Hurricane Irma Update: Antigua Avoids Major Damage

Aerial view of Jolly Harbour with sea meeting sky on horizon
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Earlier today, Travel Agent brought you news that Antigua avoided significant damage from Hurricane Irma and now we have the full details on the island’s damage assessment.

According to a release issued by the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, there was no loss of life on Antigua due to Hurricane Irma and the local population and all visitors to the island are safe. 

Most residential, business and hotel properties in Antigua remain largely unscathed and the main roads have already been cleared of the debris of fallen trees. The V.C. Bird International Airport is slated to open by 2 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) today to accommodate arriving and departing aircraft and passengers. 

Prime Minister Gaston Browne, in a statement made earlier today, said that “the work that the government initiated in advance of the storm paid remarkable dividends. The drains, gutters and reservoirs that were cleared in advance, ensured that the island experienced no flooding, hence eliminating the possibility of water-borne disease.”

Conditions on sister island, Barbuda, are not fully clear as yet, but preliminary reports indicate no loss of life and only some damage to private property and one government facility.  

Asot Michael, the country’s minister of tourism, economic development, investment and energy, indicated that he would be traveling to Barbuda today to assess damage that will be addressed immediately.

As far as the rest of the Caribbean goes, it appears as though St. Barts and St. Martin have been hit the hardest by Hurricane Irma in the early stages. In St. Barts, the fire station is under three feet of water and fire engines are out of service with firefighters taking refuge of the first floor, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). Several homes have been damaged and roofs blown off. There is also a total electricity blackout.

In St. Martin, government offices have been partly destroyed, according to the CTO. The fire station has also been damaged and the island has been without electricity since 6 a.m. this morning. Police have also reported several roofs have blown off in the storm, according to the CTO.

Keep visiting for more Hurricane Irma updates and be sure to follow Travel Agent’s Joe Pike on Twitter @TravelPike and Instagram @pike5260.

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