Power restoration continues after a full day of restoration efforts by Belco crews in the wake of Hurricane Humberto and the utility company says it could take days to restore power in some areas.
Following a full assessment on the aftermath of the Category 3 storm, National Security Minister Wayne Caines extended a sincere ‘thank you’ to the people of Bermuda.
“Every resident came together in the face of the impending hurricane, doing their part to ensure their families, friends, neighbours and homes were ready and prepared for this storm,” he said.
“This is the true Bermudian spirit of support and resilience that we are known for. So thank you to you for preparing yourselves, heeding the advisories and coming together after the storm to help your fellow Bermudians in need.”
The Minister also provided an update following “an extensive meeting” of the Emergency Measures Organisation (EMO).
By 2pm on Thursday, he said there were 20,628 people without power, with power restored to 15,826 homes.
Residents were also advised that the Causeway and the LF Wade International Airport are both fully open and operational.
Government offices will also be back open for business on Friday.
All public schools will remain closed until Monday, and no buses will be in operation on Friday morning as crews continue working to clear heavy debris from several areas.
Regiment soldiers will continue clearing our roads and assisting with roof repairs at various locations around the island.
Bermuda’s beaches are back open as well, but the Minister urged swimmers to exercise caution as there are no lifeguards on duty.
The island’s emergency services were also impacted by the storm. The hospital’s Acute Care wing sustained some roofing damage and there was minor damage at the Mid Atlantic Wellness Institute.
Three people were also treated for hurricane related injuries at the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre in St David’s and 49 people sought refuge at the emergency shelter set up at CedarBridge.
The Minister also provided the breakdown of calls for emergency services received overnight during the storm:
➢ Three structural fires
➢ A propane leak at the airport which was contained
➢ 17 minor incidents (fires from the hurricane)
➢ 11 medical reports
➢ 20 roofs damaged
➢ A sinking boat which was saved
➢ One individual in custody for burglary of buses
➢ Somerset Police Office received structural roof damage. The facility has been relocated
Minister Caines also recognised “some key individuals for their service pre-during and post Hurricane Humberto”, including RBR members and Parks crews, who set out early Thursday morning to clear debris for the first round of ’emergency assessments”.
He also thanked “officers of the Bermuda Police Service, the officers of the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service and the Hospital’s emergency personnel” and “the hard working crews from the Department Works and Engineering”.
“They too worked and continue to work tirelessly to ensure that our roadways were made clear of debris.
“I also must express my gratitude to the Commissioner of Police and the members of the EMO Executive who remain focused professionals, putting the needs of the Country and its people first, and ensuring that Bermuda was prepared and ready to face this storm. I want them to know, that it was a pleasure to work alongside them,” he added.
Humberto’s peak point of impact came around 8:30pm on Wednesday night, with wind speeds of 81 mph. Gusts exceeding 114 mph were recorded at the airport.
The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) recorded sustained winds of 100 mph with gusts of 123 mph and more from the automated station at Pearl Island.
According to the NHC, Humberto’s closest point to the island came at about 9pm when it was some 75 miles away.
West end residents report roof damage due to tornadoes in a number of areas. The Somerset Police Station lalso lost part of its roof.
Windows were shattered at the CedarBridge Academy shelter – fortunately no one was injured and walls came down at the National Stadium where sever bleachers were damaged by hurricane-force winds.
In his initial statement after the storm had passed Minister Caines said: “We have come through a really, really challenging night.
“There were no fatalities. Our country is resilient. Today, we are going to get through this.”
Premier David Burt added: “We’ve made it through and everyone is safe. That’s what is most important.”
He also congratulated the parents of a healthy baby girl born at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital “in the midst of the storm”.