All seaports on Dominica remain functional and open following the impact of Tropical Storm Erika, according to the board of tourism.
The Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Agency has also given Dominica’s Douglas-Charles Airport the go-ahead to resume commercial flights. Approval was given for aircraft up to the ATR 72, which is the largest aircraft utilized for commercially scheduled flights serving the island. LIAT, Seaborne Airlines and Winair are said to be in the process of re-establishing schedules to the airport once essential services are restored to the terminal building which was badly damaged. Information on firm dates for resuming commercially scheduled flights will be provided as details become available.
With the approval of the regulatory agency, this now means all of Dominica’s ports of entry prior to Tropical Storm Erika are now available for use by residents and visitors.
Within Dominica, the Ministry of Public Works and Ports has advised that all roads, except five, are passable. The conditions of these roads, however, do not hinder access to any of the major sites and attractions frequently visited. Where damages occurred there are temporary bypasses to facilitate travel, which will be in place until the permanent repairs are made.
Prior to the storm, there there were 94 properties with a total of 1,022 rooms. To date: 72 of 82 properties contacted are operational; 10 properties are not operational and of those 10, nine intend to be open for the high season. Efforts to gain information on the remaining 12 properties continue. In total, 76 percent of accommodations in Dominica are currently operational.
The board of tourism said that visitors are encouraged to check directly with their accommodations regarding the status of their properties and surrounding infrastructure. Some hotels are beginning their annual September/October closure early in an effort to clean up and re-group for the busy fall travel season. Tour operators are operational, although some are observing their seasonal maintenance shutdown.
Hiking trails continue to be assessed for accessibility and safety.
Nine out of 11 dive operators are functional. Visitors are encouraged to check directly with their dive operator regarding the status of their operations and surrounding infrastructure.
Among the island’s many sites, an update as of yesterday provided the following information:
The Emerald Pool: This site and trail has been unaffected by the storm. Trafalgar Falls: The trail to the falls is unaffected all the way to the viewing platform. Spanny Falls: This new emerging site is for the most part unaffected. Minor repairs to the viewing platform will be completed by early October. Jako Falls: This site and trail has been unaffected by the storm.
Also, Mero Beach: While there was some beach erosion, the beach was left almost unaffected by the storm. Cabrits National Park: This site and trail has been unaffected by the storm. Indian River: The site is unaffected at the boarding area, making Dominica’s longest river accessible for visitors interested in the scenic boat ride. Soufriere Scenic Tour: This entire tour has been unaffected by the storm.
As of yesterday, utilities have been restored to most of the island; more specifically: Water has been restored to 70 percent of the island and is increasing every day; temporary water treatment systems and tanks have been deployed to communities where the repairs are projected to take longer. Electricity has been restored to 97 percent of the island. Telecommunications (primarily cell sites) has been restored to approximately 98 percent of the island; the lone sites being where the mudslides destroyed equipment. Land line communications, television and Internet service has been restored to a majority of the island.