GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Chairlady of the country’s Disaster Management Organization, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin and Disaster Coordinator and Fire Commander Clive Richardson, are thankful that the nation has been spared the full onslaught of a major hurricane for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. The season has been a busy one for the Atlantic area and has been overall described as a destructive one.
The six-month 2018 season came to an end on Friday, November 30, and Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin is very thankful that Sint Maarten was spared from the wrath of any major hurricanes.
“The Hurricane Season 2018 is over, and God has spared Sint Maarten and many of the islands in the region. I am truly thankful that as a community we were able to make it through this Hurricane Season without any major incidents.
“I would like to say thank you once again to our residents and guests for taking all the necessary precautions and being diligent in their preparations.
“Special gratitude goes out to all the entities and stakeholders that make up the Disaster Management Organization, I truly appreciate your tireless efforts to keep our island safe and secure. I look forward to building on the foundation we have laid as we continue to strengthen the capacity of our Emergency Response apparatus.”
The country’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated on two occasions during the season. At the beginning of July, the EOC met several times to monitor and prepare for the possible threat of Hurricane Beryl and in September for Hurricane Isaac.
Both hurricanes in the end did not pose a direct threat to the country which is still reeling from the impacts of Irma and Maria in September 2017.
The Atlantic hurricane season ended with 15 named storms. Eight named storms became hurricanes and two of those were major hurricanes (Category 3 or stronger on the Saffir-Simpson Scale). An average season has 12 named storms; six hurricanes; and three major hurricanes.
The season will be remembered most for hurricanes Florence and Michael, which caused significant damage along the south and eastern U.S.
“Despite a busy hurricane season, Sint Maarten did not experience any weather from the systems that did make their way near or through the Caribbean. However, we should remain all vigilant because hurricanes are not limited to the hurricane season alone.
“The national disaster management system comprising of 10 Emergency Support Functions representing the seven government ministries were prepared as much as possible if confronted with a weather system. We carried out our pre-season planning, a public awareness campaign, and did our annual training with the Dutch Marines (HUREX) in June.
“In conclusion, we have much to be thankful, and as the 2018 season comes to an end, we keep those who are still recovering from the 2017 storms in our thoughts and prayers those as they go through the rebuilding process.
“Thank you to all residents and businesses for being vigilant and being ready to take action should that have been necessary. May you and your family safely enjoy the upcoming holiday season,” Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson told the Department of Communication (DCOMM) on Friday.
According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, 2018 was the fourth consecutive year, hurricane activity began prior to the official June 1st start of the season, with Tropical Storm Alberto forming on May 25.
The 2018 season was the first since 2008 to have four named storms active at the same time (Florence, Helene, Isaac and Joyce).
The named storm systems for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season were: Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael, Nadine and Oscar.