Fire Dept./ODM/Ministry MECYS: Schools Closed on Tuesday. Coastal residents advised to be vigilant. Swimmers stay away from the beach

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Illustration of blackboard on which is written with chalk school closed

 

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports (Ministry MECYS) has decided to close all schools on Tuesday, September 24 as a precautionary measure.

The aforementioned decision was taken due to the anticipated deterioration in weather conditions going into Tuesday.

According to the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS), even though Karen has been downgraded to a Tropical Depression, the system could still impact the country as it heads towards Puerto Rico, and the U.S./British Virgin Islands.

The depression is expected to produce rainfall of between one to four inches starting Monday night and going into Tuesday with intervals.

MDS informed educational officials at the Ministry MECYS that there is a risk of heavy rains and wind gusts primarily in the early morning hours and in the early afternoon.

As both periods coincide with the regular hours of commute as it relates to schools, the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, has taken the aforementioned decision.  Schools will resume regular operations on Wednesday, September 25.

TD Karen is forecast to pass about 210 miles west-southwest of the country Monday night.

MDS said in its 8.30PM Special Weather Bulletin on Monday evening, that the potential impact for the country are:

Rainfall: Karen is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 1 to 4 inches through Wednesday.

Increasing cloudiness with showers and thunderstorms are expected within the next 24 hours. Most of the

significant showers are expected from tonight into Tuesday.

Flooding and/or rockslides are possible in flood-prone areas and along hillsides. Residents and users of these areas are advised to be vigilant.

Winds: Gusty winds could accompany showers tonight through Tuesday.

Seas: Swells up to 9 feet are possible, mainly along the southern coast, during the passage of Karen. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Beach erosion is possible in vulnerable areas. Small craft operators should exercise extreme caution and sea bathers are advised to stay away from the sea.

The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) and MDS will continue to monitor closely the progress of the depression and will keep the public updated accordingly via intermittent bulletins.

The community and new residents are urged to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm/hurricane strike by visiting the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”

Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM – for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane.

For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com