An official release from the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, on Monday afternoon, confirmed that “… tropical storm Danny weakened to a tropical depression as it passed well to the south west of St. Kitts and Nevis.”
Danny is no longer a threat to St. Kitts and Nevis, as it passed approximately 75 miles south of the islands.
Following the 5:00am advisory on Monday, the tropical storm warning for the two islands was discontinued, putting the country out of the range of the storm force winds. While no one wanted the hurricane or even the depression to hit St. Kitts and Nevis, there was some hope that much needed rainfall would be delivered to help ease the drought conditions and water shortage being experienced for months. It was recently reported by officials that in the whole of 2015 so far, only about 9 inches of rain had been recorded.
Recent rainfall averages have been between 25-45 inches annually.
However, as a precautionary measure, the government on the weekend announced that all public sector offices were to be closed and shortly after most private sector companies took similar measures to close their doors on Monday.
However, while some residents took to social media to berate the government for taking these safety steps, the federal government defended its actions by saying it was better to err on the side of caution.
“The federal government of St. Kitts and Nevis is thankful to God for protection and that the system did not pose a threat to life and property and takes this opportunity to thank residents for heeding the calls of disaster management officials to take preparedness actions as the storm approached”, said an official release Monday.
It added, “The government is particularly grateful to those businesses and institutions that joined in closing today as a precautionary measure. It is always better to err on the side of caution and rather be safe than sorry.”
The statement which was issued by NEMA explained that “The preparations in which we engaged during this period would stand us in good stead as we continue through this year’s hurricane season and should be considered a test of our various agencies and enable us to review and make any necessary adjustments, as we prepare in the event of other systems impacting our federation.”
NEMA urged residents to continue to be in a state of readiness until the season ends in November.
Flights into the international airport have re-started but boaters are still being asked to exercise caution.