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The municipal supply of water in St. Vincent and the Grenadines will be shut down at the source at 10 p.m. Monday night, ahead of the forecast passage of impact of Tropical Storm Dorian. 

The Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA) said Monday night that during the passage of the cyclone, water supplied from all of its major systems including Hermitage, Dallaway, Majorca, Montreal, Jennings, Sandy Bank and Perseverance will be shut down.

“This shutdown is being done to safeguard both water quality and quantity during the heavy and muddy river flows anticipated at all its intakes during this storm event,” the company said. 

“As a result of this precautionary action, widespread water supply interruptions will be experienced island wide from 10 p.m. tonight, Monday 26th August, 2019 until the all clear is given something on Tuesday 27th August, 2019.”

Meanwhile, the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) said Monday night that VINLEC would try to maintain electricity services throughout the night. 

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The hydro plants were closed at 7 p.m. and will reopen at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, NEMO said.

It said this was one of the declarations that Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves made at a meeting of the National Emergency Council Monday afternoon. 

Gonsalves also declared that all businesses and non-essential services for SVG remain closed on Tuesday.

The nation’s airport will remain closed on Tuesday and garbage collection has been suspended until Wednesday. 

NEMO reminded residents of SVG that a tropical warning remains in effect for the country. 

Tropical Storm Dorian continues to track west-northwestward towards SVG, and, at 8 p.m. was centred near 13.0 North…59.1 West or about 143 miles (230 km) east-southeast of St. Vincent. 

Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph (95km/h), with tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the centre. The minimum central pressure is 1002 mb (29.59 inches). The general motion remains west-north west and is expected to continue tonight through Tuesday night. 

On its present forecast track, the centre of the system is expected to pass near or over SVG early Tuesday morning. 

NEMO urged all residents of SVG to take all the necessary precautions especially persons living in communities that have been impacted by landslides and storm surge in the past and in areas prone to flooding, including Georgetown, Buccament Bay, Vermont, Spring Village, South Rivers, Paget Farm, Mesopotamia, Union Island, Sandy Bay and Kingstown.

Dorian is packing sustained surface winds between 58 to 70 mph (93 to 113km/h) with higher gusts are expected to spread across St. Vincent and the Grenadines early Tuesday morning, persisting into the afternoon. 

Pockets of moderate to heavy showers and thunderstorms are expected to move across the islands from late tonight and continue into Tuesday. Rainfall accumulations of at least 3 to 8 inches (75 to 200 mm) are possible with isolated higher amounts. Residents in areas prone to flash-flooding and landslides; and near rivers and streams should take all the necessary precautions and be prepared to evacuate if necessary.

Large easterly to south-easterly swells of 2.5 to 3.5 meters (8 to 12 feet) are also forecast to accompany the system. Low-lying coastlines around the islands will be particularly vulnerable at times of high tide. 

Large waves and dangerous rip-tides can be expected. These will create unsafe conditions for small-craft operators and fishermen. A High-Surf Advisory and Small-Craft Warning will remain in effect until 6 p.m., Tuesday. Small craft operators are advised to remain in port. Sea-bathers and other users of the sea are advised to stay out of the water. 

NEMO is also urging residents to: 

• Store clean drinking water as the Central Sewerage and Water Authority will be shutting off the water supply later tonight to secure equipment

• Ensure that you have food to last for at least three days

• Make arrangements to stay with friends and family if your house is unsafe

• If you need to go to the emergency shelter, get there early before the strong winds and rains begin

• Take at least three days’ supply of food and clothing with you when going to the emergency shelter      

• Have a first aid kit

• Charge all cellular phones

• Have battery-operated radio, flash lights and batteries

• Have a plan in place to keep your pets safe

• Secure your important documents (birth certificates, passports, deeds etc.)

• Keep listening for updates on the situation

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