Bermuda’s essential services, utility workers and emergency responders were commended by the the Premier and Minister of National Security, Renée Ming, for “making remarkable progress with our post hurricane restoration efforts”.
She echoed the Premier’s remarks “about the phenomenal work being done by the Belco crews to restore power to residents”.
“At one point, Hurricane Paulette left over 25,000 customers without power on Monday,” said Ms Ming.
That “number had been brought down to less than 3,500 by 3pm” on Monday, she added.
“Bermuda was back up and running in record time after Hurricane Paulette.
“One day after storm winds abated,” traffic was “flowing fairly unhindered”.
On the clean up efforts, the Minister thanked “the Department of Parks and Public Works staff” who aided the Royal Bermuda Regiment.
The soldiers embodied were officially relieved to go home on Tuesday evening.
“Several thousand households and businesses regained electricity and that is a testament to the hard work being done by the dedicated men and women at Belco.”
At last check, she said “there were around just over 3,900 customers without power”.
“As it relates to the resumption of services such as public transport, schools and government offices,” she also gave the latest rundown on when schools will be cleared for reopening as Government Offices reopen this morning.
Schools will remain closed today and tomorrow (September 17) “for students only”.
School staff go back to work on Thursday.
The island’s bus service “resume normal operations” this morning “and the school bus service will start on Thursday as public schools re-open”.
The ferry service also resumes today and the LF Wade International Airport is back up and running and receiving flights.
The Perot Testing facility for passengers on landing in Bermuda opened on Tuesday to “recommence testing”, who were advised “of their new testing times” for “the remainder of the week”.
If any of these passengers “are unable to receive emails at this time”, the Minister urged them to contact the call centre at 444-2498.
A decision will be made today on when the population testing sites will reopen and notifications will be sent out accordingly.
Trash collection also resumes today.
While noting that there were still “a considerable number of people” without power, Premier David Burt commended Belco’s workers, who collectively “returned electricity to over 20,000 customers since the end of storm force winds”.
“This is a remarkable achievement and I have already expressed by thanks on behalf of the people of Bermuda to those men and women at Belco.
He also thanked “the men and women of the Royal Bermuda Regiment, who assisted in the efforts of clearing our roads from debris”.
“Their hard work and continued effort, has helped Bermuda get back on its feet,” said Mr Burt.
“It is a source of some considerable pride in our Island that less than 24 hours after a hurricane warning was dropped in our country, our main roads are clear, the airport is open, transport and other public services will resume tomorrow, and our children will shortly be returning to school. This speaks to our preparation, our leadership at various levels in this crisis, and the overarching desire of the people of Bermuda to always get to work.”
“As the clean-up continues and we return to a normal sense of operations, I encourage everyone to remember the necessary safety precautions that COVID-19 requires of us, and our interactions with one another. Safety first. With or without COVID, the practice of looking out for our seniors and the most vulnerable in this community must continue. We can safely check on them and ensure that their immediate needs are addressed.”
In closing he said thanks to all the agencies” involved “in the effort to restore Bermuda.
“Their work, under the leadership of Minister Ming, often to the exclusion of the needs of their own families, is invaluable in achieving the incredible results we have seen in such a short time.