Government urges citizens, residents to take precautions in light of approaching tropical storm



Basseterre, St. Kitts – Citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis have been asked by the government to take all the necessary precautions in ensuring that they are in a state of preparedness for the latest weather system disturbance that goes by the name Tropical Storm Maria and which “could pass dangerously close to the Leeward Islands on Tuesday (Sept. 19) as a hurricane,” according to meteorologists.

As of Sunday, a hurricane watch is in effect for Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat and Anguilla. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. It is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.

St. Kitts and Nevis, although spared the full brunt of Hurricane Irma on Sept. 6, is still reeling from damages suffered that were estimated in cost to be over ED$53 million.

Chair of the National Disaster Mitigation Council and deputy prime minister, the Honourable Shawn Richards, has reiterated the call for all citizens and residents to adequately secure their property, livestock and pets, to stock up on nonperishable foods and water, batteries for electronic devices such as transistor radios and to stay up to date with the weather advisories.

Prime Minister the Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris said that the government continues to monitor this latest development with respect to Tropical Storm Maria and that in light of the ongoing independence calendar of activities, the government will keep the country informed of any changes.

According to the Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Services, Maria is “expected to produce rainfall totals of 2-6 inches with maximum amounts of 8 inches possible across the Northern Leewards during that time. These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods.