Barbados will now begin its shutdown procedures from 10:00 a.m. today, Monday, August 26, as the island prepares for the approach of Tropical Storm Dorian.
This means that only essential services in the private and public sectors should open today.
Minister of Home Affairs, Edmund Hinkson, has indicated that offices and ministries will close at 10:00 a.m. and persons are asked to be off the streets no later than noon. The last Transport Board bus to any destination will leave the bus terminals at 11:00 a.m.
According to the Policy Framework and Standard Operating Procedures for the Systematic Shutdown and Reactivation of Barbados, essential services in the private sector are: utility companies, supermarkets, mini-marts, shops, pharmacies, general stores including hardware stores and lumberyards, companies that provide public transportation and telecommunication providers.
In the public sector, the essential services include the Department of Emergency Management, the Barbados Meteorological Service, the Barbados Fire Service, the Barbados Defence Force, the Ministry of Health and associated medical facilities, the transportation network and agencies involved in telecommunications, electricity, water and natural gas and other services that are essential for life.
Minister Hinkson pointed that staff of the Sanitation Service Authority, the Ministry of Public Works and Maintenance, the National Conservation Commission and the National Housing Corporation will also be deployed early today to continue the clean-up ahead of the storm’s impact.
“All other government employees in services not essential would not be required to report for work,” the minister stated.
However, he stressed that all permanent secretaries, heads of the various government departments and institutions would be expected by this time, to ensure the security of government property within their respective domains.
At 5:00 a.m. Tropical Storm Dorian was centred near 11.9 degrees north, 56.3 degrees west and 225 miles east-southeast of Barbados. The maximum sustained winds have increased to 60 mph with tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 45 miles from the centre. The minimum central pressure is 1002mb.
The system continues to move towards the west at 14 mph and on this track, the centre of Tropical Storm Dorian is expected to pass over or near Barbados later today. Sustained surface winds between 50 to 60 mph with higher gusts are expected to spread across Barbados later this afternoon and persist into early Tuesday morning.