Post Paloma information updates

| 11/11/2008

(CNS:) Wednesday 6pm As work continues on Cayman Brac the command centre is appealing for more donations and emergency supplies including shovels, buckets, brooms bleach, bath pans, water, batteries, nails, laterns, and insect repellant among other things. To make a donation call 244-3147 or go to the Red Cross office in George Town. People in need of assistance on the Brac are being asked to call 925 6261 or 925 6262

Post: The Cayman Islands Postal Service has suspended mail service to the Sister Islands for the remainder of the week. Postmaster General Sheena Glasgow explained that this decision is based on a number of factors: All available air and sea cargo space is currently being used for the transportation of emergency relief cargo. The majority of post offices have been damaged in some way.  In addition, all infrastructure services have not yet been restored. At a minimum, secured buildings are required before re-opening post offices. Postal staff on the Sister Islands need some time to address their personal living situations that are connected to damage from Paloma’s passing. The situation will be reassessed for next week and CIPS will release further updates as needed.

Port:  Port Authority Director, Paul Hurlston, says that effective immediately there will be no Port fees applied to goods imported to Cayman Brac for a period of one month. “We want to remove any potential barrier for recovery. We know people will start rebuilding and will need access to materials as quickly as possible to recover from the destructive forces of Hurricane Paloma,” he said. “The respite of Port fees for one month is to meet immediate demands; we will revisit this issue as necessary.” 

Minister for Commerce, who also has ministerial responsibility for the Port Authority, Charles Clifford said it was one more step in the right direction to ensure the recovery of the Sister Islands is swift and effectively meets the needs of our people. “I commend the Port Authority for stepping up to the plate and encourage those private sector companies that are in control of fees and charges on the residents of our Sister Islands to follow suit as a way of aiding their recovery from Hurricane Paloma.” 

Meantime, the Port Director also announced that the Creek Dock will be operational shortly. Although the exterior of the warehouse had been damaged by the hurricane, the frame remains intact and repairs are scheduled.  The Port Authority will also be reallocating staff resources from Grand Cayman each day starting Wednesday, 12 November to aid in the clean up and restoration of the Creek Dock as well as to assist with the discharge of vessels.  

Power: With Cayman Brac Power and Light working round the clock to restore power Faith hospital and the Distrcit Administration building both now have power.

Relief:  An initial shipment of eight trailer homes is expected to arrive today (Wednesday, 12 November). The trailers are two- and three-bedroom units. If you would like to apply for a trailer, please call the Brac Command Centre on 925-6261, in order to begin the needs assessment process. Fifteen persons trained in building assessments will arrive in the Brac today to assist the Planning Department. It also is expected that an assessment team will be sent to Little Cayman today.

Volunteers: Civil servants who have family members in Cayman Brac, and who wish to volunteer  will be assigned to work at the Cayman Brac Command Centre for at least a week. And though work hours are unlikely to be normal, volunteers will be paid for a regular work week. Additionally, a part of each day will be left free, so volunteers may assist family and friends. Volunteers need to check they can be accommodated by relatives or friends;have enough money to cover personal expenses for the week; and clear participation with appointing officer. Once approved, contact  Sherelle Clarke on 244-2345 with your details and skills. Civil servants wishing to assist non-governmental organisations with relief and recovery activities may also volunteer. However, they may only do so by using annual leave or comp time. Chief officers, heads of department and other appointing officers are asked to be as flexible as possible with requests made by employees to assist Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

CAL: CAyyman Airways has put on additional jet service between Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac for the period beginning Tuesday,11  November through Monday, 17 November. This is in addition to the twin otter service which will continue as scheduled. Cayman Airways would like to remind all that the priority remains the transportation of essential personnel and relief supplies. At this stage reservations are not being accepted for visitors. Cayman Airways will continue to assess the situation and add additional service as necessary and as its operations allow as it continues to play its part in the recovery efforts with the Sister Islands. CAL is continuing to evacuate persons from the Brac to Grand Cayman free of cost until further notice.Anyone wishing to visitng family or property on the Brac will have to plan day trips only. Confirmed reservations are only being sold on a day-trip basis. As of Thursday, Cayman Airways will revert to its regular fare of CI$132.66 roundtrip, inclusive of taxes, to the Sister Islands.

Tuesday 11 November: KX2403 departing GCM 1:40pm arriving CYB 7:10pm, KX2404 departing CYB 2:40pm arriving GCM 8:10pm.

Wednesday 12 November: KX2401 departing GCM 5:40am arriving CYB 6:10am, KX2402 departing CYB 6:40am arriving GCM7:10pm, KX2403 departing GCM 6:40pm arriving CYB 7:10pm, KX2404 departing CYB 7:40pm arriving GCM 8:10pm.

Thursday 13 November: KX2401 departing GCM 5:40am arriving CYB 6:10pm, KX2402 departing CYB 6:40am arriving GCM 7:10pm, KX2406 departing CYB 1015pm arriving GCM 10:45pm.

Friday 14 November: KX2401 departing GCM 5:40am arriving CYB 6:10am, KX2406 departing CYB 7:40pm arriving GCM 8:10pm.

Saturday 15 November: KX2401 departing GCM 5:40am arriving CYB 6:10am, KX2406 departing CYB 7:40pm arriving GCM 8:10pm.

 Sunday 16 November: KX2401 departing GCM 5:40am arriving CYB 6:10am, KX2406 departing CYB 7:40pm arriving GCM 8:10pm. 

Monday 17 November: KX2401 departing GCM 5:40am arriving CYB 0610am, KX2403 departing GCM 1840pm arriving CYB 7:10pm, KX2404 departing CYB 7:40pm arriving GCM 8:10pm. 
Please contact the reservations department at 949 2311 or attend to the City Ticket Office.

Water: The Water Authority said it would like to reassure residents of Cayman Brac of the quality of water being distributed from the reservoirs. “In spite of the significant amount of damage in the Brac, our pipelines have not been damaged and we have been able to maintain an excellent standard of water being held in our reservoirs which is safe and potable for all to use,” it said. The Authority can only ascertain the safety of water up to the customer’s meter or up until it is loaded into the cistern/ holding tank. It is important that all persons using water from cisterns, wells and holding tanks ensure that all water is properly treated prior to consumption. It  recommends that all water be boiled before drinking and or treated with 3 drops of household bleach per gallon or 3 ounces of household bleach per 1,000 gallons to ensure continued safety. As the process of rebuilding continues in the Sister Islands, the Water Authority will continue to issue reminders and health advisories as required.

Communications: Westel/star: Early assessments of the Sister Islands’ operations showed vital equipment to be badly damaged, said the local cable firm. “Right now, management is sourcing replacement equipment and a team will be heading to Cayman Brac this week to try and get operations up and running as quickly as possible and provide support to Chris Randall, the head of operations for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.” WestStar TV Operations Manager, Traci Bradley said right now our first concern is for the people of the Sister Islands and our thoughts and prayers are with them.” WestStar has lost major equipment and is sending engineers technicians, and equipment from Grand Cayman to try and move things along quickly.

Cable & Wireless have dispatched a team to begin restoring communication lines on the Sister Islands. Tony Ritch, LIME (As C&W is nowknown) Country Manager for the Cayman Islands said the team will lend their support to those already there and who were on the ground. Ritch said mobile phone service is available on both islands and while the firm is aiming for the restorations of coverage in the shortest possible time fixed line services will be established following the re-planting of utility poles. Priority will be placed on emergency services, utilities and other Government services. Mobile phones can be charged at any one of our LIME exchanges, and hot spots are being set up at each of these locations so customers will be able to access the Internet. The public is being reminded not to touchor cut downed telephone cables but to report these and other faults to LIME 24 hour Customer Care Centre at 611.

Radio Cayman and Rooster radio stations are now both broadcasting on the Sister Islands.

MRCU: An aircraft from the Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU) will be conducting two mosquito prevention operations in Cayman Brac tomorrow (Wednesday, 12 November). Director of the MRCU Dr Bill Petrie said the aircraft will be dropping pellets in areas affected by flooding in an effort to hinder the breeding of mosquitoes in the aftermath of Paloma. The first operation, to be carried out between 7:00 and 9:00a.m., will specifically target the south coast– the block from the end of the runway at the Gerrard Smith International Airport to the landfill. The second will be carried out in the evening on the north coast from the end of the runway to the Western Auto Gas Station. Dr. Petrie is urging residents not to be alarmed at the presence of the red and white aircraft with a very loud engine which will be flying very low. He also advised that the pellets, which are black in appearance and made of charcoal, are not harmful to humans, animals or fish.

RCIPS:  Police operations in Cayman Brac have moved from the police station to the UCCI building in Stake Bay (opposite the District Administration Building). This temporary police station is open to the public 24 hours a day. People can call 916-6553 for police assistance. This cell phone will be manned 24 hours a day. In an emergency dial 911. In Little Cayman, anyone requiring police assistance should call 925-4428 or 925-4431. In an emergency dial 911. There will be no curfew in place this evening (Tuesday), however residents are reminded to exercise caution at all times. The need for a curfew will be assessed on a daily basis. Cayman Brac officers are being supported and assisted by additional personnel from Grand Cayman. Little Cayman officers will be given some relief in the coming days.  Proactive and robust policing will continue on both islands. Cayman Defender and Protector continue to make journeys to and from the Sister Islands assisting with operational support and supplies for the police officers.



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