Peak hurricane season starts

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The peak period of the hurricane season started this week and residents are being urged to increase their vigilance and step up their disaster preparedness to minimise the effects on their lives, property and in the cases of farmers, their livelihood.
Weather forecaster Bernell Simon told OBSERVER media yesterday, that because the country has not had any serious hurricanes in recent years, many people stop following weather reports issued daily.
“Despite the fact there are only waves coming through at this time it is not a sign to be relaxed or complacent. We need to keep our eyes on the tropical Atlantic especially now. From mid-August going to the end of September is the most dangerous time of the hurricane season, midAugust to the end of September is really the peak of the season because when you look at it, that’s when we have most activity.”
Between Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon, most of the island experienced heavy rainfall and Simon said people need to be watchful and alert for tropical waves/depressions which bring rainfall which can cause serious damage even if there are no hurricanes behind them.
He said yesterday, that three quarters of an inch of rainfall was recorded at the airport, but as much as two inches of rain was recorded in Blue Waters within a short space of time in the afternoon. Residents reported to OBSERVER media minor landslides and the fence of at least one property came down.
Simon said, “On the radar, most of the north side of the island got the bulk of the rainfall…. Blue Waters is on the far north. Most roads were flooded: American Road, Pigotts, and other areas. There was minor flooding along most roads on the island and there was flooding in the low-lying areas but no damage reported to any building or landslide/mudslide.”
He urged drivers to be more cautious on the roadways because some areas may still be wet today as rainfall is expected to continue into the early morning hours.
He said in addition to being wet, the roads may also have debris for which drivers should look out. Prior to speaking with Simon last night for the latest weather update, OBSERVER media also interviewed the Director of the Antigua & BarbudaMeteorological Services, Keithley Meade, during the afternoon hours.
He too warned that although the flash flood warning for yesterday was in effect up to midnight Wednesday, residents should still expect more rainfall today as the tropical wave passes over the region. Meade said activity is expected as the earlier prediction for the season was that there would be a more active than normal hurricane season this year.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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