US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association

Government House Briefing Provides Updates on Tropical Storm Bret

Emancipation 175th Commemoration Activities begin June 25

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS — During Tuesday’s Government House briefing, Communications Director Richard Motta Jr. provided an update on Tropical Storm Bret and its impacts to the U.S. Virgin Islands over the next few days. Tropical Storm Bret is struggling but the conditions are favorable for development into a hurricane as Bret approaches the Lesser Antilles.

Director Motta said as Tropical Storm Bret crosses the Lesser Antilles it will enter dry air and stronger wind shear which will prevent Bret from gaining intensity and may be reduced back to a Tropical Storm. Currently, the closest Bret is forecast to pass near the U.S. Virgin Islands is early Friday morning, approximately 100 miles southwest of St Croix and with tropical storm force winds going out 45-50 miles from its center. Rain accumulations are projected to be 1-3 inches.

Due to the distance away from the U.S. Virgin Islands no storm surge is forecast but the National Weather Service in Puerto Rico will be issuing maritime alerts a needed. The US Coast Guard has not indicated any change or forecast in the post conditions.

As a measure of caution and preparedness the VITEMA Emergency Operations Centers will be activated at 8 a.m. on Wednesday.

VITEMA reminds everyone to be prepared, stay informed, and be vigilant. Sign-up for Alert VI to receive key weather alerts and notices about the U.S. Virgin Islands at

Emancipation 175

The Territory is just weeks away from the 175th Commemoration of July 3, 1848, Emancipation, and the 175th Emancipation Commemoration Committee is hosting a week of events starting on Sunday, June 25 with interdenominational ecumenical services on all three islands, where churches across the territory are encouraged to incorporate Emancipation into their respective services.

On June 26 the naming of Emancipation Drive will take place in Frederiksted, Saint Croix and Living Legends of Culture receptions will be held on all three islands June 27, 28 and 29.

On July 3:

  • Emancipation Day Parade at the Post Office, Frederiksted, at 9:30 AM.
  • Tribute to the Ancestors – Libation at Buddhoe Park at 10 AM.
  • Official Emancipation Ceremony at Buddhoe Park at 11 AM / Official Emancipation Ceremony and “Unshackled” Music Festival in Freedom City at 8:30 PM

For more information visit the 175th Emancipation Commemoration Committee’s website at or by calling (340) 727-7175

Line of Credit

In other news, the Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority on Thursday, June 15, closed on the $100 million line of credit that the 35th Legislature approved for the Government of the Virgin Islands (GVI) and made its first draw against the loan for $45 million to repay advance funds taken from the General Fund.

The $100 million line of credit is with First Bank of Puerto Rico and will be used to further the Territory’s disaster recovery efforts.

The $45 million advance funds from the General Fund were paid by the GVI on behalf of the V.I. Water and Power Authority to VITOL as payment toward WAPA acquiring some of the supplier’s liquid propane gas (LPG) assets.

WAPA is applying for federal funding to reimburse the $45 million paid to VITOL on their behalf from the line of credit by August.

The Bryan-Roach Administration is investing in the Territory’s people, infrastructure and future through transparency, stabilizing the economy, restoring trust in the government and ensuring that recovery projects are completed as quickly as possible. Visit