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Published 27th August 2006, 4:13pm

Leader of Government Business, the Hon. Kurt Tibbetts, Addresses the Country

Good morning everyone.

The weather outlook at this time, based on current projections for Hurricane Ernesto, remains favourable for the Cayman Islands, and for that we are all very grateful.

As this morning's news reports have indicated, it is likely that the National Hurricane Committee will revise its position on the status of our national level of response during the course of today.

The NHC will also be issuing information later today as to projected conditions for tomorrow and the expected impact, if any, on normal workday operations.

I hasten to add, however, that we are not yet fully out of the woods, and that we should all continue to exercise care, particularly the residents of the Sister Islands.

As we have seen in this system -- and as we know from experience -- particularly with Hurricane Ernesto still to the south and east of us -- change is always possible and we are still somewhat vulnerable.

As Leader of Government Business, I have been encouraged by the way you have responded. I have just returned from the Sister Islands early this morning and I have seen first hand the high level of alertness of residents and businesses alike and, of course, of the District Commissioner and his team.

I should add that the District Commissioner and I have spoken this morning regarding the latest NHC position on Hurricane Ernesto's likely impact on those Islands. In light of this report, the District Commissioner will be postponing the opening of the Sister Islands shelters this morning until further notice. Residents of the Sister Islands should pay very close attention to news bulletins today and, perhaps, tomorrow.

Here on Grand Cayman, in discussion with NHC leadership and other Government officials, I wish to say that we have all been impressed, as well, with your diligence.

Members of the population of all three Islands have truly encouraged us in the way you have prepared for this our first storm threat of the season.

Although we have relatively good news at this time, we want to advise that you maintain this diligence until we are all confident that this storm system has passed our vicinity.

The National Hurricane Committee and various emergency services are continuing to watch developments of Hurricane Ernesto.

So please stay tuned for updates.

His Excellency the Governor, my colleagues in Cabinet and I wish to say many thanks to everyone - to you members of the public for your awareness and responsiveness, and to all members of the National Hurricane Committee who so diligently serve us.

God bless.