BVI Begins Cleanup Following Flash Flood; Tortola Hit the Hardest

Tortola, British Virgin Islands. // Photo by CaraMaria/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

The Caribbean Tourism Organization announced Thursday morning that the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is in full “clean up mode” following extensive flooding in certain areas of the territory with the hardest impact occurring on the island of Tortola.

Heavy and steady precipitation from the tropical wave caused flooding in low lying areas as well as damage to streets and sporadic landslides. Through the resilience of the residents and collaboration between private citizens and government agencies, cleanup and recovery has been ongoing, according to the CTO.

Video of cars being washed away during the flooding

Although the annual Emancipation August Festival activities have been canceled, the tourism industry is operational with guests being able to arrive and depart accordingly. The airport, which had been closed early on August 7, was reopened Tuesday before 10 a.m. Seaports were also open as ferry operators resumed normal business.

The accommodations sector reported mild flooding within a few properties, however the majority of hotels and villas remained open for business. On the island of Virgin Gorda, park rangers were able to clear the footpaths leading to the Baths, ensuring the famous park remained functional.

“Cleanup continues to proceed. Several properties that reported damage were able to remedy their situations immediately after the weather subsided and the majority of our land-based accommodations and yacht charter businesses are up and running,” Sharon Flax-Brutus, director of tourism, in a written statement. “The resilience of the Virgin Islands community has been on full display as residents engage in the cleanup efforts in their neighborhoods and properties while the Government disbursed teams and BVI Electricity restored power.”


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