Public Works Is Prepared for Hurricane Season 2021

The front entrance of the Department of Public Works building on St. Thomas (Source photo by Bethaney Lee)

As the territory enters hurricane season, the Department of Public Works is positioned and prepared to respond in the event of inclement weather scenarios.

On April 1, the department assessed all guts and adjusted schedules to ensure that a thorough cleaning and maintenance plan was in place. All gut clearing efforts are on target to be completed by June 30.

DPW employees and roadside contractors will be strategically pre-positioned throughout the islands to address roadway clearance in the aftermath of inclement weather. Equipment will be fueled and serviced in preparation for any emergency event. Once a State of Emergency declaration is made, emergency contractors will be mobilized to assist in route clearance and debris removal.

The Department has over 3,000 pre-filled sandbags in St. Croix and St. Thomas prepared, as well as over 1,000 in St. John for residents. Private citizens will be allowed up to six prefilled sandbags per household; no empty sandbags will be distributed. Distribution sites have been identified and will be announced upon a State of Emergency declaration.

“Although we are hoping for an uneventful hurricane season, the department is fully positioned to respond in emergency situations,” said DPW Commissioner Derek Gabriel.

“Staff, contractors and our government partners remain on alert to prioritize the safety and security of the people in the territory,” said the commissioner.

The department is urging residents to prepare by stocking up on water, non-perishables, flashlights, batteries, first-aid kits and medications as needed.

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