Storm preps under way

Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts assured residents staying on island through the storm that fuel supplies are adequate to last weeks after Gustav passes.

Meanwhile, Hazard Management Council Chairman Donovan Ebanks said the possibility of a curfew during Gustav is being considered, but that certain conditions must be met before that decision is taken.

‘We wouldn’t see (today) as a practical day for normal business,’ Mr. Ebanks said.

‘People sometimes have a habit of just driving around just to see,’ Mr. Tibbetts said. ‘Please don’t look at it like that. Once the weather starts to deteriorate, stay indoors.’

During Hurricane Dean last year hundreds of people were out on the streets at the height of the storm during a police-ordered curfew. Only one man in West Bay was arrested for going outdoors twice during the storm.

If a curfew is ordered, only authorised personnel are allowed to be out on the streets. Officers would have the ability to order civilians indoors and arrest them if they don’t comply.

Government offices closed Thursday at 3pm and most civil servants will not be reporting to work today unless they are in vital storm-related positions or chief officers have made some special provision for them to come in.

Fuel supply

Mr. Tibbetts said both Esso Standard Oil and Chevron-Texaco have informed the government that they have a 40 day supply of gas on island, and that fuel tankers are scheduled to arrive on 9 and 10 September to replenish the supply.

One of the major problems with fuel supply during 2004’s Hurricane Ivan was lack of available electricity to get oil out of the storage tanks.

‘Lessons have been learned,’ Mr. Tibbetts said in response to reporters’ questions about fuel availability.

Fuel reserves in Cayman Brac of both gasoline and diesel were estimated at some 60 days.

The country’s major diesel supplier said it had a 28 day reserve supply and the secondary supplier has a reserve of more than 100 days available.

At the current rate of usage, there would be 82 days of aviation fuel, according to Mr. Tibbetts.

There was also a 60 day inventory of propane on Grand Cayman and an adequate supply of it on the Sister Islands.

Car parks

Cayman residents were seen throughout Thursday parking their vehicles on the roadside in several locations including the King’s roundabout, the bridge along the Esterley Tibbetts Highway near the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and along Bobby Thompson Way and Linford Pierson Highway in George Town.

Works and Infrastructure Minister Arden McLean said public works and emergency vehicles were being stowed at certain strategic locations around the island so they would be available to clear the roads once the storm passed.

Mr. McLean warned private vehicles not to leave their cars on the travel lanes of any island roads, or they could find them moved when they come back to retrieve them.

‘I would hope the motorists in this country are of better judgment than to block the main lanes,’ he said. ‘If they are blocked, we’re going to have to move those vehicles.’