The Sister Islands have made an almost complete recovery after bearing the brunt of Hurricane Gustav in late August, Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts has reported.
The government leader detailed progress on repair works during the weekly post-cabinet press briefing Thursday.
‘The people of Little Cayman and Cayman Brac have worked tirelessly since Hurricane Gustav to restore their islands to pre-Gustav state,’ he said.
‘Their dedication and hard work has paid off and both the Sister Islands are very nearly recovered.’
Electricity and telephone services have been completely restored to customers, both islands’ airports and cargo docks are fully functional and public roads are largely in pre-Gustav-condition, Mr. Tibbetts said.
‘The public beaches and parks are fully functional on both islands; however some jetties sustained significant damage,’ Mr. Tibbetts continued.
Of nine jetties on Little Cayman that were severely damaged or destroyed, three have been replaced, while none of four jetties damaged or destroyed on Cayman Brac have been replaced.
Hotel activity on Little Cayman is operating as would be expected at this time of year, Mr. Tibbetts reported, while all operators on Cayman Brac are open and fully functional.
So far, government has given about $200,000 to 44 in-need applicant so they can complete repairs to hurricane damaged properties, with a further 10 applications pending.
The hurricane relief applications are being heard by a committee consisting of Sister Islands MLA’s Moses Kirkconnell and Julianna O’Connor-Connolly, District Commissioner Ernie Scott and Deputy District Commissioner Mark Tibbetts.
Amongst criteria they have to meet, applicants must show they were not insured against loss due to hurricane damage and that the work being undertaken is to fix damage caused by either Gustav, or Hurricane Ike, which passed by the islands by just over one week later.
Mr. Tibbetts said excellent levels of hurricane preparedness and solid pre-storm preparation were instrumental in minimising storm damage and allowing a quick recovery on the Sister Islands.
‘While I am hopeful that the rest of the [hurricane] season is relatively quiet for us, we must remain watchful and maintain our state of preparedness,’ the government leader cautioned.