Press conference with Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and officials from the Department of Emergency Management. (PMO)

With the approach of Tropical Storm Elsa, authorities are highly concerned about low lying areas along Barbados’ coastline and the potential for storm surge damage.

Director of the Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU), Dr. Leo Brewster, emphasised this earlier today, while providing an assessment of the coastal areas at a press conference at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, chaired by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley.

Dr. Brewster told the nation that following discussions with the Barbados Meteorological Services (MET Service), a number of areas were of great concern for his department, in terms of their potential for storm surge damage.

Pointing out that these were especially on the east and southeast coasts of the island, he said: “Those areas would be low lying areas along the coastline, such as Cattle Wash, Lakes, Bath, Consett Bay, Martin’s Bay, and St. Mark’s predominantly, as well as some areas along the south east coast, such as the Crane and Seaview, St. Philip.”

Queried by the Prime Minister as to concerns or warnings with respect to the west coast or anything else which people should be made aware, Mr. Brewster stressed the need to move pleasure craft to safety given the choppiness expected at sea, and he recommended that they, along with fishing vessels, should make necessary arrangements to find safe harbour, either in Port St. Charles (St. Peter), or within the Bridgetown Fishing Complex.

The CZMU Director, while also alluding to advice given earlier in the press conference by Acting Director of the Barbados Meteorological Services, Sabu Best, that the west coast of Barbados was going to be very choppy, said: “We do know that the hoist at Consett Bay is also working, so some vessels that are normally on the east coast can make their way to Consett Bay to get hauled out during this time. “

Barbadians were also reminded by the Director that as a result of the Sargassum seaweed that came in on the night of the June 16, “when we had the lightning storm”, there was a lot of narrowing of the beaches, especially on the east, south east and south coasts.  

Noting that the natural buffer that is provided by the beaches was now reduced, Dr. Brewster said: “Therefore, that’s why we have concerns, especially at this time, in terms of the amount of potential wave damage that can happen to the beaches and some coastal properties within the area. So, we will advise everyone to pay special attention to the MET Service broadcasts and the Department of Emergency Management.”

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