Non-essential workers in St Vincent and the Grenadines are to remain at home on Tuesday while all non-essential services will remain suspended as a result of the passage of Tropical Strom Dorian.
Dorian is expected to begin affecting St. Vincent and the Grenadines around 2 a.m. Tuesday, although rain associated with the storm is expected earlier Monday night, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said Monday afternoon.
Kingstown, the nation’s capital, will reopen Wednesday morning.
“So tomorrow we are going to be closed. You are not going to find anywhere other than the essential services open. Government officers will be closed, businesses will be closed until Wednesday morning,” he said.
The island’s main airport, Argyle International, along with the four in the Grenadines, will remain closed until 6 a.m. Wednesday.
Gonsalves said that while forecasters expect the storm to have passed by Tuesday evening, the management at the airports have to make assessments before they reopen.
“It is just one of these things. We have to make sure that everybody is safe and we can’t be sorry. We have to be very, very careful.”
He thanked the private sector entities that have responded quite well and asked persons pay attention to the announcements about the municipal supply of water.
The Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA) said Monday evening that the cyclone might result in landslides and flooding which can damage pipelines and affect the water supply to the general population.
It urged customers to activate all home emergency plans specific to water and solid waste management, including ensuring that there is adequate storage of water for every family member to last for up to three days.
This translates to approximately 10 gallons of water per person per day.
Further, the CWSA’s Solid Waste Management Unit advised that garbage collection for Tuesday will be suspended, with collection taking place on Wednesday instead.
“Persons are also asked to note that in times of disaster and as long as NEMO declares a disaster all are required to secure your garbage until the necessary notice is issued by the Solid Waste Management Unit,” the CWSA said.
Gonsalves said that in making its decision, his government acts on the basis of the science.
He noted that the information is available on the internet where everyone can see the real-time tracking of the storm and that it is followed a weaker system that will bring additional rainfall after the storm passes.
He said that at noon, the storm was packing winds of 50 miles per hour, but had strengthened to 60 miles per hour during the four-hour intervening period.
Gonsalves said that the storm is expected to pass toward the north of the country, bringing heavy rain, accompanied by thunderstorm.
The prime minister said that forecasters have also upgraded the projected rainfall to 8 to 10 inches, up from 6 inches, with higher volumes in mountainous areas.
He said that the width of the storm extends 45 miles, meaning that the north of the country will be affected by rainfall and winds at the centre of the storm
He noted there will be the outer bands of the storm which will bring rainfall and winds.
Gonsalves urged persons in vulnerable situations or vulnerable housing to go to an emergency shelter, which were ordered open by 7 p.m.