about daily activities.”

storm bermuda jan 27 2021 5pm

Update 3.34pm: We are awaiting the full statements, and in the meantime some of the key points are below

  • Causeway will remain open
  • Airport will remain open
  • Government offices will remain open
  • Last public bus will be at 4pm tomorrow, commuter service will stop at 5pm tomorrow
  • Buses scheduled to resume as normal on Friday morning
  • Ferry service will be suspended from 11am on Thursday until further notice
  • Schools will remain open on Thursday and Friday
  • Public schools will close at 3pm on Thursday, instead of 3:30pm
  • CedarBridge will have remote learning on Thursday and Friday
  • Government shelter at CedarBridge will be open during the storm.
  • Trash collection schedule is per normal on Thursday and Friday

Update: The live broadcast has concluded and the 12-minute replay is below

Update 3.45pm: Minister Ming’s remarks:

Good afternoon,

I’m joined by Dr. Mark Guishard, Director of the Bermuda Weather Service.

Earlier today, the Emergency Measures Organisation met to get the latest update on the winter storm which is expected to affect Bermuda throughout the day tomorrow.

We’re not expecting a significant disruption of public services, but out of an abundance of caution, we want to ensure that we are prepared for any and every eventuality and make the best decisions in the interest of public safety.

And I am pleased to note that all of our partner agencies are ready and prepared should the need arise. Fom a public safety stand point, our main message is urging care, caution and common sense.

As I noted we do not expect a severe interruption of our public services. But, we want the public to make sensible decisions in the interest of safety should they choose to be out and about. With that, following our EMO meeting, here is what I can share at this time.

  • The Causeway will remain open.
  • The L. F. Wade International airport will remain open.
  • Government Offices will remain open and services will continue throughout Thursday and Friday.

Buses:

The last public bus will be 4.00pm tomorrow and commuter service will stop at 5.00pm tomorrow. Buses are scheduled to resume per normal on Friday morning. Mini-buses will provide school bus runs as normal.

Ferries:

The ferry service will be suspended from 11.00am on Thursday until further notice.

The Government shelter at CedarBridge will be open for anyone needing to be housed during the storm.

The operating hours of the shelter will be from 11.00 am tomorrow morning until 9.00 am on Saturday January 30.

Regarding public schools; schools will remain open on Thursday and Friday.

Public Schools will close at 3.00 pm on Thursday instead of 3.30pm.

The DPT has advised that they can have buses collect children from schools by 3:07 pm.

If children need to walk to Hamilton they can catch a bus either before or by 4.00 pm when the last bus leaves.

As a particular note, CedarBridge students and teachers will have remote learning on both Thursday and Friday.

This is because the EMO needs to use the school building as a Shelter for our vulnerable persons on Thursday. Deep cleaning of the school will take place on Friday.

The Lamb Foggo Clinic will be operating on its winter hours of 4pm – 8pm. All BHB emergency services will be operating as normal.

The Vaccine Centers will also be operating per normal tomorrow and Friday from 9am – 1pm. What we are asking, is for people who are scheduled to attend the vaccine center to please remain in their cars until they are called to have their shot.

Following the passage of the storm our critical work crews from the Department of Parks and Works and Engineering will do an assessment of the roads and clear any debris.

Regarding trash collection, the schedule is per normal on Thursday and Friday.

The Ministry of Public Works is asking residents to please secure all garbage and recycling containers and bags to prevent them from being blown about.

Also please place garbage and recyclables out for collection no later than 7.30 am on the morning of your collection day.

The Tyne’s Bay public drop off, the Airport Waste Facility, and the Marsh Folly Composting Facility will remain open during regular hours.

Lastly and from a safety standpoint, if needed, residents should have secured their homes, packing away any outdoor furniture or plants or any other home equipment to prevent injury or damage.

Thank you.

Dr Guishard’s remarks:

Thank you Minister and good afternoon Bermuda, and apologies that you have to see me again so soon!

The rapid development of a winter storm is forecast off the US east coast, that will pass to the north of Bermuda on Thursday and Friday. As such the Bermuda Weather Service has issued a Storm Warning.

Conditions first thing tomorrow morning will be fairly pleasant, but then a rapid deterioration of the weather by lunch time will be evident. We are expecting gale force winds to have started by early afternoon Thursday.

Occasional storm-force winds [48 knots or more], and hurricane force gusts are then anticipated on Thursday late afternoon, through evening. Associated with this system, a cold front will cross the area during the day, bringing periods of rain and heavier embedded showers.

During the day on Friday, a cold surge of air will bring the temperatures down to the low teens Celsius / low-50s Fahrenheit, and northwest gales will continue. This will feel especially cold in heavy showers, perhaps occasionally even producing thunderstorms and small hail on Friday. Winds will gradually decrease into Friday evening, as high pressure starts to reassert itself.

Seas outside the reef will also increase rapidly 20-30 feet on Thursday, but no adverse surge is anticipated with this winter system, unlike the hurricanes that come out of the south and often spend days building up the water levels before passing us. In general, these conditions are not anticipated to be as impactful as a hurricane, but caution and common sense must still be applied in making any preparations and going about daily activities.

The worst of these potentially disruptive conditions should abate by the early hours of Friday morning.

Please stay abreast of current and forecast conditions by checking in regularly at www.weather.bm.

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