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UPDATE: St Lucia Says “Open For Business” Following Flooding

St Lucia. Photo: Caribbean Journal
Flooded streets in the capital (Photo:CMC)
Flooded streets in the capital (Photo:CMC)
Caribbean Journal

St Lucia is “open for business” following heavy flooding that caused significant damage and at least five deaths in the country this week, Tourism Minister Lorne Theophilus said Thursday.

“The tourist industry is sound,” Theophilus said following a meeting with Director of Tourism Louis Lewis and St Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association President Noorani Azziz to discuss the impact of Christmas Eve flooding on tourism stakeholders. 

There are currently four cruise ships in Castries Harbour, the Minister said; while the island’s infrastructure has been battered, he said, vendors, tour operators and taxi drivers are “still able to earn a living.” 

After temporary closures, all air and seaports are now operational, according to Theophilus. 

Lewis said that, while he had been concerned about the volume of flights affected by the unseasonable storm trough, airlines “have been able to accommodate passengers.”

Azziz said that infrastructural damages to member hotel properties “was not a concern,” although many hotel staff and their families were affected by the storm.

 

See previous story published December 25, 2013:

Two missing, extensive flooding after heavy St Vincent Xmas Eve rains

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (CMC) – At least two people were reported missing as torrential rains on Christmas Eve from a tropical trough caused severe flooding, damage to homes and infrastructure in St. Vincent.

The extreme weather event left several areas without electricity during the night and without pipe borne water Christmas morning.

The Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA) has announced that a large swath of the country could be without water for “an extended period” on Christmas Day.

Deputy Director of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), Michelle Forbes, said in a report Wednesday that an 18-year-old female and her two-year-old brother were reported missing in the Buccament area, on the island’s south-eastern coast, where an emergency shelter, housing five families, had been activated.

Forbes said the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) has been partially activated and a number of key agencies, and volunteers were involved in the operations.

Several persons were trapped in their home from floodwaters and the E T Joshua Airport is expected to re-open at noon (local time) after being closed due to flood waters.

The Paediatric Ward at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital was also flooded and heavy flooding was also reported in other parts of the nation’s capital, Kingstown.

Forbes said that the Building Roads and General Services Authority (BRAGSA) and the Ministry of Transport and Works have reported that several bridges and roads are flooded and will conduct assessments as soon as possible.

Rivers overflowed their banks in Chateaubelair, Buccament, Vermont, O’Briens Valley, Clare Valley and South Rivers.

The major areas affected include Buccament Bay, Vermont, South Rivers, Byera, Spring Village, Rose Bank, Kingstown, E T Joshua Airport, and Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.

The heavy rains that have been affecting the country over the past few days intensified Christmas Eve night, triggering floods across the country.

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