Acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw says there is “no need for panic” as she announced the early closure of public services. The development came as Met officials continued to monitor the progress of Potential Tropical Cyclone Two.
She said the Transport Board has also been alerted that commuters who will be using the service will have until 6:30 p.m. to access public transportation.
Below is some of the extract from the Acting Prime Minister’s announcement.
Fellow Barbadians over the past few days we have been closely monitoring a number of systems that had the potential to affect Barbados’ weather.
At the moment based on discussion with the Director of the Meteorological Services as well as the Disaster Emergency Services while we are not at this point being impacted by a hurricane watch or storm watch what we are seeing is a number of very high gusty winds across the island. We’re also noticing an increase in rainfall and as a consequence, we have determined that it may be best for Barbadians to start to make their way to their homes to ensure that they are not caught in any extreme weather conditions later this afternoon.
At this stage, it is very unpredictable in terms of whether we will be affected severely and I think out of an abundance of caution in speaking to all of the relevant authorities we have determined that we will close the public service at 3:30 p.m. I have already spoken to the head of the Private Sector . . . and alerted her as to the intention of the government to close the public service and I believe that the private sector will also follow suit in relation to ensuring that persons are able to get home safely this evening.
In relation to those who are using the public transportation system, we have also alerted the transport board that commuters who will be using the service will have until 6:30 p.m. to be able to access public transportation.
At this stage, this is no cause for panic but we certainly believe that given the events of last year with Hurricane Elsa and the unpredictability of our freak storms, and certainly the change in the climate that it is important that we ask Barbadians to prepare. Out of an abundance of caution, we are asking you as well to be guided accordingly and to start to head towards your homes and just await further updates over the next couple of hours.
It is anticipated that during the night conditions may worsen and therefore again we are asking you to pretty much just ensure that you have bottled water caught around your home and just to make sure that you secure your personal possessions at this point in time.
Just listen out as well for any further updates from the Barbados Meteorological Services and Mr. Best I am sure will be issuing updates during the course of the evening and into tonight.
Barbadians I encourage you to be safe and to take these notices seriously. We believe during this time in particular with the issues of climate change that we have to take these systems seriously. It is very difficult to predict what will actually happen, but we have to be prepared for whatever eventuality may arise. I wish you all the best and please be safe.