The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is urging residents in the British Virgin Islands to ‘intensify preparations’ further now that Irma has elevated to a Category 3 hurricane that is expected to strengthen and become a ‘major hurricane’ within the next few days.
While noting that the hurricane may experience fluctuation in strength, the DDM said “Irma will be moving over progressively warmer water over the coming days, which may result in gradual strengthening to a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds up to 140 mph by the time it passes northeast of the Caribbean next Wednesday.”
The BVI is located in the northeast Caribbean.
“By the time Irma passes north of the islands of the northeast Caribbean, hurricane-force winds are expected to extend only to about 25 miles south of Irma’s center. On its current track, Irma’s hurricane-force winds would stay north of the islands. However, any slight deviation south of the forecasted track could put very strong hurricane-force winds into the Caribbean islands.”
Irma was only a tropical storm up to yesterday morning, was a tropical storm.
Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is encouraging all persons to use the time now to intensify preparations for any potential impact. Irma has the potential to cause significant rainfall, strong winds and storm surge across the Territory, if it moves into the British Virgin Islands. Residents and businesses in low-lying, coastal and flood prone communities will need to take steps to minimise or prevent flooding, check roofs, clear roof gutters and drains around your property and inspect your cistern outflows. Individuals are encourage to utilize flood protection items such as flood boards and sand bags to prevent or slow the flow of water into their homes and businesses,” the DDM said.
“Please assess your homes, businesses, and surroundings to determine what measures or actions need to be taken in the event that Irma impacts the territory. It is important that you take this time now to be ready for any potential effects that this system might have,” the DDM added.
“Persons within coastal communities, boaters and sea bathers should also be aware of the possibility of significant swells on the north shore, from Friday into the weekend. We are therefore appealing to all individuals to monitor the weather and sea conditions for changes over the coming days…”
The DDM further stated that, as Irma approaches, it will provide regular updates and preparedness information.
The agency, which gathers information from various professional sources, said the National Hurricane Centre officially upgraded Irma in its 11am advisory.
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