Tropical Storm Dorian Makes Little Impact on Barbados, St Lucia

Prime Minister Mia Mottley joined by (from left) acting Attorney General, Wilfred Abrahams; Minister of Health and Wellness, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic; Minister of Martime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey; Minister of Home Affairs, Edmund Hinkson as they report on the impact of Tropical Storm Dorian.

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Tuesday August 27, 2019 – Tropical Storm Dorian moved across Barbados late last night and across St Lucia this morning without causing any significant damage, and is now heading into the Eastern Caribbean Sea.

Warnings and watches have been discontinued for Barbados and St Lucia which were virtually unscathed, but at 8 a.m., a tropical storm warning remained in effect for Martinique, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Puerto Rico; and a tropical storm watch was still in place for Dominica, Grenada and its dependencies, Saba and St. Eustatius, and the Dominican Republic from Isla Saona to Punta Palenque and from Samana to Puerto Plata. A hurricane watch is now also in effect for Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic from Isla Saona to Samana.

The centre of Dorian passed across the southern tip of Barbados at about 10 o’clock last night and the island experienced sustained wind speeds of 38 miles per hour with gusts up to 55 miles per hour. Similar conditions persisted for the following few hours with a gradual decrease thereafter.

But no major incidents, damage or injuries were reported and the all-clear was given at 5 a.m., with provisions being made for the reopening of businesses and the public service at 10 a.m. The Grantley Adams International Airport reopened at 7 a.m.

During an early morning press briefing at the National Emergency Operations Centre, Prime Minister Mia Mottley thanked Barbadians and all agencies mobilized to ride out the storm for their compliance and commitment to ensuring that persons were safe.

However, she reminded residents that there were still three full months to go in the season, and urged them to continue their preparedness efforts, and cleaning up the country.

“The system allowed us to mobilize and focus on some areas….  The work done on Sunday made a significant difference in our state of readiness,” she said.

Mottley was joined by acting Attorney General, Wilfred Abrahams; Minister of Home Affairs, Edmund Hinkson; Director of the Department of Emergency Management, Kerry Hinds; and other ministers who all gave agency updates.

Overall, Hinds indicated that there were reports of fallen trees, poles and power lines in Christ Church, St. Andrew, St. George, St. John, St. Michael and St. Thomas, while there was one report of a lifting galvanize, resulting in a lifting roof and an evacuation in St. Peter.

All reported incidents were assigned to members of the Roving Response team, the Barbados Light and Power and the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance. Water outages were also recorded in some parishes as a result of power failures by the Barbados Light and Power Company Limited. 

Meanwhile, the Ionics Fresh Water Ltd. Desalination Plant, which was taken offline during the storm, is now back in operation and water tankers are being dispatched to areas still affected by water outages.

Reports also indicate that everything went well at the shelters, where a total of 103 people sought accommodation. Cleaning crews will be deployed to clean the shelters, in preparation for the resumption of regular activities.

The Royal Barbados Police Force also stated that there were no reports of injury or incidents, while Minister of Housing and Lands George Payne said the 18 houses that were put on standby in the event of damage, were not utilized.           

No issues were reported at the Grantley Adams International Airport or seaports, nor was there any damage to fishermen’s boats. On the tourism side, there were no reports of any incidents.

After passing Barbados late last night, Dorian storm passed over St Lucia this morning, and there were no initial reports of any major damage. But the national shutdown is still in effect.

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet urged citizens to stay indoors until the all-clear was given by the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO). He said NEMO would issue a statement soon.

At 8 a.m., Tropical Storm Dorian was about 15 miles west-northwest of St Lucia, with maximum sustained winds down to 50 miles per hour, and it was moving towards the west-northwest at 13 miles per hour. But forecasters say slow strengthening is expected during the next 48 hours, and Dorian is forecast to be near hurricane strength when it moves close to Puerto Rico and eastern Hispaniola tomorrow.

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