(CMR) The Cayman Islands Government is expected to be issuing the all-clear at 1 p.m. today according to exclusive CMR sources. The good news comes as Hurricane Delta rapidly intensified this morning into a Category 4 storm this morning.
A severe marine warning remains in place until further notice. There should be no in water activity until this warning is removed.
Grocery stores are also planning to open at that time. Schools and governments should also be fully operational tomorrow.
The storm positioned at its closest point of 98 miles SW of Grand Cayman is still expected to cause heavy wave action for several more hours along the south and west coats. Extreme caution should be exercised along the coastline and beaches. Currently, Delta is centered about 125 miles (200 km) southwest of Grand Cayman and about 315 miles (510km) east-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico. It's moving toward the west-northwest at 16 mph (26 km/h).
Cayman residents are advised to stay clear of any coastal areas as the impact there is expected to last for the next 48 hours. Some road closures may result particularly along the waterfront.
In less than 24 hours Delta from a 60mph tropical storm to a category 4 130mph catastrophic storm moving quickly at 16mph. The rapid intensification now has the Yucatan area of Mexico closely watching this system which is expected to experience dangerous storm surge and hurricane conditions by tonight. In addition, interests from Texas to the Florida panhandle are also keeping a close eye on the system.
The New Orleans coastline is particularly vulnerable. Many hope that lessons have been learned after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area in August 2005. Over 1,800 people died with $125 billion in damages.