GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season kicked off on June 1st, and two named storm systems formed this week, namely Bret and Cindy.
This is a stark reminder that residents and business owners should be prepared for the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season which according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center, will be a busy season – above-normal.
Tropical Storm Cindy is currently in the Gulf of Mexico off the U.S. northern gulf coast and forecasted to make landfall on Thursday.
Tropical Storm Bret dissipated off the coast of Venezuela on Tuesday, and was the first Central Atlantic storm to form east of the Lesser Antilles for the season.
NOAA forecasts between 11 to 17 named storms, of which five to nine could become hurricanes, including two to four major hurricanes of category 3, 4 or 5.
An average season produces 12 named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
Fire Chief and Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson, is calling on the community to use the time now to re-check storm preparations and to be prepared this hurricane season. Remember, it only takes one to make it a bad season.
The remaining storm names for the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season are: Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince and Whitney.
The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) is urging residents to check hurricane shutters and the roof of your home or business, and to make sure windows and shutters close securely.
Persons living along coastal areas as well as those in flood prone areas should start looking at what measures they would take in the event of a hurricane which could cause flood challenges.
Mariners who are seeking shelter in the Simpson Bay Lagoon or Oyster Pond should also make plans to stay with friends or at a hotel once they have secured their vessel in a timely manner rather than staying on-board the vessel to ride out the passing of a storm.
The 2017 hurricane season officially runs through November 30.
The list of hurricane shelters for the season are:
- New Testament Baptist Church (Philipsburg),
- Sr. Marie Laurence School (Middle Region),
- Milton Peters College (South Reward),
- Rupert I. Maynard Youth Community Center (St. Peters),
- Sint Maarten Academy (Cul de Sac),
- National Institute for Professional Advancement (NIPA, Cay Hill),
- Leonard Connor School (Cay Bay),
- Christian Fellowship Church (Cole Bay),
- Allan C. Halley Community Centre (Simpson Bay).