Caribbean update on Tropical Storm Tomas


Saint Lucia
Hurricane Tomas battered Saint Lucia from midday Saturday, October 30 to the wee hours of Sunday, October 31. The Category 1 storm packed sustained winds and heavy rain, which resulted in fallen trees, infrastructural damage to buildings, damage to major roads consequentially restricting access to various areas, and temporary loss of utility services across the island.

Damage to the hotel plant was limited mainly to loss of landscaping and flooding to accommodations although a few hotels reported some structural damage. A comprehensive clean-up exercise and restoration of critical infrastructure is underway, and it is estimated that the country and its vital tourism industry will be back to normalcy by Friday, November 12, at which time the island will be in a position to welcome all visitors in its usual legendary fashion.

The government of Saint Lucia is committed to the practice of responsible tourism and in that respect wishes to ensure the utmost safety and welfare of visitors and citizens. In collaboration with the private sector, every effort is being made to ensure the smooth departure of visitors who wish to leave by facilitating additional airlift at both airports, as well as transfers between the airports. Visitors wishing to remain on island will continue to be taken care of.

Cruise ships will resume calls to the island on November 7.

An update on the island’s progress will be sent out in 48 hours.

For further information, please contact the closest Saint Lucia Tourist Board office: Head Office: 758-452-4094; UK: 207-341-7002; USA: 1-800-456-3984; and Canada: 416-519-5642.

Most hotels and resorts in Barbados are back to business as usual, following Tropical Storm Tomas, which hit the island on Saturday, October 30. Although heavy rains and strong winds damaged some roofs and knocked down power lines, many hoteliers are reporting that the damage has been swiftly repaired and properties are fully operational.

“The Barbadian authorities moved quickly to restore the island to normalcy and generally speaking, the island is cleaning up from the effects of the Category 1 Tropical Storm,” said David Rice, President and CEO of the Barbados Tourism Authority. “We have received several reports from resorts such as Turtle Beach, The Colony Club, The House, Sea Breeze, South Beach, Bougainvillea Beach Resort, and the Crane, and they have all reported repairable damage and are now functioning as normal.

The newly -enovated Tamarind (formerly Tamarind Cove) will open only three days after its scheduled official re-opening date of November 1 and, in the interim, it is providing alternative accommodations at sister properties for those set to check-in before November 3. The Crane was one of the players in the industry which was identified as having been affected the most but, as of this morning, the property reported that power is back as are most of its services. All of the resort’s restaurants except for L’Azure are open, and the computer and phone lines were expected to be back up by tonight. The Crane is waiving cancellations fees for those who choose to rebook travel booked up to November 8, 2010.

Flight operations resumed at Grantley Adams International Airport from 8:00 am Sunday morning, October 31, 2010. Operations at the Bridgetown Port Authority were also restored with cruise ships welcomed at the Bridgetown Port today.
The Barbados Light & Power Company Limited (BL&P) is reporting that already 65 percent of customers have service restored, and it is working with the Barbados Water Authority to restore power and water to the rest of the island as quickly as possible. Police personnel, alongside the Ministry of Transport and agencies like Red Cross and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) are helping to coordinate efforts.