Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams. (FP)

Residents across Barbados have been assured that they will receive updates on Tropical Storm Elsa and its implications for the island at regular intervals throughout today.

Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams, gave that assurance early this morning as he sought to encourage persons to finalise their preparations ahead of the storm’s arrival.

“I am asking Barbadians to monitor the official news channels, and the media channels of Government and our official media partners to keep updated and informed. We will update you at regular intervals throughout the day as the development of the tropical system also warrants, and we will advise you as to the implications for Barbados. Please stay safe Barbados and listen for further bulletins,” Minister Abrahams said.

In addition, persons may also find the list of hurricane shelters on the Department of Emergency Management’s website, or the Barbados Government Information Service website.

They may also download the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) app on their Android and Apple devices to stay abreast of the updates, or the BMS app – BMS Insight – to receive updates on systems likely to affect the island.  This app is only available for Android devices at this time.

The Barbados Meteorological Services reported that at 5:00 a.m. Tropical Storm Elsa was about 770 miles east southeast of Barbados.  The maximum sustained winds of the system have increased to near 40 miles per hour, with tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 105 miles from the centre.

The system is currently moving towards the west at 25 miles per hour, and an even faster motion towards the west-northwest is expected over 24 to 36 hours. On its current forecast track, the centre of Tropical Storm Elsa should pass about 40 miles to the south of Barbados in the early hours of the morning, tomorrow, Friday, July 2.

Minister Abrahams cautioned that by that time, the island was likely to feel the impacts from the weather system, which would include the rolling of unsecured objects, the risk of possible injury and danger to life from flying debris; delays to transport routes and travel services and multiple interruptions of power to utilities services.

In addition, rainfall accumulations between six to eight inches of water are expected, and watches or warnings for flash flooding may be issued from this evening, Thursday, July 1.

The Minister stressed that Barbados remains under a tropical storm warning, and urged small craft to seek safe harbour.

“Please take the time today to clean up around your property; secure loose objects, which may become missiles; clean your drains and your gutters to manage the runoff of water,” he urged.

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