By Gavin Riley
The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) of the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation has been put on standby in anticipation of adverse weather conditions to be associated with Tropical Depression Isaac.
The announcement was made by Mayor of Spanish Town Norman Scott at the monthly general meeting of council on Thursday, September 13.
Isaac, which was downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression on Friday, delivered torrential rains and damaging winds to sections of the Lesser Antilles on Wednesday – with projections showing the system passing Jamaica along its southwest open waters.
As the remnants of the storm approaches, Mayor Scott said that residents must pay keen attention to the weather updates, ensure they are prepared and make an effort to assist the most vulnerable in their communities.
“Tropical Depression Isaac is moving closer towards our open seas, and based on reports we will be affected in some ways, hence we should be on the alert,” he said.
“Please make sure that, first and foremost, personal preparations are made, then seek to identify the vulnerable persons living in our areas. Members of emergency operations will be on standby should it become necessary for the EOC to be activated,” Scott added.
Parish Disaster Coordinator for St. Catherine Patricia Lewis told Jamaica Today that provisions have been made for the roughly 60 emergency shelters across the parish, with five zone chairmen having the shelters on standby.
“We have asked those zonal chairmen to have the shelters on standby. We have been prepared from June and we know that September is the peak of the hurricane season, so it’s only a natural process that we have been anticipating something based on the predictions,” she said.
“We are hoping we are not impacted severely but we are ready to deal with whatever comes our way,” Lewis told Jamaica Today.
Tropical Depression Isaac, as at 4:00 a.m. EST, was located about 300 kilometres to the south of St Croix with winds at around 56km/h – moving westerly at 24km/h.