Businesses in Dominica and St Lucia have been ordered shut this afternoon, as Tropical Storm Matthew approaches the Windward Islands.
Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit today ordered the closure of all government offices and private businesses from 1:00 p.m. today until tomorrow, after a tropical storm warning was issued for the island.
Dominica has been experiencing heavy rain and wind as well as flooding in some areas this morning, from the weather system which has now been upgraded to Tropical Storm Matthew.
Yesterday government ordered all school to be closed today, and in an address to the nation on state-run DBS radio, Skerrit said an advisory on schools will be issued later this evening.
“We want to advise people to stay home as much as possible so as not to be exposed to the possible hazards out there. Be safe everyone and let us all pray for better weather conditions,” Skerrit said.
Memories of the last year’s Tropical Storm Erika are still fresh in the minds of residents. Thirty-one people died in the storm, which destroyed up to 500 homes and left EC $1 billion in infrastructural damage.
Members of the public began stocking up on emergency supplies from last night in preparation for the inclement weather.
Businesses in St Lucia were ordered to shut their doors at noon today in preparation for the passage of Tropical Storm Matthew. Schools are also closed.
Barbados TODAY understands that the island has begun feeling the effects of the storm with reports of light rains and overcast skies.
Tropical storm warnings have also been issued for Barbados, Guadeloupe, Martinique and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Matthew is expected to produce total rainfall of four to eight inches across the Windward Islands and parts of the southern Leeward Islands through Thursday. (MCW/FW)