~Airport and other businesses remain closed until tomorrow~
PHILIPSBURG—Prime Minister of St. Maarten Silveria Jacobs in her national address at noon (12:00pm) address announced that all persons except for emergency services were advised to stay off the streets as the country remains under Tropical Storm Warning.
The airport will stay closed today because of continued strong wind gusts from Fiona, as will the harbour due to rough seas.
Allowed to reopen at their own discretion from 2:00pm this afternoon are supermarkets and groceries, hardware stores, gas stations, restaurants and pharmacies. Normal business hours will resume tomorrow morning.
Gradual strengthening of this storm is forecast to take place as the storm continues to move away from the area. Tropical storm conditions are still being experienced, and therefore the country remains under a Tropical Storm Warning. The Government of Sint Maarten calls on the population to remain vigilant.
It has been decided that essential businesses will be allowed to open at their own discretion as of 2:00 PM. Essential services as mentioned in the Ministerial Regulation on business closures of 16 September are supermarkets, grocery stores, and bakeries, hardware stores, restaurants, pharmacies, funeral parlors, and gas stations. This is of course not mandatory; businesses may also choose to remain closed. As such the population is asked to remain at home unless absolutely necessary while the flood advisory remains in effect.
Public transportation and car rental are allowed to also operate.
Regular business hours can commence on Sunday, September 18 at 6:00 AM.
In further updates, the Prime Minister reported the following:
Sint Maarten Princess Juliana International Airport will remain closed today Saturday, and will reopen on Sunday, September 18 at 7:00 AM.
Major gusts of 47 miles per hour were reported at the airport. The measure taken is a safety precaution in order to allow the winds to subside within the next 24 hours.
Maritime operations at Port St. Maarten remain closed today due to sea conditions, very rough seas, and high swells. Once those subside, an assessment will be carried out by the port later this afternoon and updates will be provided by the port.
Three persons made use of the John Larmonie Center that was opened on Friday afternoon. The shelter will close later today. The shelter will close at 5:00 PM.
There were no reported power outages, only an isolated event in Pelican last night which was restored.
All other Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) have reported no incidents.
During the morning hours, the Ministry of VROMI carried out assessments and clean-up of the road network where necessary in certain areas and this is on-going. Those that must make use of the road network, must exercise caution, and avoid excessive speed on the wet roads.
Flash flooding can still take place throughout the day. Remain indoors and continue to protect your loved ones. The measures are to protect safety and security of the people of Sint Maarten.
The Prime Minister would like to thank all ESF Coordinators, the back office, Police, Fire and Ambulances services, the Sint Maarten Voluntary Corps, the Dutch Marines, shelter workers, Ministry VROMI, DCOMM for their collaboration during the passing of Tropical Storm Fiona.
This is the last Facebook live by the Prime Minister about Tropical Storm Fiona. Continue to monitor Government news and information mediums for any additional information.