Expect Significant Storm Surges With the Passage of Hurricane Dean


The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) is advising the public to expect significant storm surges with the passage of Hurricane Dean. A storm surge is an abnormal rise in the water level along the coast or shoreline and can be the most dangerous part of a hurricane.
The Met Office predicts that as Hurricane Dean approaches the island we should expect storm surge flooding of 1.5 – 3 meters (that is 7-9 feet) above normal tide levels, along with large and dangerous battering waves near the centre of Dean (especially over southern coastal areas). All vulnerable communities along the coastline are being asked to evacuate to higher ground and emergency shelters.
The public is advised that the Roselle main road in St. Thomas is currently inundated with water from storm serge activity in the area. Persons are therefore asked NOT to use the Roselle main road.
If you are at risk from a storm surge:1. Wrap important personal items, family documents and electrical appliances in plastic bags and store away from the reach of flood waters.
2. Move your refrigerator, stove and furniture to a higher floor, or place them on building blocks and secure to the wall.
3. Shut off electrical power, gas and water supplies in areas prone to flooding.
4. Store all chemicals, fertilizers insecticides and other poisonous substances in properly labeled water-proof containers and keep away from flood water.
Additionally, farmers are reminded to move animals to a safe location away from river banks and areas prone to landslides.
Contact: Krechet Douglas-Greaves Information and Training Unit, ODPEM 928-5111-4 kdouglas-greaves@odpem.org.jm

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