As the Dominica prepares for the arrival of tropical storm Isaac, the Hon Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit has announced that all schools on the island will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday September 12th and 13.
Hon Skerrit made the announcement as officials from the National Emergency Planning Organisation (NEPO) updated the nation at 5:00pm, the third update for the day, on Tuesday.
Dominica was placed under a Hurricane Watch on Tuesday morning however by Tuesday night at 11:00pm the watch was discontinued, and the island was placed under a Tropical Storm Warning.
Hon Skerrit said the closing of schools is as “precautionary measures” as up to 10 inches rain is expected between Wednesday and Friday.
“We do not want to have a situation where we allow our students to come in for two hours [or] an hour and have to rush them back to their homes,” Hon Skerrit said.
He explained this decision is significant particularly for students who attend schools out of their communities.
Hon Skerrit asked citizens not to be complacent but to take all precautionary measures and to be vigilante. He said NEPO is sparing no effort and taking the impending storm “seriously”.
“Our position at NEPO is to take all the necessary precautionary measures to ensure that we can place all ourselves and our property in safer situations …Do not take this thing for granted, do not be complacent, do not dismiss what NEPO, ODM and the Met office are saying to us,” he warned the public.
General Manager of DOWASCO, Bernard Etinoffe also announced at Tuesday’s press briefing that the company will shut down its water supply system at 2:00pm on Wednesday.
At Tuesday’s meeting officials from the Ministry of Health as well as from the Ministry of Public Works also updated the public on their state of readiness.
Another briefing is expected at 11:30am today Wednesday and officials from the NEPO’s shelter committee, the Ministry of Public Works and the Office of Disaster Management will address the public.
At 5am, Tropical Storm Isaac was located near latitude 14.6 degrees north and longitude 53.5 degrees west or about 530 miles east of Dominica. Isaac is moving westward at 15 mph with maximum sustained winds now decreased to near 60 mph with higher gusts. Some further weakening is expected but Isaac should remain a tropical storm as it moves across the area on Thursday.