The Tropical Storm Warning will be discontinued early Thursday morning at 5.00AM as the tropical disturbance continues to move further away from Sint Maarten. However, it is expected that rain showers could persist tonight and as such residents should continue to exercise caution.
The tropical storm warning was issued as a precautionary measure due to the uncertainty of the weather system when it was approaching the Lesser Antilles.
Prime Minister and Chair of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Silveria Jacobs wanted to ensure that the nation was at a high state of alertness and preparedness due to the possibility of the system developing into a tropical storm/hurricane as it approached the island chain leaving no room for final preparations to be taken to protect life and property.
Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine on Tuesday and into Wednesday moved very quickly towards the Lesser Antilles varying between 23 to 25 miles per hour. Bearing this in mind, Prime Minister Jacobs activated the EOC at 1.00pm on Tuesday to ensure adequate preparations could be made for any eventuality.
On Wednesday in an early morning National Briefing to the community, Prime Minister Jacobs recommended to the business community to close at 11.00AM on Wednesday as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of employees and avoid persons being on the road after midday Wednesday, and commends the people of Sint Maarten highly for their compliance with the precautionary advisory.
The Emergency Services remained active and on standby while all Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) were at a heightened state of alert for any eventualities.
An announcement was also made about the cancellation of all CXC exams on Wednesday such as CAPE Pure Mathematics, Biology and Economics, and CSEC English B, and Caribbean History.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Division Exams will follow-up with the Exam Board in Barbados with respect to having the exams rescheduled for a later date.
The prime minister also announced during the morning briefing that military assistance was also approved in the event additional manpower and resources were needed to assist ESFs.
The system continues to move further away from Sint Maarten and it is expected that business activities including government services will resume tomorrow morning Thursday, July 30 barring any major developments in the weather.
The community is of course requested to stay tuned to the 5.00AM weather update for confirmation of such, when the Tropical Storm Warning is expected to be lifted.
Prime Minister and Chair of the EOC Silveria Jacobs would like to thank residents and the business community for adhering to the instructions and recommendations and taking the required measures to prepare for the passing of Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine.
Jacobs reminded residents and the business community to remain vigilant and prepared since we still have to go through the peak months of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season – August, September and October.
“I would like to remind residents and business owners, to use the opportunity to revisit their business, household and family preparedness plans and be ready to take quick action when the need arises as tropical systems tend to develop and/or change course in short notice,” Jacobs said on Wednesday evening.
The remaining storm names for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season are: Isaias, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, René, Sally, Teddy, Vicky, and Wilfred.
For those who would like to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm/hurricane strike, do visit the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”
In addition, you can also download the ‘Disasterprep Sint Maarten’ app for Android and Apple phones by going to the Google and Apple stores.
Listen to the Government Radio station – 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 St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com
Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season. Are You Ready? Be prepared this hurricane season!