ODM: TS Gonzalo Strengthens Further; Businesses advised to close at 12.00PM; Residents urged to complete storm preparations before nightfall; Country under a Tropical Storm Warning

The Department of Disaster Management (ODM) advises businesses to close their operations at 12.00PM today Monday and allow their employees to go home in order to complete storm preparations.


Businesses should also use the opportunity to secure their premises. Anything that could blow away should be secured eg. yard furniture, plastic containers, garbage bins should be brought indoors etc.


Weather conditions are forecasted to further deteriorate this afternoon as Tropical Storm Gonzalo approaches our area.


Motorists are advised to avoid using the public road network as of 4.00PM Monday. This is for your own safety.


Tropical Storm Gonzalo at 5.00AM was located 165 miles south east of Sint Maarten. The storm has also strengthened with 60 mile per hour winds and higher gusts, and further strengthening is forecasted during the next 48 hours and could become a hurricane Tuesday morning.


The country is under a Tropical Storm Warning. Gonzalo has started to move through the Leeward Islands Monday morning and is in the vicinity of Antigua & Barbuda.


Tropical storm conditions are expected according to the MDS to reach Leeward Islands/Sint Maarten late Monday afternoon and evening; expected rainfall between four to eight inches with isolate maximum totals of 12 inches.


A heavy rainfall advisory and a flood warning are in effect for the country as well as a rough sea advisory.


Under a Tropical Storm Warning; the warning means that there could be sustained wind speeds of between 39 and 73 miles per hour within 24 to 36 hours or less. Any preparedness measures should be completed as soon as possible under such a warning.


Contractors should secure construction and building sites.


For weather updates visit the site of MDS at: www.meteosxm.com
ODM will continue to monitor the progress of the storm. Additional updates will be provided.