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VITEMA Offers Sandbags … Department of Health Says That It Is Prepositioning Ambulances In Advance of Hurricane Irma

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FREDERIKSTED — With the territory likely to sustain at least tropical storm force winds from Hurricane Irma, the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) said Sunday that sandbag distribution will begin territory-wide 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The agency gave a list of locations where the sandbags can be collected:

St. Croix:
• Department of Public Works, Anna’s Hope
• Department of Public Works, Frederiksted
• Grove Fire Station
• Cotton Valley Fire Station

St. Thomas:
• Department of Public Works
• Bordeaux Fire Station
• Tutu Fire Station

St. John:
• Department of Public Works

Meanwhile, the Department of Health said on Sunday that it has been working with VITEMA for a coordinated storm response, if needed.

“In order to maintain quality care and quick response during and after the hurricane, the Department of Health has arranged for the placement of ambulances at various sites across the territory,” Health Commissioner Michelle Davis said. “Our Special Need Shelters-located at the Charles Harwood Complex (CHC) on St. Croix and Community Health Clinic at SRMC on St. Thomas- are ready for activation in both districts. All generators are fully fueled to continue operations and maintain the refrigeration of immunizations and medications; and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is ready for activation once the need has been identified.

DOH also said that it has arranged to place ambulances in strategic locations territory-wide for quick response, if the need arises.

“The Dept. of Health has also been supporting the hurricane preparation efforts and needs of the hospitals and the Federally Qualified Health Care Centers in the territory. Additionally, the D.O.H. has made preparations for the security of our buildings and staff have been notified of an emergency line to receive updates on the department’s schedule of operations.”

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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