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Tropical Storm Ernesto
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Page 1 of 1Total of 3 messages
Posted by:Aug 28th 2006, 12:18:06 pm
Fig Tree News TeamNoon, 28 August

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS HAS DOWNGRADED THE HURRICANE WATCH FOR THE CAYMAN ISLANDS TO A TROPICAL STORM WATCH FOR LITTLE CAYMAN AND CAYMAN BRAC...AND THE HURRICANE WATCH FOR GRAND CAYMAN HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED.

A HURRICANE WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR ALL OF THE FLORIDA KEYS... FROM OCEAN REEF TO THE DRY TORTUGAS. A HURRICANE WATCH MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 36 HOURS.

ADDITIONAL HURRICANE WATCHES MAY BE REQUIRED FOR PORTIONS OF THE FLORIDA PENINSULA LATER TONIGHT. WATCHES MAY ALSO BE REQUIRED FOR PORTIONS OF THE CENTRAL OR NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS LATER TONIGHT.
Posted by:Aug 26th 2006, 12:37:04 am
Fig Tree News TeamTropical Storm Ernesto now in Caribbean

By MICHAEL MELIA, Associated Press Writer

Tropical Storm Ernesto formed Friday over the Caribbean as it moved toward Jamaica and the Cayman Islands and could develop into the first hurricane of the 2006 Atlantic season, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Ernesto was projected to reach hurricane strength early next week and to enter the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday or Wednesday but it was too soon to predict whether it would hit the United States, said Robbie Berg, a forecaster with the hurricane center in Miami.

"At this early stage, the message we want to send to people is not to panic but to watch it," said Jamie Rhome, another specialist at the hurricane center.

Jamaica, which stood straight in the storm's path, issued a tropical storm watch, and Haiti issued a tropical storm watch for its southern coast.

The storm was on a course that would bring it over Jamaica by Sunday afternoon, dumping heavy showers. Fishermen were warned to return to shore and Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller met with disaster agencies to prepare.

Ernesto has the "potential to turn into a hurricane, so we must be on the alert for storm surges and damage to property," said Nadine Newsome, of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management. The office provided hurricane survival tips to locals living in four parishes prone to extensive damage from rains.

The Cayman Islands' National Hurricane Committee said a tropical storm alert for the islands would go into effect at 9 p.m. EST meaning the storm should hit the British territory within two days. The local weather service projected that tropical storm force winds would hit some areas starting late Sunday.

People were advised to complete their weather preparations on Saturday.

"The essential message to the public is to continue to monitor the system carefully, listen to local media," said Education Minister Alden McLaughlin.

One resident, Jacky Kennett, who moved to Cayman with her family from the United Kingdom a year ago, was preparing for what could be her first hurricane.

"I went and put fuel in the car, got some money out of the bank, and stopped at the grocery store yesterday to stock up," said Kennett, 47. "I don't want to overreact or anything, but I am worried."

Fears that the storm could damage offshore energy facilities in the Gulf of Mexico sent oil and natural-gas prices higher. Oil producers operating in the Gulf said they were prepared to evacuate nonessential personnel if needed.

Max Mayfield, the National Hurricane Center director, said it was too early to say whether the storm would hit the U.S. Gulf Coast, which is still recovering from last year's Hurricane Katrina.

"It's too early to pinpoint one specific location but I think message is, especially to the folks that are in temporary housing, these 115,000 families mostly in the FEMA trailers, they need to watch this carefully," Mayfield told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "We've got some time. We don't want people to get too excited about this, but they certainly need to be watching it."

At 11 p.m. EST Friday, Ernesto had maximum sustained winds near 45 mph with higher gusts. The fifth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season was centered 260 miles south-southeast of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and 555 miles east-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica.

The storm was moving west-northwest at nearly 16 mph. It was expected to bring rain to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and the Netherlands Antilles.
Posted by:Aug 25th 2006, 05:38:05 pm
Fig Tree News TeamTropical Storm Ernesto now in Caribbean
25 August

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Tropical Storm Ernesto formed Friday over the Caribbean as it moved toward Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

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