Nov. 18, 2003 – Gov. Charles W. Turnbull sent a letter on Tuesday to the regional head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency asking FEMA to join the territory in conducting a preliminary assessment of damages caused by recent rains and flooding.
Based on its own initial assessment of St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John, the V.I. government is estimating damages at $25.5 million, Turnbull told Jose A. Bravo, disaster recovery manager for FEMA's Caribbean Division.
That assessment covers "debris removal, emergency protective measures, roads and bridges, water control facilities, buildings and equipment, public utilities, parks, recreation facilities and other facilities," a Government House release stated.
The government's breakdown of damages by island:
St. Croix – $8.8 million.
St. Thomas – $10.6 million.
St. John – $6,042.
Turnbull declared a territorial state of emergency last Friday. He said at that time: "We are making assessments today, and if we find we qualify for federal aid, we will apply … We will get whatever help from the federal government we can."
Bravo, who is based in Puerto Rico, is very familiar with the Virgin Islands, having headed FEMA relief and recovery operations in the territory in the aftermath of Hurricane Bertha in 1996. A federal disaster was declared then while recovery and mitigation efforts were still under way as a result of Hurricane Marilyn.
The governor told Bravo that the territory "stands ready to partner with FEMA to assess all emergency efforts and damages to non-federal roads, infrastructure and facilities."
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