Friday, 6 November – Small craft and sea bathers warning is in place as the Territory is experiencing rain events as a result of the interaction of a tropical wave with a mid to upper level low. These conditions are expected to further intensify into tonight and the weekend, especially on Saturday. The heavy rainfall could trigger the issuance of flash flood watches or warning.
Winds from this system are expected to come from the East North East at 14 to 20 knots with higher gusts during periods of heavier showers. Currently sea conditions are rough with swells 1.8 to 2.8m or 6 to 9ft. As a result a Small Craft Warning remains in place and small craft operators are advised to stay in port.
The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is also appealing to sea bathers to adhere to the warning issued. Sea conditions are hazardous and persons should refrain from being in or near the water. Strict adherence to lifeguards warning is required at beaches where lifeguards operate or where warning flags are posted.
Persons who have outdoor events planned for the weekend should be guided by the information contained in this press release and ensure that all efforts are made to secure property in the event of significant flooding or gusty winds. The Public Works Department is especially appealing to construction managers to ensure that all construction sites and loose materials are properly secured. Additionally, loose materials should not be placed in or near waterways as they could cause blockage or diversion to areas at risk.
Residents are being asked to take time out today to check their businesses and homes to ensure that areas vulnerable to gusty winds and flooding are protected and that cistern overflows are protected. Water should be channelled to appropriate drains to avoid destabilisation of hillsides and retaining structures. All drains around property should be checked and cleared. Any areas of public concerns should be reported immediately to the relevant authorities.
This large area of disturbed weather has been affecting many Caribbean islands over the past days. In Dominica, temporary bypasses that were installed after the impact of Tropical Storm Erika have been affected due to heavy rainfall which is expected to further increase today.
Overnight, Barbados, Trinidad, St Vincent and the Grenadines were all affected by heavy rains which resulted in flooding in low lying areas. The high winds which accompanied the weather system caused roof damage to one critical facility in St Vincent and the Grenadines. In Grenada one death was reported after a wall collapsed on a passing vehicle. Heavy rains caused widespread flooding in Saint Lucia which resulted in landslides and blocked roads. Low lying communities along the northern and eastern portions of the island were hardest hit. Some areas are also without electricity.
Further advisories will be issued by the DDM throughout the weekend on our website at www.bviddm.com or social media sites on Twitter and Facebook.