Disaster officials maintain watch despite Tropical Storm Maria weakening

POSTED: 09/9/11 1:52 PM

GREAT BAY, St. Maarten – The Office of Disaster Management maintained its Tropical Storm Watch Thursday night even though Tropical Storm Maria was forecast to weaken as it approaches and passes over the local area. As of 8:00 p.m. Thursday night the storm was 500 miles from the Southern Windward Islands and is still expected to pass close to the island early Saturday morning.
If Maria re-strengthens today, it is expected that a Tropical Storm warning will be issued either Friday or Saturday. Because of this the Office of Disaster Management has advised the island’s residents to continue monitoring weather reports as the storm approaches the Lesser Antilles.
“The ODM also advises in the event of heavy rainfall, to avoid low lying areas; look out for possible street flooding; and if the rainfall is persistent, while driving along hill sides, watch out for possible rock falls,” a release from the department stated.
The Meteorological Department Curacao has urged the public to continue monitoring the storm’s progress as they expect it will bring winds of between 40 to 45 miles per hour, cause rough seas until Sunday and dump two to four inches of rain on the island which will cause flooding in low lying areas. There is also an expectation that winds will gust as high as 55 miles per hour in or near heavy thundershowers.

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