Rough waves create unsafe conditions along waterfront

Update, Sunday, 1.45 p.m.: The harborfront road has reopened to traffic.

Update, Sunday 9 a.m.: Part of Harbour Drive remained closed Sunday morning as cleanup crews worked on clearing debris from the road. Sea conditions along the waterfront were somewhat milder than on Friday and Saturday, but high waves persisted.

Part of the road had reopened Sunday morning, but police cordons remained along Harbour Drive, from the junction of Fort Street to Boilers Road.

Much of the piles of sargassum seaweed that had washed onto the road had been cleared by Sunday morning.

The National Weather Service advised that similar weather conditions are expected to continue through Christmas Eve.

Chief meteorologist Kerry Powery said Sunday morning that moderate to fresh northeasterly winds and rough seas would continue across the Cayman area for the next 24 hours as a high pressure system strengthens over the southern United States.

Winds are forecast to east to northeast at 15 to 20 knots, with higher gusts.

A small craft warning remains in force, with waves heights of 6-8 feet expected throughout today and tomorrow.

Update, Saturday, 5 p.m: The harborfront road in downtown George Town remained closed late Saturday afternoon as high seas continued to impact the south and west coasts of Grand Cayman.

While the eastern end of the island remained relatively calm, the coast along George Town, Seven Mile Beach and West Bay experiencesd large waves and sea surge.

On Friday night and through Saturday, waves battered the coastline from South Sound, all along Harbour Drive in George Town and the length of Seven Mile Beach and up to West Bay.

Staff at Royal Palms on Weat Bay Road were shoring up the beach entrance to the bar with sandbags and wooden barriers as sargassum seaweed and sea water covered the bar’s car park Saturday morning.

Further along the coast, on West Bay’s North West Point Road, waves could be seen breaking as high as the roof of the Macabuca bar and restaurant.

Meanwhile, back in George Town, sea water flowed ankle deep in front of the Elmslie Memorial Church on Harbour Drive.

According to the official forecast from the Cayman Islands National Weather Service late Saturday, rough seas and wave action are likely to continue through the rest of the weekend and into Monday.

A small craft warning is in effect for Saturday and Sunday with wave heights of 6-8 feet expected and large swells possible along the west coast. Moderate winds of 15-20 knots, with higher gusts, will continue as a high pressure system strengthens over the Gulf of Mexico, the forecast said.

Original story: Parts of the George Town waterfront remained closed Saturday morning due to high waves that impeded travel and created unsafe conditions.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service advised motorists to avoid North Church Street to South Church Street until further notice.

The area experienced high tide and rough waters Friday through Saturday.

RCIPS encouraged drivers to use alternative routes such as Walkers Road when traveling downtown.

The Cayman Islands National Weather Service warned of swells along the west coast and implemented a small craft warning. Wave heights were forecast at 6 to 8 feet.