Weather Release Update
- September 3rd, 2009
- in Yachting
The Virgin Islands remains under a Tropical Storm Warning. This means that Tropical Storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 24 hours.
Weather conditions across the Virgin Islands will get progressively cloudy later today with heavy showers and thunderstorms expected tonight. Periods of strong winds near 40 mph mainly in gusts and squalls are also likely overnight. The strong winds and showers are likely to start between 8 and 11 pm, based on the latest information.
Sea conditions will remain rough with waves reaching 8 to 11 feet; mariners are therefore advised to stay in port until Erika clears the area. A flash flood watch is in effect for the Virgin Islands until Saturday. A flash flood watch means that conditions are favorable for heavy rain across the watch area which may lead to flooding.
At this time business owners should assess their surroundings and take measures to avoid flooding. At the end of the work day businesses should secure all important documents, electrical equipment and any other vital information in double heavy plastic garbage bags sealed with suitable heavy duty tape and move to areas where flooding is not likely.
Park vehicles where flood surge may not affect them and away from trees likely to fall. Any outdoor fittings which are not permanent such as hanging plants and signs should be brought inside.
Persons residing on boats or those with small crafts should ensure that they are properly secured in port.
The T.B. Lettsome International Airport remains open however there is a possibility that a closure maybe necessary later today. Persons with travel plans should contact their airline for schedule updates. Closures of sea ports will depend on the extent of the deterioration of sea conditions.
Acting Director of Public Works, Dr. Drexel Glasgow, indicated that inspections of the road network and major ghuts were done to determine potential problem areas, and would be re-addressed early tomorrow morning. The National Parks Trust is advising the public that, in light of the Small Craft Advisory, marine staff would not patrol the Marine Parks, and persons should refrain from using moorings in these areas for their own safety. Possible closure of land-based parks will be determined tomorrow. The staff of the BVI Tourist Board worked throughout the day to keep mariners, hoteliers and their patrons informed of the progress of Tropical Strom Erika.
District Officers on Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke were contacted and updated on the latest weather developments. DDM Volunteers were also given information on Tropical Storm Erika, and asked to stand by.
Residents should closely monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Erika and visit the DDM website at www.bviddm.com for further updates.