Disaster Coordinator and Fire Commander Clive Richardson, on Wednesday said that the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was one of the most devastating seasons for the country within the past two decades, and is looking forward to seeing the season come to an end on Thursday, November 30.
The six-month 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has been described by the meteorological community as among the top 10 all-time most active seasons on record with 16-named storms forming; 10 became hurricanes; six of those became major hurricanes of Category 3-5 according to the Saffir-Simpson Scale, namely Harvey, Irma, Jose, Lee, Maria, and Ophelia.
The first hurricane of the season was Arlene which formed on April 19. Thereafter, two storm systems formed in June; two in July; four in August; four in September; and three in October.
The 2017 season left catastrophic damage and dozens dead throughout the Caribbean region.
“Our country at the beginning of September 2017, saw three major hurricane systems passing close to our country Jose, Maria) and one was a direct hit – Irma on September 6. My end of the season message for the past few years has always been, “despite a busy hurricane season, Sint Maarten did not experience any weather from the systems that did make their way near or through the Caribbean.’
“The 2017 season however was different as we all know and experienced. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the non-governmental organizations including United Nations related bodies and governmental entities from the Netherlands (Marines), Aruba (Police) and Curacao (Police) that came to our aid during the emergency phase of our disaster.
“I would like to thank the men and women who form part of our national disaster management system of our country comprising of 10 Emergency Support Functions representing the seven government ministries, for their around the clock emergency response hours after the passing of Hurricane Irma and the days and weeks that followed such as the Police, Ambulance Department, and Fire Department, with their limited staff who performed accordingly during this natural disaster, and to those entities who are still assisting us today.
“Everybody had a role to play, and despite their own personal losses, they reported to work to serve their community.
“Our thoughts and prayers at this time are with those who are going through a very difficult period as they rebuild their lives and homes.
“May you and your family safely enjoy the upcoming holidays,” Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson told the Department of Communication (DCOMM) on Wednesday.