GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – As of 5.00am Friday morning, Tropical Depression #13 is forecast to pass about 40 miles north of Sint Maarten late tonight and into Saturday. Weather conditions are likely to start deteriorating from Friday afternoon, according to the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS). The Fire Department/Office of Disaster Management (ODM) Fire Chief/National Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson, is calling on residents to pay closely to possible changing weather conditions for Friday afternoon and to continue to closely monitor the progress of the depression and prepare for the possibility of tropical storm conditions. Residents in areas prone to flooding or near the coast should finalize preparations to protect life and property. Motorists are advised to stay off the road during heavy rain events if you do not have to be out; hillside residents are advised to remain indoors during heavy rainfall due to possible rock and landslides. Motorists are advised to stay away from flood prone areas during heavy rainfall such as: LB Scot Road – from Emilio Wilson Park until Cake House. Zagersgut – from Petro Plus Gas Station until Seventh Day Church. Wegelegen Road Cayhill – from Wegelegen road Roundabout until One Tete Loke Roundabout. Beacon Hill Road – from Sunset Bar & Grill until beginning of White Sands Road. Rhine Road – from the intersection of University Drive until intersection of Rio Grande. The potential hazards for the country according to MDS are: RAINFALL: The tropical depression could produce about 1 to 3 inches of rainfall from this evening through Saturday over the local area. This rainfall could result in flooding inlow-lying areas and rock falls. Some of this rainfall may be heavy at times and may be accompanied by thunderstorms. WIND: Windy conditions are expected over the local area increasing to tropical storm force gusts by this evening through Saturday. SEAS: Moderate to rough seas can be expected by tonight with swells up to 8 feet. A small craft advisory will be issued later this morning. Small-craft operators and sea-goersare advised to exercise extreme caution.The country remains under a Tropical Storm Watch. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the watch area within 48-hours. The general public should continue to monitor the updates from the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten and ODM. The remaining storm names for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season are: 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, you can 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. ODM reminds residents and business owners to remain vigilant for the hurricane season and to have plans in place for quick action when the need arises – storm ready! 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! # # # Roddy Heyliger (Email: email@example.com; Cell: +1 721 520-4217)Sint Maarten Department of Communication (DCOMM)