Heavy downpours expected from Tropical Storm Maria – Persons with Interests along the Coastline Advised to take Precaution

ZIZ News…Sept 9, 2011 – Following an 11am advisory from the St. Kitts and Nevis Met Services, Tropical Storm Maria, travelling West Northwest at 17 miles per hour, was some 400 miles to the East South East of St. Kitts and Nevis.

The Met Office has advised that should Maria continue on her current track, the system may pass within 20 – 40 miles to the South of the islands overnight tonight into tomorrow, Saturday, September 10th.

Maria is presently a minimal storm, 175 miles broad and packing 45 mile per hour winds, but it carries within it heavy thunderstorm and rainfall activity. Storm surge, primarily along the Caribbean coastline, is a major issue, as well, and residents and persons with interests in low lying areas, fishermen and boat owners and operators, should take precautionary measures to protect their vessels and property, soonest.

Maria is forecast to remain a moderate storm as it passes St. Kitts and Nevis between 1 and 2am tomorrow morning, however, persons are reminded that heavy rainfall can be as impacting as any major hazard, especially when occurring over a short period of time. At present, between 3 and 8 inches of rain can be expected throughout the event, causing squally weather through most of the day on Saturday.

Employers are asked to kindly allow their staff adequate time today to engage in any last minute preparedness in order to keep families and properties safe and protected. A call has also been made to the business community to consider extending business hours for today, Friday 9th, as the forecast for tomorrow suggests that it will not be business as usual.

Residents are encouraged to continue to monitor local media for further updates and advisories and to refrain from taking unnecessary chances that may endanger life and limb. This includes staying off the roadways during impact so as not to hinder the response capability of the essential services, such as EMS and the Security Forces, not parking in known waterways and ghauts for any period, not attempting to drive through raging water and moving to higher ground, if residing in areas that are prone to flooding.

For more information on Tropical Storm Maria, please contact the St. Kitts and Nevis Meteorological Services at 465-2749 in St. Kitts and 469-9040 in Nevis.

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