Businesses Close Early Due to Passage of TS Isaac
Weather conditions expected to deteriorate this afternoon
By LK Hewlett
Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Activity
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Aug. 22 -- A number of business places and government offices have closed early as a result of the impending storm.

SKNIS issued the following release earlier today, “All Government Workers and the public in general are advised by the Human Resource Management Department that as a result of the impending passage of Tropical Storm Isaac, permission is given to close all government offices and departments at 1p.m. today, Wednesday, August 22, 2012.

This is being done in the interest of the safety of all Public Servants and the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis takes this opportunity to encourage all persons to take the necessary precautionary measures to ensure the safety of all during the passage of the storm.”

The Observer understands that several businesses closed at noon while others indicated that they were “watching the weather”.

LIAT was forced to cancel 15 flights today and advised that due to the pending closure of several airports in the LIAT network “there will be further disruptions to LIAT’s schedule tomorrow, Thursday August 23. Any additional affected flights will be published in a subsequent advisory”.

The airline advised persons travelling tomorrow to check the LIAT website, LIAT Facebook Page, their local LIAT office, or to call the LIAT Call Centres.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) issued a statement asking residents in St. Kitts and Nevis to secure property and avoid parking in waterways as the island braces for the passage of Tropical Storm Isaac.

“Information from the Meteorological Office at the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport revealed that as of 11 a.m. today (August 22, 2012) Tropical Storm Isaac was located at latitude 15.9 degrees north and longitude 59.3 degrees west, which is approximately 220 miles south east of St. Kitts and Nevis. Winds were sustained at 45 miles per hour (mph) with gusts up to 60 mph. The tropical storm was moving West at 21 mph,” National Disaster Coordinator, Carl Herbert said. He urged persons to closely monitor the storm.

Herbert informed that weather conditions are expected to deteriorate throughout the day with stronger effects being experienced at approximately 6 p.m. lasting throughout the night and early morning. He implored persons to take the storm seriously and remain indoors during its passage.

“The centre of the storm is likely to pass within 50 to 60 miles to the south of St. Kitts and Nevis. We are asking residents please to be very vigilant. We are also asking you not to be on the road when the storm is passing and to ensure that your children are safe and secure. We are asking you to store some water in the event that the water system gets silted and we are asking you to please continue to monitor the system ... in the event that there are any changes - you can be aware and we will provide the necessary guidance.”

According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to become a hurricane by Thursday.

The next full update on the storm is expected to be issued at 5:00 p.m.