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TD #9 gets a name; Tropical Storm Isaias forms packing 60mph winds

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Courtesy of The Bahamas Department of Meteorology

#AtlanticBasin – July 30, 2020 – Tropical Depression number nine, forecast to become the earliest ‘I’ named storm in history has finally earned that name: Isaias.  In the wee hours of Thursday morning, TD#9 evolved from a tropical depression to a Tropical Storm with wind gusts up to 60 mph.

The National Hurricane Center, at 2 a.m. informed that Puerto Rico should expect strong rain bands from the tropical storm which has triggered storm watches and warnings for at least 10 Caribbean region countries.

Tropical Storm Isaias slowed from racing across the region at nearly 30 mph to now pacing at 21 mph in a north-westerly direction.  Hispaniola, home to Haiti and the Dominican Republic will experience storm conditions this morning and worse, the storm could become a killer.

“Isaias will produce heavy rains and potentially life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides across the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, northern Haiti, and over the southeastern Bahamas.”

The Turks and Caicos Islands, which has been on Tropical Storm Watch since Wednesday at 12 a.m. has announced a national lockdown by noon Thursday and shelters are due to open at 4pm.

The southeastern Bahamas will experience conditions on Thursday afternoon and the central Bahama islands are predicted to shoulder powerful 60 mph wind conditions throughout the day on Friday.

“Tropical storm conditions are expected in the Central Bahamas beginning Friday morning and are possible in the northwestern Bahamas beginning late Friday.”

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The National Hurricane Center advisory informs that British Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, northern Haiti, Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos and eastern Cuba will receive between three and six inches of rain.

Even higher rainfalls are forecast for The Bahamas; from four to eight inches. Life threatening surf and rip currents are expected from today due to approaching Tropical Storm Isaias. 

“Swells generated by Isaias will be affecting portions of the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico through today. These swells are forecast to reach the north coast of the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas this morning.”

The National Hurricane Center, in the latest advisory informs:

The Tropical Storm Warning for St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, St.

Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius has been discontinued.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…

* Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra

* U.S. Virgin Islands

* British Virgin Islands

* Dominican Republic entire southern and northern coastlines

* North coast of Haiti from Le Mole St Nicholas eastward to the

northern border with the Dominican Republic

* Turks and Caicos Islands

* Southeastern Bahamas including the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long

Cay, the Inaguas, Mayaguana, and the Ragged Islands

* Central Bahamas, including Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island,

Rum Cay, and San Salvador

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…

* Northwestern Bahamas including Andros Island, New Providence, Eleuthera, Abacos Islands, Berry Islands, Grand Bahamas Island, and Bimini

Interests in Cuba and the Florida peninsula should monitor the progress of this system.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

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Bahamas News

NEMA Director orders activation of shelters in GB, Bimini

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NASSAU, The Bahamas – Director of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Captain Stephen Russell, Wednesday, ordered the activation of shelters in Grand Bahama and Bimini as a precautionary measure against potential impacts from Tropical Storm-Force conditions associated with Hurricane Ian.

 Six shelters were activated in Grand Bahama (two in Freeport, two in Eight-Mile Rock, and one each in Pinedale, Seagrape and Holmes’ Rock) and one in Bimini (Gateway in Bailey Town) at 10am. Captain Russell also announced that Floodwater Rescue Teams have been pre-positioned in West End and Alice Town as yet another precautionary measure.

 The National Emergency Management Agency’s National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) remained on Partial Activation Wednesday and will remain Activated throughout the response phase. Teams from the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, The Bahamas Department of Meteorology, the Department of Social Services, and the Department of Local Government, have been in communication with Island Administrators, Local Government officials and Disaster Consultative Committees in the north-western Bahamas.

 During Partial Activation, certain NEOC Team Members (known as Emergency Support Functions) are activated to monitor certain risks and/or hazards in areas that could be impacted by weather conditions associated with the passage of a storm, and as a means of communicating with/supporting disaster managers and planners and disaster consultative committees on the ground in those areas.

 The NEOC is responsible for executing emergency management and ensuring the continuity of operations for the entire country.

 Meanwhile, a Tropical Storm Warning remained in effect for the north-western Bahamas as at 12noon Wednesday with residents of Grand Bahama and the Biminis being advised to prepare for the possibility of sustained Tropical Storm-Force winds tonight through Thursday. Residents in the remainder of the northwest Bahamas, including Abaco, the Berry Islands, North Andros, New Providence and Eleuthera, could experience winds gusting to gale-force during this period.

 (A Tropical Storm Warning means that Tropical Storm conditions could be experienced in the mentioned islands within 36 hours.) 

 Forecasters at The Bahamas Department of Meteorology said rainbands associated with Hurricane Ian, will continue to affect the islands of the northwest Bahamas today and Thursday. Residents in these islands are asked to exercise extreme caution as the rainbands will bring severe thunderstorms, gusty winds and possible tornadic activity.

 Total rainfall amounts of 4 to 6 inches are expected with isolated amounts of up to 8 inches through Friday. As a result, severe, localized flooding is possible in low-lying and flood-prone areas.

Residents of low-lying, flood-prone areas of the north-western Bahamas, are asked to take special precautions during any heavy and/or prolonged rainfall event, and to exercise extreme caution in the event there is flooding. One such precautionary measure is to avoid driving in or through floodwater, where possible, or playing in floodwater (children) as floodwater can contain numerous hidden hazards. These include:

  • Downed power lines.
  • Sewage and other contaminants.
  • Large Holes.
  • Sharp objects that can cause injury and lead to infections.
  • Objects such as lumber, vehicles, debris.
  • Carcasses of dead animals, in addition to rodents and snakes.

Exposure to contaminated floodwater can result in:

  • Wound infections.
  • Skin rash.
  • Gastrointestinal illnesses.
  • Tetanus (Lock-jaw).

If you do come into contact with floodwater, you are advised to:

  • Wash the area with soap and clean water as soon as possible. If you do not have soap or water, use alcohol-based wipes or sanitizers.
  • Wash clothes contaminated with floodwater or sewage water in hot water and detergent before re-using them.

If you must enter floodwater, protect yourselves by wearing rubber boots, rubber gloves and goggles. The same goes for Standing Water.

The National Emergency Management Agency reminds residents to pay close attention to the Alerts, NEWS ITEMS, Public Forecasts, Severe Weather Warnings and/or Special Weather Statements issued by The Bahamas Department of Meteorology.

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Caribbean News

Storm Troubles as September heats up late

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

September 27, 2022 – Hurricane Ian moved near the Cayman Islands and was forecast to intensify rapidly and hit Cuba as a major hurricane late on Monday and then strengthen into a Category 4 hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico before striking the west central coast of Florida on Wednesday.

Now millions in Tampa Bay, Florida are bracing for impact after a hundred year absence of any major storm.

So far, authorities in Cuba have suspended classes in Pinar del Rio province and planned evacuations on Monday as Ian gained strength and approach Grand Cayman and the Cuban provinces of Isla de Juventud, Pinar del Rio and Artemisa. Cuba was also shutting down its train system ahead of the worst weather.

Senior Specialist at the United States National Hurricane Center Daniel Brown told The Associated Press early Monday that “Cuba is expecting extreme hurricane force winds, life-threatening storm surge and heavy rainfall.”

In the Cayman Islands, members of the government and opposition were working together to ensure that people were made as safe as possible and provided with supplies, plywood, and in some cases sandbags so that they could safely weather the storm, according to Premier Wayne Panton in a video on Sunday.

As of Monday, September 26, most of the customers on the island of Bermuda have received power with just about 200 properties still without electricity.

Last week Hurricane Fiona brought heavy rain and strong winds to the island causing about 29,000 customers, more than 80 per cent of the island’s sole power provider, Bermuda Electric Light Company to be without electricity on Friday morning.

The island has also started its restoration process and announced that it has reopened for business.

Meanwhile, in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, more than a million people in the two countries are still without power and running water after the passing of Hurricane Fiona over the Islands last week.

A growing number of businesses in Puerto Rico, including grocery stores and gas stations, are temporarily closing across the territory as the outages drag on, sparking concern about the availability of fuel and basic goods.

As of Saturday, at least 16 people had died because of Hurricane Fiona, according to Puerto Rico’s Department of Health, which is tracking hurricane-related deaths on the island.

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Bahamas News

Foreign Affairs Press Release – Advisory on Hurricane Ian for Bahamian Nationals in South Florida

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THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

 

PRESS RELEASE 

 

Advisory on Hurricane Ian for Bahamian Nationals in South Florida 

 

#TheBahamas, September 26, 2022 – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to advise all Bahamian nationals who are currently on the western coast of the state of Florida to exercise caution and pay close attention to weather advisories related to Hurricane Ian.

Please monitor local broadcast stations for weather updates or check the National Hurricane Center’s website at nhc.noaa.gov.

All Bahamian nationals with special difficulties or concerns about the approaching storm are encouraged to call The Bahamas Consulate General in Miami at 786-7955826.

As appropriate, the Ministry will publish additional information on our website and social media channels.

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