Virgin Islands Survive Hurricane Omar with Little to No Damage

St. Maarten, St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. Johns report that Hurricane Omar passed them early this morning as a Category Three storm and did not cause any deaths or significant damages to their infrastructure or hotel sectors. All hotels are fully operational and functioning normally, as are the established tourist sites, attractions and restaurants.

While most of the damage appears to be limited to beach erosion and scattered debris that are associated with a storm of this caliber, it is anticipated that within the next 12 hours all public utilities, including electricity, which experienced scattered outages during the storm, will be fully functional.

On St. Croix, crews are now working to ensure that power is restored to all areas of the island and remove debris from roads.  The island’s two major highways are now open and smaller roadways are being cleared.

No major power outages or damages have been reported on St. John or St. Thomas and minor debris will be cleared from the roads by early afternoon.

The Princess Juliana International Airport on St. Maarten is expected to open tomorrow morning and will resume operating on a normal schedule, as will banks, financial institutions, supermarkets, hospitals, pharmacies, and other businesses.

“We are very thankful that our beautiful island only sustained minor damages and that our residents and guests weathered the storm safely,” commented Roy Marlin, commissioner of tourism for St. Maarten. “Currently, we are working to conduct a thorough inspection of all the resorts, hotels and other infrastructure facilities to ensure public safety. We are confident that following this comprehensive inspection that St. Maarten’s tourism product will sustain its high quality and character into the upcoming high season."

Hurricane Omar has since been downgraded to a Category One storm and, according to the National Hurricane Center, is expected to veer out to the open Atlantic Ocean instead of the Gulf of Mexico.