Omar leaves St. Maarten unscathed


The government of St. Maarten has confirmed that Hurricane Omar, a Category Three storm when it passed St. Maarten in the early morning hours of Thursday, October 16, 2008, did not result in any deaths or significant damages to its infrastructure or hotel sector.

According to the government of St. Maarten, hotels are fully operational and functioning normally, as well as are the established tourist sites, attractions and restaurants.

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“While most of the damage appears to be limited to beach erosion and scattered debris that are associated with a storm of this caliber, it is anticipated that within the next 12 hours all public utilities, including electricity, which experienced scattered outages during the storm, will be fully functional,” the government said in a release.

The Princess Juliana International Airport was re-opened Friday morning, as will banks, financial institutions, supermarkets, hospitals, pharmacies and other businesses, St. Maarten officials added.

“We are very thankful that our beautiful island only sustained minor damages and that our residents and guests weathered the storm safely,” commented St. Maarten Tourism Commissioner Roy Marlin. “Currently, we are working to conduct a thorough inspection of all the resorts, hotels and other infrastructure facilities to ensure public safety. We are confident that following this comprehensive inspection, that St. Maarten’s tourism product will sustain its high quality and character into the upcoming high season.”

Omar’s damage on the entire Caribbean community has been a lot less severe than initially predicted, with most destinations claiming the same impact as St. Maarten did.