Emily regains strength

While Hurricane Emily continues along a path that would take the eye of the storm 92 miles south-southwest of Grand Cayman, the cyclone is again a Category 4 hurricane, and is expected to have sustained winds of nearly 150 mph when it makes its closest point of approach to the islands about 4am Sunday.

If the storm continues on its present track, however, Grand Cayman is only forecast to have sustained winds of 64mph, which are tropical storm force. A small shift to the north of the Emily’s path would bring worse conditions.

The Meteorological Service forecasts that Grand Cayman will begin experiencing cloudy conditions from late this evening, progressing into showers and a number of squalls, lasting through tomorrow afternoon. Tropical storm force winds will begin after midnight and occur through late morning.

Emily is expected to continue on its west-northwest track and to maintain its speed of approximately 18mph for the next 24 hours.

Wind direction on Grand Cayman will be out of the ENE initially, veering to ESE by early Sunday morning. Waves may be 8-10 feet or higher, while rainfall of between 3-6 inches is expected and may lead to some flooding in low-lying areas

The Sister Islands are not forecast to experience any tropical storm force winds, but can also expect showers, squalls, gusty winds and rough seas-also accompanied by waves of 8-10 feet.

The National Hurricane Committee continues to urge all interests to closely monitor news reports. Residents and businesses should be prepared for inclement weather beginning mid-day Saturday.

Five hurricane shelters opened at 9am today, one in each of Grand Cayman’s five districts. The open shelters are North Side Civic Centre; East End Civic Centre; Bodden Town Primary School Hall; University College (Community College) Hall; John A. Cumber Primary School Hall in West Bay.

Shelters in the Sister Islands opened at 7am Saturday, including the Aston Rutty Centre and the West End Primary School in Cayman Brac and the Public Works Department Building in Little Cayman.

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