Isaac to Pass Closer to St. Kitts & Nevis than Earlier Expected


Ferry services between St. Kitts and Nevis were suspended early Wednesday, with local boat operators removing their vessels from the water, to a well-known boat yard in the west of St. Kitts. Ferries such as the Sea Breeze and the Caribe Surf, along with a number of pleasure boats were observed already secured at the facility, some as early as Tuesday. 


There were also heightened activities at local supermarkets and gas stations, with residents filling up their tanks and securing much needed food supplies. 


Government and private businesses also closed earlier today, to facilitate their employees who were urged to head home to complete all necessary preparatory work. 


NEMA on Wednesday morning cautioned residents of the twin-island nation to take the passage of Tropical Storm Isaac with the greatest amount of seriousness. 


National Coordinator of NEMA, Mr. Carl Herbert, in a broadcast on Tuesday, said his agency has been in close collaboration with the Meteorological Services in Basseterre, to monitor the approach of the storm, which was continuing to move in a westerly direction. 


At 11:00am the centre of Isaac was located near Latitude 15.9 North and longitude 59.3 W. It then was moving toward the west near 21mph and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. On the forecast track the centre should move through the Leeward Islands this evening. 

The island of St. Kitts, is located at latitude 17.30 N, and longitude 62.80 W. Nevis is located at latitude 17.10 N, longitude 62.35 W, approximately 3 km south-east of St. Kitts. 

The maximum sustained winds are near 45mph with higher gusts. Strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours and Isaac could become a hurricane by Thursday morning or Thursday night.

Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the centre.


Based on discussions with the MET Office, the NEMA official said it was important to remind residents that the conditions are expected to deteriorate even further from 2:00pm Wednesday afternoon, with the effects of the storm being felt as the evening approaches and later into the night and Thursday morning. 


Mr. Herbert appealed to residents to ensure that those who are driving vehicles, do not park in ghauts and water courses, and avoid passing through these areas especially when there is a strong flow. Herbert said his agency does not want anyone to get injured or killed. Householders have also been asked to secure any items that can be easily blown away and become missiles, causing damage to property and persons. Close attention should also be paid to the local media for further advisories. 


He said this is important because sometimes what is expected or predicted, in terms of the movement of the storm, changes. For example, on Tuesday, it was expected, based on the track, that the storm would pass approximately 70 miles south of the country, but now based on some changes, the storm is now likely to pass within 50-60 miles to the south of St. Kitts and Nevis.  


“Please be vigilant and not be on the roads when the storm is passing and to ensure that children especially are safe and secured. Store water, in the event that the water system or supply gets silted and please continue to monitor the system so that in the event of further changes, the public could be aware,” said Herbert.





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