No massive damage from Tropical Storm Maria

POSTED: 09/12/11 12:14 PM

GREAT BAY, St. Maarten – The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) gave its all clear signal on Sunday evening, but the Meteorological Department of Curacao maintained its Small Craft Advisory as Tropical Storm Maria continued to move away from the local area. Residents should continue monitor the storm’s progress because periods of heavy rainfall are still expected on Monday. Those showers are expected to cause street flooding in low lying areas.

Maria maintained its status as a Tropical Storm throughout its passage over the weekend bringing rain showers and some high winds to the local area. Conditions on land did not deteriorate as much as previously predicted but the Emergency Support Functions took several precautions. This included the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure (Vromi) lowering water levels in the various ponds, clearing trenches and culverts, securing public sector infrastructure projects and government buildings and pre-positioning heavy and emergency equipment etc.

“I am very pleased with the professional and efficient manner in which the various actions of the ESFs were carried out in preparation for the forecasted weather from TS Maria. We must be thankful as a country that we have been spared once again from the wrath of Mother Nature.  Even though it was only a storm and not a hurricane, the forecasted 10 inches of rainfall would have been a major challenge for the country,” Prime Minister Wescot-Williams stated in a press release that called for continued vigilance.

“It seems that just about every weekend we have to deal with the passing of a storm system. Not surprising as we are in the peak of the hurricane season. The passing of these weather systems demonstrates again and again that we must continue to maintain a state of preparedness and be ready when called upon by the authorities to take action. Everybody played their role and did what had to be done, demonstrating the level of our national preparedness. Let’s continue to maintain a state of preparedness, because it only takes one to cause destruction and devastation.”

The passage of Tropical Storm Maria led to the cancellation of several flights even though the Princess Juliana International Airport remained open. The ferry service between St. Maarten and Anguilla was also suspended early Saturday morning because of the rough seas.

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