By Dana Niland
The U.S. Virgin Islands continues to report progress with its hurricane recovery efforts as normal activities continue to resume across the territory.
Speaking to reporters at his Friday press conference, US Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth Mapp confirmed the territory will see an uptick in cruise ship calls this season, numerous beaches have been declared safe for swimming and fishing, and power restoration will continue over the next week.
The governor also disclosed that a $12.6 million contract has been awarded to Island Roads for St. Thomas’ Main Street Enhancement Project.
Governor Mapp commended the Department of Tourism, the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority and other public and private sector partners for preparing the territory to welcome cruise visitors next month.
St. Thomas is expecting 25 cruise ship calls in November, while approximately 90 calls are scheduled for St. Croix this season.
All of the island’s airports are operating commercially as well.
The Department of Planning and Natural Resources, which tests water samples weekly through its Beach Water Quality Monitoring Program, announced Friday that a large number of beaches across the territory are now safe for swimming and fishing.
In total, 81,000 cubic yards of debris have been removed from the Territory. To date, 1,145 blue roofs have been installed, with 148 completed on Friday.
Power restoration teams maintain their goal of restoring electricity to 90 percent of the territory by Christmas.
The Governor announced that he spoke with officials from telecommunications company Sprint, who confirmed they have technicians in the Territory and plan to rebuild and strengthen their infrastructure.
“We’re recovering from a disaster,” Governor Mapp said. “We’re all human beings and we’re making all of our best efforts.”