PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - My fellow Sint Maarteners,Today, September 5th, is a date that will forever be etched in the memory of Sint Maarteners due to hurricane Luis in 1995. On this day in 2017 we are expecting Irma. Looking at the forecasted path of Irma, government has and continues to take measures to prepare our country for the passing of the hurricane and to respond to the effects in its aftermath. Our emergency services are as a result working to put everything in place. They are organizing shelters, pumping the pond, cleaning the trenches and more. Meanwhile our police, voluntary corps and coast guards have been reinforced with the military. And across our island I have seen you making preparations. All of which to ensure our readiness.
I pray and hope that we will be spared the worst of the force of Irma’s winds and rain. While we pray and hope for the best, I urge you to heed the advice and directives of government to ensure the protection and safety of yourself, your family, your property and thus our country. As a people we have been through hurricanes before. We know the dangers of hurricanes and we know the benefits of preparation and precaution. I therefore urge you not to take any chances during the passing of hurricane Irma. This means that you are to find a safe place before and stay indoors during the passing of the hurricane. And once the hurricane has passed I urge you to follow government’s directions to help ensure an orderly restoration of our daily lives.
My fellow Sint Maarteners,
As we await Irma’s landfall, I believe that I express the spirit of we the people of Sint Maarten, when I declare that we will overcome this storm. I do so, because of my trust in the boundless strength and resilience of our people thanks to the continued guidance of the almighty God.
In closing, I am confident that as a people we will, as we have in the past, draw from on our collective strength to withstand this storm. And I will in that same spirit of strength keep you in my thoughts and pray for your safety and that of our nation.
Be Strong, Stay safe and may God Bless Sint Maarten and protect our coast.