By Adia Wynter
The nation looks set to experience tropical storm winds from early Wednesday morning, with residents urged to track local media reports for the latest updates.
A tropical storm warning was issued for Antigua and Barbuda, along with several other Leeward Islands yesterday, as the ninth system in the Atlantic hurricane season approached the region.
Philmore Mullin, director of the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS), advised the public to be watchful as the system – which would be named Isaias – continued to make headway.
“For the most part, the forecast and the tracks are good, but that’s it. There is always that fear of uncertainty that we all have to bear in mind and be watchful and continue to monitor,” Mullin noted.
The USA’s National Hurricane Center detailed in a public advisory last night that the system was moving westward at around 23mph with maximum sustained winds of 40mph.
Environmental conditions were expected to be conducive for additional development. Tropical storm force winds extended outward up to 230 miles as of last night.
The system is forecast to move through the Leeward Islands on Wednesday dumping several inches of rain, before heading near or over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday night, followed by movement towards Hispaniola on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Antigua and Barbuda now has 68 shelters available after 20 additional shelters were added to the list of 48 previously published.
Disaster officials say this will ensure adequate space for residents, in light of the Covid-19 virus and the need for physical distancing.
The full list of shelters can be found on the Facebook page of the National Office of Disaster Services – Antigua/Barbuda and at www.antiguaobserver.com.