BVI News

‘Heartbreaking’ – Premier opens up about surviving Irma

The McNamara based residence belonging to Premier Smith seen here under renovation after it was damaged by Hurricane Irma.

The unparalleled destruction caused by Hurricane Irma will be etched in the minds of the persons in the British Virgin Islands for years to come and will, no doubt, hold a special place between the pages of the territory’s history books.

When that story is written, the name Dr D Orlando Smith will be featured prominently not just because he was the man at the helm of Government when disaster struck, but quite possibly because of his own story of survival.

In a public disclosure, Premier Smith last evening detailed how he had to flee his McNamara home with his family and pet after the category 5 hurricane ripped off his roof.

“Myself and five others and our little dog, we retired to the bathroom which is in the centre of the house after the doors burst in and the roof started to give way,” he revealed during a national broadcast.

“Then we realized we had to go to someplace else after the eye passed. When the hurricane had passed and we had gone outside, we saw the devastation, we realized that there was no way we could have stayed there.”

Own Advice

Premier Smith pointed out that to survive the hurricane, he had to draw on the same advice he had given to residents a day prior to the September 6 hurricane.

“Just a day before I was actually on ZBVI [radio] and speaking about how people should take precautions, and one of the things I suggested was, if there was any doubt about the safety, you should move to the best place in your house. Whether it is your bathroom or any place with four secure walls and indeed, this is what I did.”

Noting that his home was severely destroyed, Premier Smith said, for the time being, he has taken up residence inside an apartment belonging to a relative.

“It is sometimes heartbreaking in that I can see every day; I can look out and see the house open and the wind coming and that is not something I like because of the damage that it continues to do to the house and its contents,” he lamented.

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