----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, August 30, 2004 7:24 PM
Subject: SxmGIS - Schools closed on Tuesday; Residents urged to
prepare for storm conditions and continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane
Frances; Tropical Storm Warning remains in Effect, Storm conditions expected
within 12 hours
Written by Roddy
Heyliger, Communications Consultant for the Government Information Service
(GIS), Interim Dept. Head Marsha Beauperthuy, Ennia Bldg., Longwall Rd.,
Philipsburg, St. Maarten D.W.I. Tel. 00-599-543-1162, 542-4119, Fax: 543-1169;
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: www.sintmaarten.net/gis
Immediate Release: Monday, August 30, 2004/Special Bulletin -
Schools closed on Tuesday; Residents urged to prepare for
storm conditions and continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Frances;
Tropical Storm Warning remains in Effect, Storm conditions expected within 12
Statement by Governor
GREAT BAY, St. Maarten (GIS) - St. Maarten remains under a
Tropical Storm Warning. As Chairman of the Emergency Operations
Center (EOC), a number of steps have been taken by the various Emergency Support
Functions in preparation for the approaching Category 3 Hurricane
Due to the close proximity that Hurricane
Frances will be passing St. Maarten, it was decided that the advisories issued
over the weekend and throughout today Monday, were warranted seeing that
Hurricane Frances is considered a major hurricane. The 5.00PM National
Hurricane Center advisory states that there has been an increase in wind speed
from 120 to 125 miles per hour since the last advisory issued at
Residents should have taken all necessary
preparation for tropical storm conditions. For those who have not taken
any measures as yet, you still have a few hours to do so.
Hurricane Frances based on the 5.00PM advisory
from the National Hurricane Center, is expected to pass approximately 100 miles
North of St. Maarten early Tuesday morning.
Due to the close
proximity of the hurricane to the immediate area, - approximately 227 miles from
St. Maarten at 5.00PM this afternoon - it was recommended mid-afternoon for
residents to take all necessary preparations including closing storm
Hurricane Frances is considered a dangerous
powerful hurricane and we have to all be prepared for any eventuality.
Storm conditions will be in the late evening hours and it would be unwise to go
outdoors to close windows and doors during that time. We want to avoid
people getting injured and therefore called, as early as in the month of June,
for early storm preparations.
We are expecting that Hurricane Frances will
bring sustained winds of approximately 45 miles per hour with possible higher
gusts; and two to four inches of rainfall. Tropical Storm force winds
extend outward 140 miles from the center while hurricane force winds extend 70
miles from the hurricane center.
A precautionary measure was taken to have
schools closed on Tuesday due to the possibility of heavy rains that may be
expected from Hurricane Frances. All Government services are closed and
only vital government services will be on standby.
Businesses are strongly
advised to follow suit and to have their doors remain closed for the duration of
Tuesday, in connection with the expected conditions of roads, associated with
tropical storm conditions.
The road network leading into St. Peters, South
Reward and Saunders may be encumbered by water due to the overflow of the
drainage basins as a result of heavy rainfall and this would pose a danger to
vehicular traffic in the high density school area.
Residents are requested to drive with care on
Tuesday. Roads in low lying areas could be covered by sand due to high sea
swells and motorists are advised to exercise caution in those areas.
Caution should also be exercised when driving with reference to rock and mud
slides above parts of the road network in certain areas on the
Residents are advised to make sure that there
yards and surrounding areas have been cleared of all loose lying objects which
may form a threat to persons and property during possible storm conditions.
Persons residing in less secure dwellings should
have completed preparations for tropical storm conditions that may be expected
in the course of early Tuesday morning.
Residents are advised to continue to monitor
broadcast media for official advisories and notices.
Thank You for listening.
For Immediate Release
STATEMENT BY DISASTER COORDINATOR
For storm conditions such as what is now expected on St. Maarten, the
island is as ready as it can be, under the circumstances, with the various
ESF (Emergency Support Function) groups having completed most of their
preparations for the 2004 hurricane season.
Some 90 percent of the high voltage cabling is now
underground, so that eventual resumption of electricity supply can take place at
a faster pace, in the event that there is an interruption in
Public Works on Monday, started preparations to lower
water levels in the Fresh Water and Salt Pond, with the channel near Great Bay
to be opened, should the need arise.
Fire Department Office of Disaster Management and
Containers with disaster recovery material is ready for
eventual use; should the need arise for assistance of other fire departments and
members of the Dutch marine corps, this will be coordinated by the fire
Public Health Affairs:
A large shipment of medical disaster material has
been received, via STIRANA.
Even though it has not been found necessary to open shelters,
at this time, it should be noted that the available shelters have been checked
The emergency public broadcast system, via the
emergency radio frequency 107.9, is ready for use.
Economy and Tourism:
This sector is also in a state of readiness and has
its own plan of approach for any eventualities, and is ready to make a general
assessment of the state of affairs with hotels, businesses, marinas and airline
companies. The airport and seaport have activated their own contingency
As we await the passing of storm conditions associated with hurricane
Frances, you are urged to remain calm and alert, to exercise caution and common
sense and to monitor broadcast media for future official advisories .
Do remain indoors until after the passing of the storm.
Once more, we will be experiencing storm conditions, and not the hurricane
# # #
St. Maarten Government Information
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P.O.Box 414, Philipsburg