Cayman braces for rain

Residents and visitors of the Cayman Islands braced themselves this morning for heavy rains and high seas as Tropical Depression Olga began degenerating into a broad area of low pressure with a few squalls.

Satellite image showing Olga at 5.45am Thursday morning. Image: Accuweather

Satellite image showing Olga at 5.45am Thursday morning. Image: Accuweather

The last advisory from the National Weather Service in Miami on Olga was posted at 10pm Wednesday putting Olga about 235 miles east of Grand Cayman.

Maximum sustained winds were near 30mph with higher gusts.

Olga was expected to produce one to two inches of rainfall over Jamaica and Eastern Cuba, possibly producing life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Olga will pass between Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac sometime Thursday morning and it will bring some adverse weather to our area.

Olga’s status when it passes closest to the Cayman Islands will determine the wind conditions. If it passes as a remnant low – meaning the system no longer has a closed circulation – as expected, Mr. Sambula said the winds will probably only be 15 to 20 miles per hour, with gusts possibly up to 30 miles per hour.

However, if Olga were to pass the Cayman Islands as a tropical depression with a closed circulation, it could bring sustained winds between 30 and 39 miles per hour, Mr. Sambula said.

Elsewhere, at least nine people were killed and thousands were forced to flee their homes after Tropical Storm Olga struck in the Caribbean nation of Dominican Republic.

Meteorologists from the US National Hurricane Center in Miami said that while the storm has weakened down to a tropical depression after hitting the Hispaniola Island, surrounding areas remain threatened by flash floods. This warning has seen the government move out the remaining residents in the region to safer regions.

Government officials revealed that the Santiago province was the hardest hit by the storm with heavy rains causing overflowing of the Yaque River. The storm has also caused numerous landslides in the region claiming at least one life in Puerto Rico.

The storm is expected to move westwards through Jamaica and move over the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico by the end of the week. Overall figures estimate that around 13 lives were lost in the region with 10 deaths in Dominican Republic, two in Haiti and one in Puerto Rico.

Olga also happens to be the just the 10th named storm to develop in the region following the conclusion of the Atlantic Hurricane season since the records began to be kept way back in 1851.