Winds force take-off change

marciadottin, marciadottin@nationnews.com

Added 30 August 2010

takeoff

SCORES of Barbadians turned up outside the perimeter of the Grantley Adams International Airport yesterday to watch some of the aircraft take off in the “opposite direction”. A change in wind direction resulted in the planes taking off from the eastern end of the runway rather than the usual western end. The change in winds was also felt along much of the island’s coastline, which recorded some choppy seas. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Centre in Florida, United States, said yesterday that the latest weather system, Earl, has strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane as it barrels toward several islands in the eastern Caribbean and could become a major hurricane today. Forecasters warn Hurricane Earl could bring battering waves and storm surges up to three feet above normal tide levels in some areas. Hurricane warnings and watches had been issued in the north-eastern Caribbean islands (Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts/ Nevis, Montserrat and the Virgin Islands), and heavy rains could cause flash floods and mudslides. Earl has disrupted air travel in the region with both Caribbean Airlines and LIAT having to either cancel or re-schedule a number of flights mainly to and from Jamaica and Antigua. Authorities have closed both V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua, and Princess Juliana International Airport in St Maarten. (ES/AP)

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