The tropical storm warning for Barbados was discontinued at 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 28, as Tropical Storm Matthew continues to move away from Barbados.
During a 7:00 p.m. press briefing, Director of the Department of Emergency Management (DEM), Kerry Hinds, advised that no all clear will be issued tonight.
In addition, she said the Ministry of Education had advised that all nursery, primary and secondary schools; the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic; the Barbados Community College; and Erdiston Teachers’ Training College will remain closed tomorrow, Thursday, September 29.
“The National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) never declares an all clear at night because we want to ensure the safety of the response personnel and the public,” Ms. Hinds explained. She again urged members of the public to remain indoors until the system passes and adhere to the advice given by emergency management officials.
There are presently reports of 21 fallen trees; five damaged houses; nine downed utility poles; and a number of isolated power outages across the island in the parishes of St. John, St. Michael, St. Joseph, St. Philip, St. James, St. Thomas and Christ Church.
She added that there were also reports of flooding in a number of areas including the Globe roundabout, Baxters Road, Fordes Road and Clapham in St. Michael; Charles Rowe Bridge, St. George; and East Coast Road, St. Andrew.
Ms. Hinds pointed out that the NEOC was receiving the reports of damage to houses, fallen trees, downed poles and flooding and was referring them to the relevant agencies. But, she stressed that first responders would not be heading outside to deal with any incidents overnight, but would do so when it was declared safe.
The Director has advised members of the public to continue monitoring the progress of the system, heed the warnings given by emergency management officials and remain indoors until further instructions are given by the Centre.
“Going out on the streets in these conditions may cause you to fall victim to the deteriorating weather conditions, so we are asking you to stay inside until it is fit to traverse outdoors,” she urged.
Although the storm warning has been discontinued, the Barbados Meteorological Service is warning that the system will continue to produce occasional showers and a few isolated thunderstorms throughout the night.
The system is moving towards the west near 15 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds at 65 miles per hour with higher gusts, extending outward up to 205 miles to the north east of the centre.