10:20 a.m. Update: NOAA Hurricane Center has just updated the storm to a CAT 4 storm at maximum sustained winds of 130 mph. Newscasters are shocked at how quickly the storm's intensity has increased this morning.
(CMR) With Hurricane Delta just over 100 miles to the southwest of the Cayman Islands, and expected to soon strengthen to a category 3, the National Hazard Management Council is calling for members of the public to stay indoors, stay safe and above all stay off the water.
The storm’s closest point of approach to the Cayman Islands was expected to be 98 miles to the southwest of Grand Cayman at 8 am. From this point, it is expected that the Islands would experience tropical storm force conditions at least through mid-day.
The island’s south coast is currently experiencing rough seas of 8-10 feet which is expected to change to 5-7 feet tonight. As Hurricane Delta continues to strengthen and move west-north-west towards the Gulf of Mexico, it is expected the west coast of the island could experience seas of 5-7 feet beginning tonight.
The National Hazard Management Council’s priority in its response to Hurricane Delta has been on preparedness, but also protecting lives and property, notes Chair, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson.
“This is a powerful hurricane that is not yet past. We are expecting to experience tropical storm conditions including winds of 40mph for the next few hours. Rough seas are expected to continue for some time after that.
“During this time we would like to remind persons to stay tuned to local media for up-to-date information about their area, but also to stay inside unless they need to travel for essential reasons, and in particular to avoid the shoreline until they are told it is safe. Anything else would be putting their lives at risk and those of any essential workers who might be called in to rescue them. Let’s all stay smart and stay safe”,
Mr. Manderson remarks.
The RCIPS has expanded on the National Hazard Management Council’s call for caution, advising persons to avoid in water activity of any kind, to stay away from shoreline areas, and if they must travel for essential reasons to use alternate routes that avoid shoreline areas such as South Sound and the George Town waterfront.
The National Hazard Management Council also urges members of the public to stay tuned to official sources and local media for up-to-date information specific to the Cayman Islands. The National Emergency Operations Centre can be contacted at 949-6555 for non-emergency related matters. All emergencies should be directed to 911. The next National Weather Service advisory is expected at 4 am.