Schools close for Danny, no newspapers on MondayPOSTED: 08/24/15 11:53 AM
St. Maarten – The approach of Hurricane Danny has the island on high alert. Schools will be closed and the two local newspapers have suspended publication for Monday. Today will provide storm-related updates via its website todaysxm.com as long as internet-connections are functioning.
Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs addressed the nation in a radio speech yesterday around lunchtime, saying that based on Friday morning’s forecast, the storm will pass through the area on Monday.
The government will provide information via the radio, the government’s website and its Facebook page as the situation develops.
“Heavy rains can be expected with the passing of this weather system. It can lead to street flooding and mudslides,” Gumbs said.
Schools will be closed as a precautionary measure on Monday. “Business closure will be decided upon over the weekend if this is necessary. We have to review the latest weather reports that come in over the weekend to determine further actions.”
The PM said that trenches and drains have been cleared to allow the free flow of storm water and that all pumps are operational and on standby. The trench cleaning has been a hurried job during the last days of this week. Gumbs told a reporter of this newspaper this week that he had signed off on this project already on April 27, though the head of infrastructure management, Claudius Buncamper told others that the decision had been lying around for weeks on the prime minister’s desk.
“In connection with the low lying areas around the ponds, the overflow system of the Fresh and Little Bay Pond will be prepared for a fast runoff of excess water,” Gumbs said.
The Ministry of General Affairs has requested the assistance of the Royal Dutch Marines that are stationed on the island.
Nine hurricane shelters are on standby – four schools, two churches, two community centers and the building of the Salvation Army on Union road 59 in Cole Bay.
The other shelters are; New Testament Baptist Church (A.C. Cannegieter Street, Philipsburg), Sr. Marie-Laurence School (Ellis drive 1, Middle Region), St. Maarten Academy (Cupper drive, Cul de Sac), Milton Peters College (L.B. Scott, South Reward), Rupert I. Maynard Youth Community Centre (St. Peters Road, St. Peters), Leonard Connor School (Venus Drive, Cay Bay), Allan C. Halley Community Centre (Simpson Bay Road 27, Simpson Bay) and the Christian Fellowship Church (Welfare Road 95, Cole Bay).