NHC Downgrades Warning

08-JUL-2005: 7am – The Hurricane Warning for Grand Cayman has been discontinued as of 7:00am this morning.

The Hurricane Warning for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman has been downgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning as of 7:00 am as those islands could experience tropical storm force winds from the southwestern periphery of Hurricane Dennis over the next few hours. As Dennis continues to move away from our area, it is expected that the risk of those tropical storm force conditions will abate by mid-morning.

In turn, it is expected that the Tropical Storm Warning for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman will be discontinued by 10:00am and the All Clear issued for all three islands.

“This was a close call and we are thankful to have been spared,” said National Hurricane Committee (NHC) Chairman Donovan Ebanks. “This is particularly so when we consider the fact that Dennis intensified so rapidly and continues to do so even as it moves away.”

Hurricane Dennis is now a strong Category 4 hurricane. As of 4:00am, maximum sustained winds were 135mph and some further strengthening was still anticipated before the hurricane makes landfall in western Cuba late today. Overnight, the hurricane continued to hold well to projections.

According to District Commissioner Kenny Ryan, conditions overnight were generally no worse than expected with some rainfall and light winds. All three islands can however expect to receive considerably more rainfall over the next day or two from this system.

All government and private sector businesses in Grand Cayman should be able to resume normal operations this morning and on the Sister Islands later today. Shelters remain open for the time being but government primary to high schools are closed.

The National Hurricane Committee will issue a further bulletin before noon today.