WATCH: Police Chief gives Islanders operational update on Storm Ciarán

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AROUND four times as many police officers than usual will be working through the night as part of the emergency services’ response to Storm Ciarán.

Police Chief Robin Smith reiterated his “key messages” to Islanders earlier this afternoon, as Jersey prepares to face gusts up to 95mph – particularly in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

Mr Smith said that the Island was going to see “a very significant storm with very high winds”.

He explained: “We have had the latest update from Jersey Met and again, it’s incredibly precise. It may shift from one hour to the next but there’s a degree of confidence that it will start to get particularly windy, in the early evening, tonight.

“The eye of the storm, if you like, [will be] at its strongest around 4am tomorrow morning into 9am.”

He continued: “As of midnight, we will stand up our first Storm Ciarán situation room. That will be led by police but it will also include all key partners, including all the emergency services, living utilities, government and infrastructure so that we are able to respond on the night as calls come in.”

He revealed that there will be 40 officers – around four times more than usual – working through the night, in addition to colleagues from other emergency services and government departments.

There will also be “a dedicated line” that Islanders can call, although this was still being established as of 1pm this afternoon.

Mr Smith continued: “Of course, you can always dial 999 and that’s what I would urge people to do if there was an emergency.

“There are really two key messages – that one, schools are closed on Thursday. We will make a decision as quickly as possible to inform parents and carers as to Friday. The [other] message, as was given again by the Chief Minister and myself yesterday is to stay at home.”

Commenting on how severe the storm might be, he added: “I am hoping for the best, but I’m preparing for the worst.”

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