Editorial for September 30: Weather info came too late

As we’re all slogging through the
floodwaters and muck that Tropical Storm Nicole is dumping on us, the Caymanian
Compass has to wonder why Government took so long to get the word out Tuesday
morning about this tremendous rain maker.

We had an advisory on Tropical
Depression 16 on our website at www.caycompass.com shortly before 7am Tuesday
and continued to monitor the storm with updates throughout the morning.

By 9am we were asking amongst
ourselves when Government was going to acknowledge Grand Cayman was in for a
drenching.

That word didn’t come until after
we posted an update on the website at 10.15am. Hazard Management sent out a
notice advising residents – via the media – at 10.24am followed by a notice
from Government Information Services at 10.50am. Frankly, those notices were
too little, too late for the people of the Cayman Islands. And we have to
wonder why there is a duplication of effort within Government. Why can’t the
Meteorological Office send communication directly to the media houses?

By that time everyone knew we were
in for a rainy pounding and the question became, when are the schools going to
close?

That information was sporadic on
Tuesday and even more disorganised on Wednesday as children, parents, teachers
and administrators got ready for school only to be told after 7.30am that
schools would indeed be closed for the day. In some instances students and
parents were already at school.

We understand the decision to close
schools because some areas were and remain flooded.

In all of this we have to wonder
why Government and its agencies are so slow in getting information to the
public.

Our weather, hazard management and
education officials have to be better prepared to get the message out to the
public without all the confusion.

It appears this system is going to
be with us for a few days. We implore the agencies that make weather decisions
to do so in a timely fashion.

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