BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday August 26, 2019 – Barbados is starting to feel the effects of Tropical Storm Dorian as the storm – the fourth for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season – gradually approaches the island.
And as the country remains on shutdown pending Dorian’s arrival, two other Caribbean governments have gone the same route of a national shutdown – St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines –, with the storm anticipated to impact them by early tomorrow.
In its 5 p.m. advisory, the Barbados Meteorological Services (BMS) said the storm, with maximum sustained winds near 60 miles per hour, was about 60 miles southeast of the island and moving towards the west-northwest at 14 miles per hour.
Wind speeds across the island had gradually increased during the previous two to three hours, with sustained surface winds of 50 to 60 miles per hour with higher gusts expected to spread across Barbados later this evening and persist into early tomorrow morning.
Cloudy to overcast skies and scattered showers have also started to affect the island, and conditions are expected to further deteriorate into tonight, with pockets of moderate to heavy showers, periods of rain and scattered thunderstorms.
The centre of Dorian is expected to pass over or near Barbados later this evening/early tonight.
A national shutdown was announced in St Lucia which is under a tropical storm warning as well as a hurricane watch, as hurricane conditions could possible affect the island as Dorian moves near the Windward Islands this evening and tonight and into the eastern Caribbean Sea tomorrow.
“Some strengthening is forecast during the next few days, and Dorian could be near hurricane strength when it passes through the northern Windward Islands on Tuesday, and it is expected to be a hurricane when it moves near Puerto Rico and eastern Hispaniola,” the National Hurricane Centre in Miami said in its 5 p.m. bulletin.
The shutdown in St Lucia took effect at 6 p.m. – eight hours after the shutdown in Barbados – ahead of the storm’s anticipated impact by 2 a.m. tomorrow. By the shutdown time, Tropical Storm Dorian was about 165 miles east-southeast of the island.
“We are asking everyone to stay indoors until the official announcement of the all-clear,” Prime Minister Allen Chastanet said at a press conference, adding that police have been ordered to stop anyone on the streets during the shutdown period.
“So we are asking everyone to please adhere to the rules that have been put in place and to observe the authorities that are entitled to make those decisions.”
A shutdown is also in effect in St Vincent and the Grenadines where Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves urged citizens to take all precautions to safeguard themselves.
Dorian is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 3 to 8 inches in the Windward Islands from Martinique south to St Vincent, including Barbados. Isolated maximum totals of 10 inches are possible across the northern Windward Islands. Rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches are expected from the Grenadines, south to Grenada and across Dominica. Rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches with maximum totals of 6 inches are possible across Puerto Rico and St Croix.
WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* St. Lucia
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* St. Lucia
* St. Vincent and the Grenadines
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* Grenada and its dependencies
* Saba and St. Eustatius
* Puerto Rico