Tortola celebrates water ‘miracle’
Road Town residents were shocked and gratified Monday night by what some have dubbed a modern-day miracle:
They turned on their taps after 9 p.m., and water came out.
The flow, which typically slows to a stop by about 8 p.m. in the capital, reportedly lasted throughout the night and into Tuesday morning.
“I don’t usually bother trying to turn on the water after Wheel of Fortune,” one giddy resident said Monday night. “But tonight, I just had a feeling, and I turned it on. I couldn’t believe my eyes. After I brushed my teeth for about 20 minutes, I got on the phone and started calling everyone I know.”
Not only did the water flow continue all night, but it reportedly came out at full pressure.
“This is amazing,” another resident said. “My kids had always believed that water at night was impossible. You should have seen their faces.”
As word spread, Road Town residents spilled out onto the streets to celebrate.
Down Main Street, spontaneous water parties broke out.
One resident brought out a tarp and spread it down a hillside in her yard. Then she set up a running hose at the top of it.
By midnight, dozens of children had lined up to take a slide.
“This is great!” the woman said. “I can’t remember the last time I actually got to take a shower before going to bed.”
Nearby, several teenagers were offering discounted carwashes for $4 each.
When the water was still on at 1 a.m., a motorcade started in Road Town.
Horns blaring, about 200 vehicles made their way through the streets of the capital before proceeding around the territory.
Though they passed through many villages that remained without public water, residents there joined in anyway.
“I just wanted to celebrate with all the Road Town residents,” a Ridge Road woman said. “I hardly ever have public water, day or night. But if they have it at night in Road Town, maybe we’ll have it here one day, too.”
Meanwhile, several bar and restaurant owners said that business was booming because of the phenomenon. One proprietor held a “dishwashing party.”
“My employees were so thrilled to actually have running water, they stayed all night and washed every dish in the place. Then they washed the floor, and the walls and the bathrooms. And customers helped!” she said.
A few residents questioned the source of the water. Some were quick to praise the Communications and Works Ministry, which has been managing the Baughers Bay desalination plant for about a year.
“What a wonderful job the ministry is doing!” a resident said. “Who would have thought any government would be able to provide water to residents around the clock? Amazing!”
Others pointed to a higher power.
“This is not the work of man — this is nothing short of a miracle,” a preacher said. “I just hope the public gives credit where credit is due.”
At the time, the preacher was busy preparing his church for an impromptu thanksgiving service.
“We’re going to sing, worship and praise God for tonight’s water,” he said with a grin. “Nobody’s going to be sleeping anyway.”
But others were more sceptical.
“Running water at night is not natural,” said a longtime Road Town resident, who maintained that the phenomenon was a sign of “evil times.”
He warned of coming tidal waves and other flood-related disasters. “Last year’s floods apparently didn’t get our attention!” he said.
But he needn’t have worried. Though the water was still flowing at dawn on Tuesday, the pressure was low by 7 a.m. Thirty minutes later, the flow had dwindled to nothing, and the water remained off for much of the morning.
But many residents hardly noticed, as they were still giddy from the unexpected windfall.
“I filled my bathtub, and then I filled my bathroom floor. Now, my entire basement is a swimming pool,” a Road Town businesswoman said. “I’ve got so much water I don’t know what to do with it!”
Disclaimer: Dateline: Paradise is a column and occasionally contains satirical “news” articles that are entirely fictional.