Home News Local news Y2K BUG DIDN'T BITE



All the shouting is over, and what do we have? A peaceful, quiet and serene little island. At least, that's the way things looked as the sun rose Saturday morning on St. Thomas harbor.
The only signs of revelry even were two abandoned champagne bottles sitting side by side on the waterfront.
The millennium bug, probably the most over-hyped insect in history, had failed to bite. Even a little nip. Still, so much effort went into preventing his sting that he cannot be wholly disregarded.
The island's emergency services and the banking community, both more than adequately prepared for Y2K exigencies, had comment:
Col. Gene Walker, director of the Virgin Island Territorial Management Agency, Monday morning declared himself a "happy man." VITEMA coordinated and directed all Y2K preparedness matters.
The agency, and deputies of all critical government offices, maintained a command center in St. Croix throughout New Year's Eve and through the Jan. 1 morning hours. Because the governor was on St. Croix to attend New Year's festivities, the command center was moved there in case a state of emergency should have to be declared.
"We are a blessed set of people," Walker said, in obvious relief that VITEMA's readiness had not been called into action. The biggest threat Walker himself felt was a lack of sleep, a small price to pay for the calm that ushered in the new year.
However, we can't become complacent, he said. Right now the agency is awaiting feedback from local government facilities that were closed over the weekend, though he doesn't anticipate problems.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has been on island to assist VITEMA, will still be here for a couple more days, Walker said.
"The next thing we have to look forward to is 02/29/00," the director said. In other words, leap year. It is, again, not known how the little critter will accept the new date.
And, in the banking world, "Y2 who?" said attorney Tom Bolt, executive vice-president of the Virgin Islands Bankers' Association. "We had a meeting at 9 a.m. Monday and everything is functioning normally – ATMs are working, direct deposits are in order, checks are being cashed; the banks are fine," Bolt concluded.


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