After an assessment of the Friday morning forecast regarding Hurricane Jerry from the National Hurricane Center and the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS), heavy rainfall is expected starting late Friday afternoon and going into Friday night. Hurricane Jerry is expected to pass 140 miles from the country at it closest.
The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) chaired by Prime Minister Hon. Leona Romeo Marlin, in an EOC meeting on Friday morning, has taken the following decisions as a precautionary measure and for public safety:
All schools as well as afterschool community programs are to close by 2.00pm;
All businesses are to close by 2.00pm. The following businesses are allowed to be open until 4 p.m. namely, Supermarkets, Restaurants & Hardware Stores.
In addition, exception is being made for the operations of the Airport, Harbour and Hotels, however management is asked to use their discretion considering the risks involved.
Government offices will close at 2.00pm; only emergency services and other relevant departments related to the aforementioned will remain open.
Three shelters will open at 3.00pm for those whose homes are not storm-ready; these shelters are the St. Peters Community Center; the Christian Fellowship Church in Cole Bay; and the Dutch Quarter Community Center (Dacca Road/Zorg en Rust);
The aforementioned measures are being taken in order to ensure that the public is safe with respect to the anticipated heavy rainfall associated with the passing of Hurricane Jerry.
Weather conditions according to MDS are expected to deteriorate late Friday afternoon and into Friday night with an improvement by midday Saturday.
Persons should remain indoors due to the risk associated with possible street flooding in low lying areas, as well as possible rock falls and landslides along hill side roads.
Remaining off the road network will also facilitate the first responders and the Ministry of VROMI to deal with any possible emergencies that should arise.
Additional information will be forthcoming during the course of the day or when necessary.
The country remains under a Tropical Storm Watch.
The potential impact for the country according to MDS, is total rainfall accumulations of 1 to 4 inches. Most of the significant showers are expected by late Friday into Saturday.
Persons are urged to visit the Government website to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to adequately prepare for a storm/hurricane strike.
Visit the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane
where you will be able to view the Hurricane Readiness Guide and download your “Hurricane Tracking Chart.” Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane. And for official weather-related updates visit the website of Meteorological Department of St. Maarten, www.meteosxm.com