Non-essential Government offices on Grand Cayman closed at 12.30 p.m. today (Thursday, 26 August 2021), in advance of the passage of Tropical Depression 9 through the Cayman Islands area.
While the Sister Islands are already experiencing showers that are expected to continue until Saturday, the storm will most closely approach Grand Cayman, and is expected to pass directly over the island at 1a.m. Friday morning.
Tropical storm force conditions are expected to begin impacting the Cayman Islands at 7.30 p.m. this evening and continue through 6 a.m. tomorrow Friday morning.
As a result civil servants are being asked to stay in touch with their managers overnight and to monitor local channels.
With some eight inches in rain forecast over the next two days and wave heights during that period potentially reaching 10 ft, the National Weather Service has already issued flood and marine warnings.
Given that the ground is already saturated following the recent passage of T.S. Grace through the area, the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC), which brings together emergency response agencies from across Government and their private partners, is expected to partially activate overnight.
The NEOC is also opening three shelters at 4pm today, including Sir John A. Cumber Primary School, Red Cross Headquarters on Huldah Avenue, and Clifton Hunter High School in Frank Sound. SJACPS and CHHS are emergency medical centres, and CHHS is an animal shelter.
Additional shelters will be opened as needed, says Deputy Governor Franz Manderson who chairs the National Hazard Management Council.
While Tropical Depression is to pass through the Cayman Islands area as a mid-level Tropical Storm, Mr Manderson notes that severe weather systems are unpredictable and that this system is already displaying the potential for intensification.
would like to urge all persons, in particular those whose residences may have been impacted by Tropical Storm Grace, to immediately assess the safety of their residences and determine if it is suitable to ride out the storm. If it is not you need to decide now where you will shelter”, the Deputy Governor remarked.
Hazard Management Cayman Islands also offers some preparedness tips to members of the public. Residents should:
move any debris from their yards that can fly around and damage property.
secure a three-day supply of drinking water, non-perishable food and necessary supplies.
be prepared for any loss of power.
secure a battery or solar powered radio with them so that they can stay informed even if the power goes out.
Members of the public are urged to exercise extreme caution on the roads while completing their preparations. They are also reminded to avoid shorelines and refrain from non-essential travel after 6p.m. Accordingly the NHMC advises the residents to complete their storm preparedness measures with this timeframe in mind.
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