Cayman under tropical storm watch, schools closed Friday

Eta's projected five-day path as of Thursday afternoon. - Image: National Hurricane Center

For the latest information on storm activity in the Cayman Islands, as well as information on how to prepare for hurricane season, visit Storm Centre.

Cayman has been placed under a tropical storm watch as storm Eta is set to move over the northwestern Caribbean in the next six to 12 hours, the National Hurricane Center has said.

The NHC, in its advisory Thursday afternoon, said Cayman’s National Weather Service has issued the watch which means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

Closures/Postponements

PwC Junior Circuit Tournament has been postponed until 19-20 Dec.

 

Plastic Free Cayman beach clean-up on Sunday is postponed to 22 Nov.

 

Customs and Border Control’s collections office and warehouse on Owen Roberts Drive will be closed on Saturday. Office hours will resume on 10 Nov.

 

The offices of the Water Authority – Cayman in Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac will be closed Friday.

The government announced that its schools would be closed on Friday. Private schools across Grand Cayman have also been informing students and parents that they will be closed on Friday.

Civil servants have been advised to work from home, if possible.

The latest predicted track puts the storm further away from Cayman than earlier forecast. The storm is forecast to pass 81 miles northwest of Grand Cayman on Saturday afternoon.

The depression is moving toward the north-northwest at almost 8 miles per hour, and a turn toward the north is expected during the next several hours.

“A turn toward the northeast is expected on Friday, with this motion continuing through Saturday night. On the forecast track, the center of Eta will emerge over the Caribbean Sea tonight and approach the Cayman Islands Saturday and Saturday night,” the NHC said.

Maximum sustained winds are 35 mile per hour with higher gusts.

“Strengthening is forecast, and Eta is expected to regain tropical storm strength on Friday,” the NHC said.

The National Weather Service said Cayman can expect 6-10 inches of rainfall on Friday.

Original story: Government schools will be closed Friday as Cayman prepares for the passage of Tropical Depression Eta, which is forecast to intensify this weekend as it makes its way across the central Caribbean Sea, government officials confirmed.

The Education Ministry announced the closure in a statement issued Thursday afternoon, adding that parents of private-school students will be advised by individual schools about plans for Friday.

The ministry said that schools “have been advised to take all necessary precautions to secure their facilities to mitigate any damage that may occur due to the heavy rains”.  School leaders, teachers and parents will be advised of any further steps that may need to be taken if the storm develops further, the statement said.

A severe weather warning has been issued by the Cayman Islands National Weather Service advising the public of flooding, rough seas and high winds in the coming days.

Hazard Management Cayman Islands, in a statement Thursday afternoon, said the remnants of Tropical Depression Eta, currently over Honduras, are expected to be over the Gulf of Honduras by Friday evening.

Watches and warnings
•Marine warning is in effect for the Cayman Islands
•A flood warning is in effect for the Cayman Islands
•NWS issued a strong winds advisory

The US National Hurricane Center forecasts  Eta to be about 79 miles west of Grand Cayman, and 146 miles west-northwest of Cayman Brac, by Saturday afternoon and over central Cuba by Sunday morning.

“On its current forecast path, Eta is expected to briefly support tropical storm force winds over the Cayman Islands by Saturday afternoon,” Hazard Management said.

Emergency shelters remain closed, but the Red Cross Shelter is on standby, it said, adding that other shelters are being prepared should the need arise as a result of localised flooding.

The Humane Society has issued an appeal for the public’s assistance to provide temporary fosters for its shelter animals, in anticipation of forecast flooding.

Customs and Border Control also issued a statement Thursday, announcing that on Saturday it will be closing its collections office and transit shed (warehouse) on Owen Roberts Drive “due to the projected path of Tropical Depression Eta”. Normal office hours will resume on Tuesday, 10 Nov.

Hazard Management said residents should exercise increased caution on flooded roads as excessive rain has led to numerous potholes opening up, and the flood waters make these more difficult to detect.

Periods of torrential rainfall will result in limited visibility on the roads and residents are encouraged to limit travel on the roads to essential journeys from late Friday and into Saturday.

Wave heights are forecast to reach 5 to 7 feet on Friday, and 7 to 9 feet on Saturday.

“Large waves are forecast to begin affecting the west side of Grand Cayman beginning on the weekend (likely Sunday). A Marine Warning is Effect for Thursday and Friday. All vessels should be in Safe Harbour on Saturday,” it added.

Strong and gusty winds, possibly reaching tropical storm force at times, are forecast for late Friday and through Saturday.

Hazard Management said the saturated state of the ground could lead to a higher likelihood of some trees toppling.

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