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HMS Medway disaster relief specialists visit Cayman

Local News 29 Sep, 2022 Follow News

Governor Roper and Premier Panton with military visitors

This huge dingy came off HMS Medway

Governor Roper and Premier Panton with the Regiment

HMS Medway

The Cayman Islands avoided the worst of Hurricane Ian with only a little flooding. The National Emergency Operations Centre issued the All Clear for the Cayman Islands, at 3pm Monday. Weather conditions in the Cayman Islands are gradually improving but more rain, wind, rough seas and heavy swells continued into the week.

Governor Martyn Roper was grateful that the Royal Navy ship HMS Medway arrived in George Town. It was already in the region, supporting Turks and Caicos which had been brushed by Hurricane Fiona, a Cat 3 storm. “When Ian was already descending upon us, we asked Medway to come as soon as possible to support us,” he said. “I think it was hugely impressive that they came. It was a very difficult job to follow the storm safely in difficult waters.”

Governor Roper said that the ship stayed out in deep waters and sent an inflatable boat to George Town Yacht Club where first responders like carpenters, medics and electricians arrived, the type of professionals who could immediately help ensure the port and airport was “up and running”. Premier Wayne Panton was there too.

Roper added: “We haven’t needed much support from Medway. Thankfully, we’re all just hugely grateful that Ian just glanced past us and hasn’t done a huge amount of damage. But it could have been a lot worse.” He mentioned that there was another ship, Tideforce, that was also at Turks and Caicos. “It is really reassuring to us and our community that the Royal Navy is out there and would be able to come in quickly and support us.”

Medway is in the region for the rest of the hurricane season to support any British Overseas Territory or other Caribbean country in need of storm help.

By Tuesday afternoon, heavy rain was falling across parts of Florida as Hurricane Ian advanced on the state. It crossed western Cuba on Tuesday morning with winds of about 125 miles per hour, leaving behind widespread flooding and power outages. It came ashore just south of Sarasota on Florida’s Gulf Coast on Wednesday night.

Officials ordered evacuations in parts of coastal Florida, where a combination of dangerous storm surges, flooding and powerful winds swept through the area. Airports in the Tampa area closed on Tuesday afternoon, with others across Florida announcing significant flight cancellations.

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