Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, Monday August 25, 2014 The Office of the Premier wishes to advise the residents and visitors of the Turks and Caicos Islands that due to the passage of Tropical Storm Cristobal and the heavy rains that came with it, several communities within the islands of North Caicos, Middle Caicos and Providenciales have extensive flooding and several in roads remain impassable. Residents are cautioned not to attempt driving through flood waters as there is a very serious and potential risk of electrocution due to exposed power lines, among other unseen dangers and vehicles may become stalled in the flood waters and render passengers and drivers stuck.
Residents and visitors are further advised that flight operations at the Providenciales International Airport remain suspended for both arrivals and departures of aircraft both domestically and internationally due to the intermittent downpours, poor visibility and wind gusts which continue to generate cross winds which are hazardous to the safety of passengers and aircraft. The Airports Authority continues to publish releases on the status of operations on their website. Persons are encouraged to visit www.tciairports.com/web/news for updates. American Airlines has also officially suspended all flights to and from Providenciales until further notice and persons are encouraged to check www.aa.com or call 1 (800) 433-7300 for changes to flight status.
As announced by the Office of the Deputy Governor, Government offices in Providenciales will remain closed today due to high flood waters in the Down Town areas of Butterfield Square and Town Center Mall and the Sam Harvey Complex.
The Department of Disaster Management has completed initial assessments throughout the islands and have reported minor flooding in the capital, Grand Turk, and little to no flooding in Salt Cay. Flooding in the communities of North and Middle Caicos is extensive and residents of Kew are advised that the Kew Community center is open for use as an emergency shelter. The areas of flooding in Providenciales include Airport, Grace Bay Area, Five Cays, Blue Hills, Lower Bight Road, Down Town and areas of Leeward Highway. There was no reports of any major damage to the islands' critical infrastructure.
The EMS Team has begun pumping flood waters from the streets of Down Town and Kew Town areas and together with the Premier, Dr. The Hon. Rufus W. Ewing, they have begun an island-wide assessment of Providenciales and the United States Coast Guard has been engaged for aerial surveillance of North and Middle Caicos and Providenciales. The US Coast Guard will also be taking officials into North and Middle Caicos to conduct on-the-ground assessments as well. The Ministry of Health will be hosting a press conference at 11:00 am today to advise residents of dos and don'ts to minimize health risks.
The Office of the Premier continues to monitor the situation in communities exposed to flood waters and throughout the Country and will continue to provide updates as they become available.