Situation Report # 3 - Hurricane Lenny

Report
from Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency
Published on 16 Nov 1999
Issued: 16 November 1999

Lenny now a Category 3 Hurricane Threatens the Northeastern Caribbean

CDERA Member States in the northeastern sub-region are this afternoon bracing for the impact of Hurricane Lenny which has now attained Category Three status on the Safir/Simpson scale.

At 5:00pm this afternoon Lenny reached maximum sustained winds of 115 mph becoming the fifth major hurricane of the season. It continues to head for the islands in the northeastern Caribbean. In addition to the BVI, hurricane warnings have now been issued for St. Kitts/Nevis and Anguilla. The government of Antigua /Barbuda has opted to maintain the tropical storm warning and the hurricane watch for its State and Montserrat.

At 8:00pm tonight the center of Hurricane Lenny was located near latitude 15.9 north, longitude 67.6 west or about 205 miles southwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Lenny is moving toward the east-northeast near 16mph with a gradual turn toward the northeast expected during the next 24 hours. On this track the core of the hurricane should be nearing the warning areas during the next 12 hours. However the weather in the threatened areas should continue to worsen this evening into tonight.

Models forecast the hurricane to move on a slow northeast to north track over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. If this materializes it could result in even worse conditions for the area under warning. All precautions should be completed soon against this dangerous hurricane.

Since the hurricane is coming from the southwest...marine interests should remember that the strongest winds are expected over the south and west facing unprotected harbors. Klaus in November 1984 produced considerable marine damage to this area and it was only a tropical storm.

Maximum sustained winds are near 115mph with higher gusts. This makes Lenny a dangerous Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir/Simpson hurricane scale.

Preparedness Activities

British Virgin Islands - The BVI continues to maintain a very high level of preparedness as reported in Advisory #2. Authorities continue to monitor the progress of the Hurricane and issue public information.

St. Kitts/Nevis -The National Emergency Management Agency in St. Kitts reported earlier this evening that their emergency response mechanism was activated at 10:30am and a meeting of the National Disaster Executive was held at 1:30pm.

Residents are being updated on the situation via ZIZ Radio
Culverts in Basseterre being cleared
One shelter per district being opened
Heavy duty equipment being pre-positioned island wide
Supermarkets and Hardware shops have extended opening times
Residents located adjacent to ghauts being advised to relocate prior to the arrival of the Hurricane
The Met Office in St. Kitts is expecting heavy rain and tropical storm force conditions tonight.
The Prime Minister was scheduled to address the Nation this afternoon after receipt of the 5:00pm advisory for the Met Office.

Anguilla -The National Disaster Preparedness Committee met earlier today to update members on the island's level of preparedness. The Committee heard reports from its various sub-committees.

Schools will be closed tomorrow. However teachers and public servants have been asked to report to work
Persons in low-lying areas including those living near the sea coast are being asked to take all necessary precautions including moving to higher ground to avoid flooding American Eagle has suspended all operations in Anguilla as of 4:00pm this afternoon. The airport remains open. Ferry boats which ply between Anguilla and St. Maarten have sought safe shelter. A decision will be taken tomorrow regarding the closing of the seaport. Residents are being urged to begin immediately put their preparedness plans into action. The National Disaster Preparedness will meet again tomorrow morning.

Antigua/Barbuda - The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Home Affairs and Co-operatives is being kept informed by NODS on the situation.

District Disaster Committees have been mobilised and are on standby
Public advisories being aired on ABS
Key NEOC personnel have been placed on standby
Radio checks have been completed
Decision on closure of airport to be taken after receipt of 5:00pm advisory form the Met Office
Concern articulated about high level of vulnerability of housing stock as many have not yet been repaired or rebuilt. Many homes are in a weakened state.

Montserrat - The Governor of Montserrat addressed the Nation this afternoon at 6:00pm updating the population on the situation with Hurricane Lenny. He urged all residents to complete their preparedness activities.

The Emergency Department will remain open tonight manned by a skeleton crew. A decision will be taken on the activating the EOC tomorrow morning.
Public Servants have been advised to report to work tomorrow to secure property
The Ferry will remain in Antigua tonight and make the crossing tomorrow morning if conditions allow. Otherwise it will go immediately to safe harbour
The Helicopter is already in hangar in Antigua
Adequate food supplies on island
30 rolls of plastic sheeting on island

Impact scenario -expecting strong tropical storm force conditions as island will be located in SE quadrant of system
Regional Preparedness

The Eastern Caribbean Donors Group met this afternoon to review plans for responding to any impact from Hurricane Lenny. If necessary, a reconniassance flight will take place as soon after the all clear is given and the Rapid needs Assessment Team deployed if the recce team establishes a need for its deployment.

Confirmation was received this afternoon from the RSS that the CDRU has been placed on standby for deployment if required.

The CDERA Coordinating Unit will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as necessary.

All members of the Regional Response Mechanism are hereby being advised to remain on standby and be prepared to mobilise with little advance notice.

The 24hr contact number for the Coordinating Unit is (246) 436 9651.

CARIBBEAN DISASTER EMERGENCY RESPONSE AGENCY
The Garrison, St. Micheal
Barbados
TEL: (246) 436-9651
FAX: (246) 437-7649
E-mail: CDERA@Caribsurf.com

Copyright © 1999 CDERA