The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in session in September discussing the potential threat of then-Tropical Storm Jerry to St. Maarten.
PHILIPSBURG–St. Maarten Disaster Coordinator and Fire Chief Clive Richardson said he is thankful that St. Maarten has been spared the full onslaught of a major hurricane for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially ends today, Saturday, November 30.
The six-month season was busy from mid-August through October. An average hurricane season has 12 named storms, of which six are hurricanes and three become major hurricanes (category three, four or five).
According to the United States (US) National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this year marks the fourth consecutive above-normal Atlantic hurricane season.
The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season produced 18 named storms, including six hurricanes of which three became major hurricanes. The three major hurricanes this season were Hurricanes Dorian, Humberto, and Lorenzo. Hurricane Dorian, which peaked at 185 miles per hour (mph), became the second strongest hurricane on record in the Atlantic basin in terms of wind speed.
The St. Maarten’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and the Office of Disaster Management (ODM) were activated and/or issued advisories to the public on three occasions this season. These were related to then-Tropical Storm Dorian in August, and Hurricane Jerry and Tropical Storm Karen in September.
“I am thankful that as a community we were able to make it through this hurricane season without any major incidents.
“Our nation’s disaster management organisation of 10 Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) were activated several times due to a potential threat … to properly prepare the nation for any storm impact.
“I would like to say thank you to our residents, guests and the business community for taking all the necessary precautions and being diligent in their preparations during [the – Ed.] 2019 season.
“I am asking everyone to stay diligent, as there are other natural disaster events, or man-made disasters, that can occur. Always be prepared by having an emergency kit and plan in place similar to the preparations that you take during the hurricane season.
“May you and your family safely enjoy the upcoming holiday season,” said Richardson in a press release on Friday.