Parents are being advised to take appropriate steps to ensure the safety of their children as schools will be closed until further notice, in light of the approaching hurricane.
Tropical Storm Maria was upgraded to a hurricane at 5PM on Sunday. A hurricane warning was then issued for Montserrat and other islands in the Eastern Caribbean.
Government offices and schools will be closed from noon on Monday September 18th until a further update is given after the passage of Hurricane Maria.Â Essential services will continue.
Teachers are asked to report to schools on Monday to assist with hurricane preparedness.
8PM Coordinates for Hurricane Maria:
ABOUT 125 MI…200 KM ENE OF BARBADOS
ABOUT 255 MI…410 KM ESE OF DOMINICA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…80 MPH…130 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 285 DEGREES AT 15 MPH…24 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…982 MB…29.00 INCHES
Hurricane Maria is centered as of 8 p.m. AST about 125 miles (200 km) east-northeast of Barbados and about 255 miles (410 m) east-southeast of Dominica. Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 mph (24 km/h), and this motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected through Tuesday. On the forecast track, the center o Maria will move across the Leeward Islands Monday night and then over the extreme northeastern Caribbean Sea on Tuesday.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 80 mph (130 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Maria could be near major hurricane intensity when it moves across the Leeward Islands Monday night.
A Hurricane Warning is now in effect for Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat and Martinique. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Antigua, Barbuda, Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Lucia. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Saba , St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy and Anguilla. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Maria is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 6 to 12 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches across the Leeward Islands, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands through Wednesday night. Maria is also expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches for the northern and central Windward Islands. In all the above areas, these rainfall amounts could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.