- Written by FREEMAN ROGERS
- Published: 15 September 2017
While the Tortola Pier Park was under construction during 2015 and 2016, leaders assured residents that it was built to withstand powerful winds. Hurricane Irma, the largest storm recorded in the Atlantic Basin, proved them right.
Though the TPP sustained some damage, it fared much better than most of the rest of the territory: Most roofs and windows held, and the dock itself is in good enough shape to accommodate cruise ships, Premier Dr. Orlando Smith said during a meeting with business owners at the park on Thursday morning.
Asked when the cruise industry would return, Dr. Smith said he hopes to have it back “as rapidly as possible.”
“That also depends on the support of the general community,” he said. “If everybody were to pitch in, we’d be able to get this place cleaned up in a hurry and we should be able to be ready for the November [start of the tourism season].”
Also at the meeting, businesswoman Delma Maduro asked about the possibility of stationing security at the TPP, and the premier agreed. “Today?” Ms. Maduro asked. “Yes,” the premier responded.
Still, the park was not without some damage. One of the hardest hit businesses was Therapy Works BVI, which is now waterlogged after a piece of roof blew off in the storm. Owner Jerry Smith said that the business likely will operate largely out of its Virgin Gorda office — which fared well in the storm — until its TPP location is back up and running.