Hurricane relief efforts are slowly moving from response to recovery in British Overseas Territories battered by an active storm season, according to Cayman Islands aid workers.
Crews returned to Grand Cayman on Wednesday evening from yet another mission to Turks and Caicos, where hurricanes Irma and Maria dealt back-to-back blows.
A Cayman Airways flight transported hazard management staff and government aid workers to the north Caribbean islands earlier this week. The crew delivered relief supplies, including seven generators, 50 packs of heavy-duty tarps, 100 bundles of waterproof adhesive material, inflatable mattresses, batteries, flashlights and toiletries. Just weeks after the storms, the jurisdiction’s eight islands had already made significant progress clearing debris and cleaning up communities, said Hazard Management Cayman Islands Director McCleary Frederick.
“The islands’ electricity had recently been restored. Schools were expected to reopen on Monday, and while some hotels are now fully operational, most are expected to reopen by the end of the year,” Mr. Frederick said.
Officials indicated the islands need more technical support and recovery talks, spearheaded by Mr. Frederick, were expected to continue.
Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose said the ongoing missions from Cayman are the result of a communicated desire to support fellow British Overseas Territories.
“This trip was about helping our neighbors in their time of need. We are only too aware of what havoc such storms can wreak. The TCI government expressed its gratitude to the government and people of the Cayman Islands for their active support,” Mr. Rose said.
“We discussed the ongoing recovery efforts mounted by the government, their additional needs and were informed that it had moved on from a response to recovery mode.”
On Sept. 8, four Royal Cayman Islands Police Service helicopter crew deployed to Turks and Caicos to provide support, as the tail end of Hurricane Irma passed over the territory. The RCIPS aircraft was one of the first foreign aid missions to reach the islands.
On Tuesday, a second relief mission transported medical staff and vitally needed supplies to Anguilla, where Cayman Islands relief crew have been working for weeks.