Last bus at 5 p.m.; supermarkets closing early as weather system approaches
GOVERNMENT OFFICES CLOSED from as early as 2:30 p.m. today as Barbados remains under tropical storm warning as Potential Tropical Cyclone #9 approaches the island.
In addition, the Transport Board has advised that the last bus for today will leave the terminals at 5 p.m.
The Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry has also recommended that private sector entities employ a staggered shutdown approach with offices closing at 2:30 p.m.; retail stores at 3:30 p.m. and gas stations and supermarkets and other essentials by 4:30 p.m.
These recommendations follow detailed discussions with stakeholders in the National Emergency Operations Centre in light of the approach of the system.
At 2 p.m. the centre of Potential Tropical Cyclone #9 was located near 13.1°N, 55.1°W or about 295 miles (475 km) east of Barbados. The system is moving westward at 17 mph/ 28 km/h and on this track, the center is expected to pass near or over Barbados early Friday morning.
Maximum sustained winds remain near 35 mph (56km/h) with higher gusts. Minimum central pressure of 1007mb (29.74 inches).
Deteriorating conditions with pockets of moderate to heavy showers, thunderstorms and gusty winds are expected to spread across Barbados from tonight and into tomorrow.
Rainfall accumulations of 3 to 5 inches (75 to 125 millimeters) and possible isolated higher amounts are forecast.
In addition, large easterly swells of at least 2.5 to 3.0m (8 to 10 ft) are also forecasted to accompany the system.
Thus, a Small Craft Warning will be in effect from 6 p.m today.
Some flooding is likely in low-lying areas. Thus, residents are urged to be on the alert and take all necessary precautions.
This information will be updated at 5 p.m. today. This information can be obtained by dialling 976-2376 or by accessing barbadosweather.org. (BGIS/NB)