On Thursday afternoon COPI (operational disaster management group) met to assess the current recovery phase of the country. This is also the final COPI meeting. Relevant information will be communicated to DCOMM and the utility company will provide information via its customer service/public relations departments.
This is the fifth update in connection with the post-Hurricane Gonzalo recovery phase. COPI received on Thursday its final assessment report as recovery and cleanup efforts continue:
NV GEBE ELECTRICITY & WATER SUPPLY:
· GEBE Electricity: There are some isolated areas within the following districts where some residents do not have electricity; Mt. William Hill, Dutch Quarter, Middle Region, The Keys, Mt. Dove Road Point Blanche, St. Peters and Cole Bay. Call GEBEs emergency number and provide information about your outage: 1 844 4323 213. GEBE apologizes for the congestion on this specific number due to the number of calls received from its clients. Additional numbers will be provided by GEBE in a separate notice.
· GEBE has ordered additional light poles to add to its current stock, which is being used to replace downed poles. Additional manpower has also been requested from Curacao to assist the company with the restoration of electricity to these isolated areas within districts that have aboveground cables.
· Water: Customers who still have challenges with water should call GEBEs emergency number 1 844 4323 213 to report the aforementioned. According to GEBE the majority of consumers who did not have water received water Wednesday night. There are some challenges in Mary’s Fancy and Middle Region and GEBE crews are working diligently to resolve them.
· Contractors, Marines, Coast Guard personnel, Ministry VROMI staff, worked on various schools on Thursday. Work will continue on Friday and throughout the weekend.
· The Ministry of Education will meet with school management/boards on Friday, October 17 to assess the overall progress being made in connection with the cleanup/repairs of schools.
FRONT & BACK STREET UPDATE/BEACH PROMENADE/GREAT BAY BEACH/OTHER:
· Back Street: Clean up has been completed.
· Clean up of the Beach Promenade and Great Bay Beach started on Thursday and will continue and should be completed late Friday;
· All main roads are accessible; some minor cleaning still needs to be completed;
· Ministry VROMI is already working on the secondary roads with respect to the removal of debris;
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES:
· Registration for Assessment of damage due to Hurricane Gonzalo will continue at the Department of Social Services (Pondfill) until Wednesday, October 22. Office hours are from 8.00AM to 3.30PM. Priority is for senior citizens, disabled/handicapped.
· There is an urgent need for donations of tarpaulins, home repair tools and wood. Donations should be made to the St. Maarten Red Cross!
NATIONAL CLEAN UP CONTINUES:
• SPECIAL NOTICE: Police will be shutting down certain streets in collaboration with Ministry VROMI in order to facilitate the clean up efforts currently taking place. Clean up crews have experienced aggressive behavior from motorists and this is totally unacceptable. Vehicles should also not be parked in a certain manner that obstructs clean up efforts. Police will be present to have these vehicles removed whenever necessary. The removal of “closed road street barriers” by individuals is punishable by law and this measure will be enforced should the person(s) be caught in the act.
• Large Green Waste Bins: have been placed at various locations along the main roads to collect hurricane related debris; these will also be placed along secondary roads as well;
• Homeowners and businesses busy with cleanup, do not dump bush or tree trimmings or other garbage/debris on top of GEBE water meters or electrical meters; this is to prevent damage to the aforementioned and outage of service to consumers;