Christchurch in Barbados — Hurricane Elsa caused a power outage on Friday, blowing off the roofs of homes, knocking down trees and causing floods in the region of the island nation of Barbados.
Wilfred A. Abrahams, Minister of Interior, Information and Public Relations, urged Barbados to evacuate and leave the house only if the structure was damaged.
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Elsa became a hurricane earlier in the day, about 40 miles (64 km) west of Barbados and blowing maximum sustained winds at 75 miles per hour (120 km / h). It was.
The minister said most reports observed damage to the southern part of the island, including power outages, windthrows, flash floods, and roof blows.
There were no reports of injuries or deaths.
The minister said the winds could get stronger and the utilities and emergency services could not reach those in need.
Greg Paris, a 43-year-old structural engineer living in southern Barbados, said his home had a power outage around 7 am, roofs were blown off in the neighborhood, and flash floods broke out.
“I was scared. Most of us haven’t experienced this for a while,” Paris said.
The NHC has issued hurricane alerts to Barbados, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. This means that hurricane conditions are expected in the coming hours, and preparations to protect life and property need to be completed in a hurry.
Elsa’s progress should be monitored by the Windward Islands, Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Cuba, said the Miami-based NHC. Haiti and parts of the Dominican Republic predict that additional hurricane alerts are likely to be needed later in the day.
The Air Force Reserve Command’s hurricane hunter aircraft rushed into the hurricane, and NOAA aircraft were scheduled to investigate the system this afternoon, NHC added.
Storm surges in Elsa are expected to rise 1-3 feet above normal tide levels in the hurricane warning areas of the Windward Islands and onshore wind areas along the south coast of Hispaniola.
NHC predicts total rainfall of 3 to 6 inches and a maximum of 10 inches in the Windward Islands and the southern Leeward Islands, including Barbados, on Friday. This can lead to flash floods and landslides.
Predictions are uncertain, according to the NHC, but there is a risk of storm surges, winds and rainfall in the Florida Keys and parts of the Florida Peninsula early next week.
Robert Edison Sandyford