Help on its way for the Brac

| 11/11/2008

(CNS): H.E. the Governor Stuart Jack got a taste of life on Cayman Brac post Hurricane Paloma when he spent Sunday night at the Aston Rutty Civic Centre, where about 70 people whose homes are destroyed or damaged are still sheltering. However, the Leader of Government Business told CNS that government would pour all possible resources into helping the Brac recover and that the private sector would help.

The most critical issue right now is to get people back into thier homes, he said. The team from the Planning Department is dealing with the physical issues regarding damaged houses, and he said the insurance adjustors would be arriving on the island Tuesday afternoon. The National Recovery Fund would be instrumental, but it was important to make sure that all efforts were coordinated.

"We are going to do this because we can," he said. Tibbetts noted that the Command Centre that had been set up at the airport would be dealing with the distribution of supplies and aid arriving on the island and said that if anyone knew of a person on the Brac who needed emergency supplies, they should phone 948-1222.

With two distribution points set up – one at the Aston Rutty Centre and one at Tibbetts Warehouse by the airport – the LoGB also said he was sure that people would only take those supplies that they needed. "By and large, this is a caring community," he said.

Four trailer homes were on their way to the Brac and Tibbetts said he was hoping to get at least 6 more to house government emergency personel. These would be set up at the Civic Centre compound with appropriate water, electricity and sewage facilities.

The Governor, who had travelled to Little Cayman on the Mosquito Unit aircraft, said that there was some damage on that island and some flooding – he had watched tarpon swim from one end of the road to the other, he said. The most immediate problem was a gas shortage, though  that was being taken care of, and the long term issue was the large number of downed power poles.

However, he said the people he had spoken to – District Officer Larry Foster, the police oficers and the island’s nurse – appeared to be all right, though everyone was obviously feeling the effects of the second major storm this season.

The Aston Rutty Centre, where he spentthe night, was "a brillient building that worked really well", and he noted the medical wing, where Faith Hospital patients are evacuated during a storm. He also commented on the hard work of the shelter wardens who, he said, "were doing an incredible job."

Among the added personel who have arrived to help the Brac are 10 Red Cross volunteers, including one zone officer from Panama, who was in the Cayman Islands on vacation, and a member of the Regional Intervention team from Jamaica.

One member, John Bogle, was pre-positioned before the storm to help with the distribution of supplies immediately after the storm. The visiting Red Cross members are working alongside members of the local Chapter of the Red Cross, as well as ADRA (Adventist Disaster Recovery Agency) and local church groups.

The action team would be making sure that supplies reach the most vulnerable, said Hermant Balgobin, the Red Cross Disaster Manager for the Cayman Islands. He said they had brought with them 1200 tarpaulin, 140 family hygene kits and 54 baby hygene kits and other useful items such as rope, he said.

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  1. Jack Kennedy says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone on the Brac and Little Cayman.  We miss our home away from home.  May God Bless you all.            Jack

  2. a concerned resident says:

    Is there a posting or list somewhere of what they need on the Brac and where we can drop it off on Grand Cayman for shipment to them?