Tropical Depression #7 was upgraded to Tropical Storm Fiona on Thursday night. The Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS) has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the country.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions can be expected within 36 hours. According to MDS on Thursday, Fiona is expected to pass 60 miles south of the country on Saturday, however impacts are expected by Friday afternoon.
Fire Chief and National Disaster Coordinator of the Office of Disaster Management (ODM) Clive Richardson is calling on residents and the business community to be prepared.
ODM is advising boat owners/mariners to implement their storm/hurricane season action plans in order to safeguard their vessel.
Residents and businesses along the country’s coastal areas or flood-prone environs, should take action to protect property as such properties could be inundated by possible storm surge.
Coastal areas of Sint Maarten are mostly found on the south side of the island, and these are: Beacon Hill, vicinity of the Princess Juliana International Airport Road connection to Beacon Hill, Simpson Bay beach, Pelican, Philipsburg, the Great Bay beach (along the boardwalk), Point Blanche, Oyster Pond/Dawn Beach, and Guana Bay.
The building sector should implement their storm-ready plans. Construction activities, trenching and excavation works, are taking place throughout the country, and at building and construction sites, materials and debris laying around could pose a threat in the event of a storm. Contractors and builders are requested to make sites storm ready.
Food wholesalers and warehouse depots are requested to implement their storm ready plans for their establishment by
securing their properties.
Residents and the business community are advised to continue to pay keen attention to weather reports from MDS in the coming hours in order to be able to take the appropriate action when called upon to do so by the ODM/Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
In the meantime, residents and business owners are reminded to review their hurricane season preparations, and to make sure their property is storm/hurricane ready.
Additional information will be forthcoming from the ODM as the weather system approaches the Leeward Islands.
The community is urged to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm/hurricane strike by visiting the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”
Listen to the Government Radio station – SXMGOV 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane.
For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com or visit their social media page Facebook.com/sxmweather/