My Fellow Sint Maarteners and Visitors,
The Emergency Operations Center was officially activated on Thursday afternoon. During that meeting we discussed the latest information available and, in a statement, issued by the Office of Disaster Management, additional information would be forthcoming as of 6.00pm.
Based on an assessment of the 5.00pm information from the National Hurricane Center and the advice of the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS) on Thursday afternoon regarding Hurricane Jerry, the following decisions have been taken:
Friday, September 20 will be a normal business and school day.
Regarding Hurricane Shelters, there is no need to open the shelters as according to Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten, Hurricane Jerry is forecast to pass approximately 150 miles north, northeast from the country on Friday night.
The aforementioned actions have been closely discussed and synchronized with the authorities of the French side of the island.
The country remains under a Tropical Storm Watch which means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.
The potential impact for the country according to the MET OFFICE from Hurricane Jerry is that the total rainfall accumulations of 1 to 4 inches. Some rainfall is possible later tonight into early Friday with most of the significant showers expected by late Friday into Saturday.
Flooding and/or rockslides are possible in flood-prone areas and along hillsides. Residents and users of these areas are advised to be vigilant.
Gusty winds could accompany showers Friday through Saturday. From Friday evening it is possible for storm force gusts to be experienced as the system moves north of the local area.
Swells up to 12 feet are possible during the passage of Hurricane Jerry, mainly along the north and eastern shores of the country. A gradual deterioration in sea conditions can be expected from tonight and will be more visible by Friday afternoon. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
Beach erosion is possible in vulnerable areas. Sea-bathers are advised to stay away from the sea during the passage of Hurricane Jerry.
I would like to reassure the nation, that the Government has taken stock of its state of preparedness for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, and I also urge you to do the same.
I would like to remind residents and business owners, to use the opportunity to revisit your business, household and family preparedness plans and be ready to take quick action when the need arises.
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
The EOC will be meeting on Friday morning to review the latest weather information regarding Hurricane Jerry. Additional information will be provided by the Office of Disaster Management on Friday.
May God Bless Sint Maarten.