Business closures lifted with immediate effect

Business closures lifted  with immediate effect

PHILIPSBURG--The business closures that went into effect Tuesday morning due to the passing of Tropical Storm Philippe have been lifted with immediate effect and business operations can resume as normal.

The Council of Ministers (CoM) decided to give businesses the green light to reopen based on advice from the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS) and the Office of Disaster Management (ODM).

“CoM would like to express its gratitude to the business community and the public for complying with the measures that were taken in order to ensure public safety. Weather events can be very unpredictable and therefore, the CoM prefer to err on the side of safety and the protection of life,” it was stated in a press release.

At 2:00pm the centre of Tropical Storm (TS) Philippe was located about 105 miles north-west of St. Maarten. The centre was almost detached from the area of convection, which was located south of the local area. Philippe has shown some very unusual behaviour which has increased the amount of uncertainty both with the track and intensity, it was stated in the release.

The islands of Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda experienced severe thunderstorms, flooding and landslides associated with the passing of TS Philippe during the last 24-36 hours.

Antigua recorded sustained winds of 52 knots (kts)/60 miles per hour (mph) and seven inches of rainfall for three hours at one location. Barbuda reported 140 lightning strikes in 15 minutes. The highest wind gust recorded at Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) was 32kts/37mph with no significant rainfall.

Most of the disturbed weather remained offshore on Tuesday and as a result the island did not experience the forecast conditions as Antigua did.

Based on the present situation and the current track it is not anticipated that the previous forecast will materialise today. However, the atmosphere remains sufficiently moist and unstable, therefore, it is still possible for St. Maarten to receive some showers, gusty winds and thunderstorms tonight through Wednesday, it was stated in the release.

“Consequently, the flood alert remains in place and persons in vulnerable areas should continue to be vigilant. Additionally, sea conditions should remain rough and will gradually

subside; a small craft advisory is still in effect.”

MDS will continue to monitor the progress of TS Philippe and update the public accordingly. The community is urged to learn more about hurricane hazards and resources needed on how to prepare family, home or business for a storm/hurricane strike by visiting the government website: where one can download the “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide” and “Hurricane Tracking Chart”. The information here is also valuable for new residents.

The Daily Herald

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