Video: Press Conference On Hurricane Fiona

September 20, 2022

[Updated] Minister of National Security Michael Weeks will be holding a press conference this afternoon [Sept 20] to provide an update regarding Hurricane Fiona, which the Bermuda Weather Service said is a ‘threat to Bermuda’, with the island expected to be impacted later this week.

Update 5.34pm: The press conference has concluded and we will update with the Minister’s statement as able, however in the meantime a super quick summary:

  • Expected to impact us from Thursday evening with closest approach currently forecast to be 4am Friday
  • Sustained winds will be in the “strong Tropical Storm range with hurricane force gusts,” and BWS said we “cannot rule the possibility of brief hurricane force winds” especially in the western area. Time for forecast to change so keep up with details.
  • Tropical Storm Watch to be issued this evening
  • No decisions made yet on schools/public services etc and Government will provide an update tomorrow
  • Everyone urged to prepare

The press conference should start at around 5.15pm:

Update 6.27pm: Minister of National Security Michael Weeks said, “Good evening Bermuda,

“With me today is the National Disaster Coordinator, Steve Cosham and the Bermuda Weather Service Deputy Director Michelle Pitcher, who joins us via phone.

“Hurricane Fiona continues its track towards the island and is a threat to Bermuda. Late this afternoon, we convened an Emergency Measures Organisation meeting to get the latest update on Hurricane Fiona.

“At this time, I am going to hand it over to Michelle for a weather briefing based on the 3.00 P.M. forecast.

“Bermuda, considering this latest information, I can advise that the Bermuda Police Service, the Royal Bermuda Regiment, the Parks Department, the Ministry of Public Works and BELCO are ready for this storm.

“The EMO will be meeting again tomorrow morning when key decisions will be made, depending on the latest forecast concerning public services. Now is the time to be finalizing your preparations.

“We are anticipating that Fiona will cause some issues for those living in low lying coastal areas who have had flooding in the past. So please, we are urging these residents to take the necessary safety precautions.

“As far as Thursday is concerned, we are assessing public services including public schools, Government Offices, and buses and ferries. As I noted, specific decisions regarding these services will be announced following tomorrow’s EMO meeting.

“Based on the projected forecast, and with the weather expected to significantly deteriorate Thursday evening, we expect that businesses that are open in the evening hours will likely be affected. So we are encouraging businesses to make any necessary plans in preparation for Hurricane Fiona.

“Overall, my key message to the public, is to prepare. Bermuda will be impacted by strong winds associated with this hurricane, so please use the next 48 hours to get storm ready.

“In respect of the airport and flights, an announcement will be made on Thursday. Travellers should contact their respective airlines to stay abreast of any flight information.

“As we’ve heard from the Bermuda Weather Service, we can expect high surf conditions over the next few days. Our Lifeguards within the Department of Parks will be monitoring our beaches and will be putting high surf signage along public beaches.

“Please keep out of the water. There will be dangerous surf conditions. A specific note about garbage – there will not be trash collection on Friday. This includes recyclables.

“Bermuda, my closing message is this – every storm is different. And by their very nature, storms are very unpredictable. Bottom line – make sure you have the necessary supplies for getting through Hurricane Fiona.

“This includes having enough food and medicine on hand; securing your homes, property and boats; having enough water; and most of all checking in on our neighbours, and vulnerable people to ensure that they are prepared and able to get through this storm.

“My next update to Bermuda will be tomorrow afternoon. But until then, please stay safe and please take care of one another. Thank you.”

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