Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs, chairman of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), addressed the nation at noon on Wednesday, August 26 with respect to the approach of Tropical Storm Erika.
The Prime Minister stated the following in his national address:
“The country of Sint Maarten is under a Tropical Storm Warning. Tropical Storm Erika at 11.00AM Wednesday morning was located 335 miles east south-east from Sint Maarten. Some slow strengthening is possible.
“The current forecast as of Wednesday morning, has Tropical Storm Erika passing just south of Sint Maarten on Thursday.
“Tropical storm force winds are expected in our area from late tonight through Thursday.
“Erika is to produce rain of 2 to 4 inches with a maximum amount of 8 inches across the islands. This can lead to flooding and land slippages and mudslides, and therefore residents in hillside areas should exercise caution after heavy rainfall.
“Erika is expected to produce waves up to 13 feet near the center of the storm. Some coastal flooding and beach erosion is possible on Thursday as the storm passes at its closest to the country.
“Residents living along coastal areas should take measures to protect property.
“All citizens, residents and businesses should make final preparations to protect life and property and have these completed by early this evening. You recently had the experience of preparing for Danny, those same preparations are also required for Tropical Storm Erika.
“The Government of Sint Maarten Emergency Disaster Management system has taken all necessary measures to safeguard the country. These measures were taken prior to Tropical Storm Danny and remain in place with respect to the approach of Tropical Storm Erika.
“A request for military assistance has been requested.
“The White & Yellow Cross reports that its two day care facilities will be closed on Thursday. Reopening on Friday will be determined based on weather conditions.
“Contractors and builders are called upon to secure building sites this afternoon before the end of the day. Implement your hurricane plans as you did prior to Danny.
“Schools and day care centres are to be closed on THURSDAY, August 27 due to the passing of the tropical storm. Additional information will be forthcoming after the storm has passed and an assessment has been made.
– All casinos and restaurants must be closed by midnight tonight.
– All businesses are to stay closed on Thursday, August 27 until the all clear has been given by the Prime Minister.
– All Government offices will be closed on Thursday, August 27.
“Continue to follow the latest reports regarding Tropical Storm Erika via local radio stations; the Government Website (www.sintmaartengov.org) and the Government Facebook Page where official information will be posted as it becomes available. For weather reports visit the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten at www.meteosxm.com
“On Thursday the Prime Minister will address the country at 12.00PM.
“Take the necessary measures required to protect your home and business,” Marcel Gumbs, Prime Minister of Sint Maarten said on Wednesday in a national address to the nation.