Tropical Storm Elsa. (FP)

Tropical Storm Elsa is dangerous and should not be taken lightly as it is forecast to impact the entire island later this morning.

That is the strong warning of the Barbados Meteorological Services, as the island begins to feel the effects of the storm which is forecast to pass just 20 miles to the south of Barbados between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m. today, Friday, July 2.

Acting Director, Sabu Best, explained that, at present, the system was moving towards the west, north west, at 28 miles per hour, with increasing wind speeds.

At present maximum sustained winds are near 60 miles per hour with higher gusts, and tropical storm-force winds extending outward up to 140 miles mainly to the north of the centre.

“After the centre passes at 7:30 a.m. we will have two to three hours of real meat and potatoes of what she has to offer. The worst is yet to come. We have only just started,” he warned, noting the system was strong enough to break things and remove roof tops.

There are already reports of power outages in St. Philip, while the Barbados Water Authority has taken a strategic decision to carry out a scheduled shut-off of its pumping stations.

Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams, warned the public to expect further service disruptions with the electricity supply as the system affects the island.

He explained that the BWA had scheduled the shut-off of the water supply to protect its resources over the long term, as leaving them on would jeopardise the efficiency of the pumps. As a result, he said, it was likely that “all of Barbados” would be experiencing water outages.

However, the Minister noted that the pumping stations would be restarted once the All Clear was given.

General Manager of the BWA, Keithroy Halliday, indicated that reservoirs were topped up and communities would continue to be serviced until pumping could resume.

He encouraged residents to store at least five gallons of water per person per day for a five-day period for themselves and their pets.

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