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Stay inside, Abrahams warns as showers, strong winds felt from Elsa


Stay inside, Abrahams warns as showers, strong winds felt from Elsa
Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Abrahams (right) and DEM director Kerry HInds. (FILE)

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Tropical Storm Elsa is now making its presence felt.

The first named storm of the 2021 hurricane season started kissing the south and eastern coasts of Barbados moments ago, with showers and strong gusts being the main characteristics.

The system is moving towards Barbados at 28 miles per hour.

Public health and emergency authorities are now hoping it doesn’t get much more serious than that.

“We are now feeling the effects from the outer bands of the storm,” Minister of Home Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams said minutes ago, after the latest briefing from the Director of the Barbados Meteorological Services, Sabu Best.

The worst of the effects of Elsa may still be ahead, however, since the centre of the cyclone is expected to pass nearest to Barbados in the next two hours, bringing with it sustained tropical force winds of 45 to 60 miles per hour.

Those tropical force winds also extend more than 100 miles outward from the eye of the storm, meaning Barbados is still far from out of the woods.

Abrahams reported a brief power outage in the parish of St Philip and advised Barbadians the Barbados Water Authority had commenced planned shut-offs to protect its equipment.

The minister also advised Barbadians to stay off the streets, and lambasted any attempts to gather video for social media platforms.

“Our concern now is the wind so we are paying special attention to those feeder bands,” Abrahams said.

Around 26 Barbadians had sought refuge at shelters before midnight last night, and Director of the Department of Emergency Management, Kerry Hinds revealed moments ago that number had swollen to 54 overnight.

“We haven’t received any reports of flooding or damage yet, but the wind and rain has picked up so we will keep people updated when that information comes,” she said during the 5:30 a.m. update.

Abrahams also advised citizens to report as much as they could to the DEM’s emergency operations centre, since that info would be used in the early hours of today when they start their post-storm assessment.

Heavy winds were being reported in St Joseph and St Andrew, as well as Bath, St John. (BA)