St Lucia back to normal after scare from Tropical Storm Kirk

St Lucia is returning to normal  after Tropical Storm Kirk drenched the island with heavy rains and winds, causing electricity blackouts in some areas as a result of trees falling on power lines.

The director of the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO), Velda Joseph, in a statement, said that the organisation had been in contact with the St Lucia Meteorological Services and other relevant parties and that the tropical storm warning for the island had been lifted.

“In that regard normal operations would resume at 1 p.m. (local time) today. That applies to the private sector as well as the public sector,” she said. The authorities had already indicated that schools would remain closed until Monday.

The NEMO statement gave no details of any damage during the passage of the storm, but the St Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCLEC) in a statement said that while the electricity system “held up fairly well . . . several areas were without power due to trees or branches falling on electricity lines, fallen poles, and a few areas where lines dropped due To the high winds and minor slides”.

It said that power restoration work has begun and some of the areas that were without power on Thursday night have been restored.

“There are still several areas without power, as well as some areas with fallen poles and lines on the ground. LUCELEC advises the public to exercise an abundance of caution and stay away from any downed lines.”

LUCELEC said that “steady progress is being made with power restoration work” and that the expectation is that power should be restored to the majority of the system by the end of the day”.

The telecommunication companies said their system “came through” the storm and that 64 per cent of mobile cell sites were fully operational.

“Those cell sites that are temporarily out of service will be restored once commercial power is reinstated,” Flow said in a statement.