For the last three days, our emergency responders have been hard at work tracking the vigorous tropical wave which is located in the vicinity of the Lesser Antilles and which has to the potential to develop into a major storm system over the next few days possibly attaining hurricane strength when it passes the territory on Wednesday.
It is quite possible that this weather system will cause the Virgin Islands to be placed under watches and warnings on Monday. I encourage every resident and visitor in our territory to closely monitor this weather system as it progresses through the region.
This evening, I received a full briefing from VITEMA Director, General Elton Lewis, our federal partners at FEMA, the U-S Coast Guard, the U.S. Army and from the V.I. National Guard and members of my Cabinet about the preparations that are in place for both the inclement weather that we expect will impact the Virgin Islands from this system all week long and the recovery that may become necessary depending on the strength of this storm system when it passes the Virgin Islands.
We expect that the leading edge of the storm system will begin to affect the Virgin Islands late tomorrow night and Tuesday with the most severe weather: heavy rains, thundershowers and gusty winds affecting the territory Tuesday night, Wednesday and Wednesday night. Depending on whether this storm system develops further, it could pass the territory as a strong tropical storm or a hurricane.
I will receive another full briefing on Monday morning and then I will be joined by General Lewis, our federal partners and others in updating the public later today on the very latest. I encourage everyone to tune in to the news conference later today for the very latest on the stormís track, what we expect from the weather system and itís anticipated arrival time to the Virgin Islands.
I assure every resident and visitor that this territory remains ready to respond to the passage of this storm system and to quickly begin the recovery from whatever effects the territory experiences over the next few days. Let us remember that we have been down this path many times before and we have come through well. Most importantly, I encourage everyone to stay informed.