Saturday, April 13, 2024

Tropical Storm Dorian’s expected power punch missed Barbados

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The first cyclone of the 2019 hurricane season to reach the Caribbean Sea weakened as it approached Barbados late last night around 11 p.m. and though some power outages and wind damage occurred in the southern parts of the country, Barbadians was once again saved from the catastrophic forces of Mother Nature.

In the first advisory since the storm actually reached Barbados, the Barbados Meteorological Services’ Acting Senior Meteorologist Sabu Best said that to Barbados’ blessing, the system was never able to develop a proper “eye” due to its interaction with pockets of dry air in the Southern Atlantic Sea on its approach to Barbados, which prevented convection, the lifeblood of any storm.sabu-best

He advised, however, that the system, though weakening, is still packing 50 miles per hour winds, and feeder bands at the rear of the cyclone could still lead to flooding in low-lying areas.

“A tropical storm warning is still in effect,” he advised from the Department of Emergency Management’s headquarters at Warrens, St Michael moments after the centre of the system passed to the southern tip of the island. 

“Tropical storm conditions are still occurring. Dorian has weakened slightly, with maximum sustained winds now near fifty miles per hour, and winds extend to 45 miles. Barbados experienced winds of 38 miles per hour. Similar conditions are likely to persist over the next few hours,” Best suggested.

He revealed a high surf advisory has been continued, but a small craft advisory remains in effect until 6 a.m. today.

Still, persons living in Barbados did have some difficulty, with the Barbados Light & Power Company reporting outages in southern districts, and residents calling in on radio stations to say some physical damage to houses had occurred.

General Manager of the Barbados Water Authority, Keithroy Halliday said the utility company was dealing with outages at Hampton and Bushy Park in St Philip, but he was confident both facilities could be put back up and running just after an all-clear is given.

Hampton has its own generator, and the BWA will use a portable generator to get Bushy Park back online.

Minister of Home Affairs, Edmund Hinkson warned Barbadians that the island is not yet out of the woods and they should remain inside. “This is not a time to joyride or a time for adventure,” he said.

“The centre of the storm passed over the south of Barbados about an hour ago, and this is in keeping with what the Barbados Meteorological Service had been telling us. It is weakening, which is great news, but we are not out of danger yet. The tail can still bring rainfall, thunder and lightning,” the minister advised.

He revealed 38 hurricane shelters had been made operational yesterday, with 17 being occupied by 102 persons seeking shelter. “The Government of Barbados is still on top of this situation. We are monitoring as best we can, and we need the continued cooperation of Barbadians to stay in their homes and off the streets,” Hinkson added.

Director of the DEM, Kerry Hinds said the Central Command Centre at Warrens continued to take in information from 25 different agencies across the island, and thankfully, only reports of slight damage and no loss of life had been disseminated. (BA)

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