St. Maarten remains under a Tropical Storm Warning which means that tropical storm conditions are expected within the next 24-hours or less.
Tropical Storm Erika is South of the islands and is making its track across the island chain. Erika is barely a tropical storm at this point in time according to the Netherlands Antilles & Aruba Weather Service and it is expected to weaken today, but some slight intensification is also still possible later today into Friday morning.
Erika is expected to pass 65 miles South of St. Eustatius and Saba during the morning hours.
Governor Franklyn Richardson ordered all schools closed today Thursday as a precautionary measure due to the anticipated change in weather conditions. Normal school activities are to resume on Friday.
The Emergency Operations Center will continue to monitor weather conditions today Thursday in case any special advisories are necessary during the course of the morning or afternoon hours.
Shower and thunderstorm activity is expected to increase as Erika passes South of the islands. Sea conditions are expected to deteriorate further. Gusty winds to tropical storm force may be expected, but not sustained.
Motorists are requested to exercise a level of caution due to the aforementioned possibility of localized flooding in low lying areas during anticipated heavy thunderstorms. Residents living in hill side areas should be vigilant for rock falls that may be caused by any heavy rainfall.
The Police are advising motorists to exercise caution in the Madame Estate area, Pointe Blanche and Beacon Hill road with respect to possible rock falls and sand blocking the Beacon Hill road making it impassable. Public Works clean-up crews are on standby to clear any possible debris caused by any inclement weather.
Residents are advised to continue to monitor radio broadcast for official information coming from the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and for weather reports issued by the Netherlands Antilles & Aruba Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center.
At 8.00am the poorly organized Tropical Storm Erika was located at 16.9 degrees North and 63.1 degrees West or about 40 miles South West of St. Kitts.
Tropical Storm Erika has sustained wind speeds of 40 miles per hour with higher gusts and is moving West North West at 7 miles per hour. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 230 miles from the center of the system.