Emergency Ops Centre begins

The National Emergency Operations Centre will begin operations Saturday afternoon at the Fire Service Headquarters.

This follows the National Hurricane Committee’s declaration of the Hurricane Watch for the Cayman Islands effective 10am Saturday.

‘Everyone should now be taking very seriously the possibility that we could be severely impacted by Hurricane Dean. On the basis of current forecasts, the weather today should remain fair enough for the population to complete preparations. I urge that you continue that with a view to wrapping up by the end of today. At the same time, I urge everyone to remain calm and to hold high our traditions for considerateness and helpfulness to others,’ said NHC Chair Donovan Ebanks.

A key activity at this time is arrangements for departing visitors, with all hotel guests already evacuated from Little Cayman.

The effort on Grand Cayman is intensifying today, with chief officers for Cayman Airways, the NHC’s Evacuation Committee and Cayman Airways busily working on logistics. Under discussion will be evacuation of workers who wish to leave Little Cayman.

With regard to persons wishing to travel to the Cayman Islands, only Caymanians, permanent residents and persons on work permits will be admitted. This decision was taken Friday.

With the weather currently forecast to remain fair until mid-day Sunday, Cayman Airways representative said this morning the airline would continue to fly until possibly mid-Sunday. CAL will be issuing information as that situation develops, but have asked that persons do not call their reservations number if they do not already have a ticket.

Shelters will not open today and members of the public are asked not to congregate at shelter sites. The schedule of shelter openings will be made later today. Other arrangements are in train for various aspects of ensuring the public prepares for and comes through safely this currently forecast dangerous hurricane.

On its current path, Hurricane Dean is expected to pass close to the north of the Cayman Islands in the early hours of Monday morning.

Dean remains a dangerous Category 4 hurricane at this time, with some fluctuations in intensity expected over the next 24 hours. Weather reports have indicated that it may strengthen to a Category 5

All residents should continue to closely monitor the system via local media channels and should also bring The National Hurricane Committee announced this morning that the National Emergency Operations Centre will begin operations this afternoon at the Fire Service Headquarters.

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