Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 14, 2021 (SKNIS): A high-level stakeholders meeting was convened today with private and public sector officials, non-government organizations, and regional counterparts, chaired by Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, who holds responsibility for the country’s Disaster Mitigation Council, as Tropical Storm Grace inches closer to the northern Lesser Antilles chain where it is expected to directly impact St. Kitts and Nevis and other islands on the night of Saturday 14th August 2021. St. Kitts and Nevis is in a state of readiness for any eventuality.
Tropical Storm Grace formed on Saturday morning (14th August 2021) in the Atlantic Ocean and grew stronger, while Fred weakened into a tropical wave as it headed into the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
A tropical storm warning has been issued for the northern Leewards Island including Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla, Montserrat, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Bartholomew (St. Barths), St. Maarten/St. Martin, the British Virgin Islands, the United States Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
Senior Meteorological Officer at the St. Kitts Met Services, Elmo Burke, said that starting Saturday night the country could begin to experience storm-like conditions going into Sunday. Such conditions may include storm-force winds, moderate to heavy downpours accompanied by thunderstorms, three to four inches of rainfall and possibly higher, and rough seas.
The country’s National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) headed by the National Disaster Coordinator, Abdias Samuel, has been activated at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
The disaster mitigation meeting included Attorney General Hon. Vincent Byron, Chair of the Disaster Mitigation Council; Hon. Wendy Phipps, Co-Chair of the Disaster Mitigation Council; National Disaster Coordinator Abdias Samuel; Deputy National Disaster Coordinator Claricia Langley-Stevens; Senior Met Officer Elmo Burke, Chief Fire Officer Everette O’Garro; and Assistant Commissioner of Police Adolphus Adams.
Ann Jean-Baptiste, Disaster Risk Management Specialist for US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) with responsibility for St. Kitts and Nevis, and Ms. Elizabeth Riley, Executive Director of CDEMA (Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency) also joined the meeting virtually.
Grace is the seventh named tropical cyclone of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Colorado State University has predicted 20 named storms for the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season of which nine (9) may develop into hurricanes and four (4) into major hurricanes.