BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Abrahams and disaster preparedness officials here urged residents to move with urgency to get themselves and their properties in order ahead of Tropical Storm Elsa passing south of the island.
With maximum sustained winds near 40 miles per hour, Tropical Storm Elsa is located about 680 miles east southeast of Barbados and is moving towards the west at 25 miles per hour.
On its current forecast track, the storm center should pass about 40 miles to the south of Barbados on Friday morning.
Minister Abrahams cautioned that the island was likely to feel the impacts from the weather system by that time, and he encouraged residents to finalize their preparations ahead of the storm’s arrival.
“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.
Similar advice came from the Director of the Department of Emergency Management, Kerry Hinds, as Tropical Storm Elsa continued its journey towards the island chain after forming in the early hours of Thursday.
“This is the time to remove loose objects from around your homes. Secure your garbage cans; remove plant pots and other loose objects to avoid them from becoming missiles,” Hinds stressed, as she further implored residents not to wait until the last minute to complete their preparations.
She also urged people to make an early exit plan if their homes were already compromised.
“Do not wait until the system begins to affect the island to try to seek alternative shelter. If you know your home is unlikely to withstand tropical storm conditions, make a plan now to stay with family or friends first, or a hurricane shelter as a last resort,” Hinds said.
The DEM Director also encouraged persons to check on elderly relatives and neighbors and be each other’s keepers during the system’s passage.
The Barbados Meteorological Services reported that at 8 a.m. Tropical Storm Elsa was about 770 miles east southeast of the island.
Barbados is under a tropical storm warning.
Rainfall accumulations between six to eight inches of water are expected due to the system, and watches or warnings for flash flooding may be issued from Thursday evening.