A number of countries in the region have issued tropical storm alerts in anticipation of the arrival of Tropical Storm Elsa.
Tropical storm conditions are expected beginning early Friday in portions of the Windward and Southern Leeward Islands.
A national shutdown will be in effect for Saint Lucia from 4 am. Non-essential businesses in Barbados closed at 2 pm today while other businesses will close at 7 and 10 PM respectively.
According to the National Hurricane Centre, heavy rainfall is expected across these islands and Barbados on Friday, with outer rain bands expected to impact Puerto Rico Friday into Saturday.
There is also risk of wind and rainfall impacts in portions of Hispaniola, Cuba, the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas early next week.
The Local Meteorological office notes that “there is growing confidence that the centre of tropical storm Elsa will pass a safe distance, over 200 miles, away from the northeast Caribbean and spare the area any sustained storm-force winds and most of the other associated storm hazards. thus, the general threat levels, especially with respect to wind, remain, at this time, little to none, for the leeward and British Virgin Islands. therefore, no immediate preparations are required. notwithstanding, have your hurricane disaster plans prepared and monitor this system closely.”
No alerts, watches or warnings are currently in effect for Antigua & Barbuda and this is unlikely to change the local office said.