PHILIPSBURG:--- As Chairlady of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), I convened an EOC meeting on Wednesday morning at 9 am to assess the weather situation based on Tropical Storm Isaac that will be passing through the Southern Leeward Islands on Thursday.
Even though a Tropical Storm Watch for Sint Maarten was not issued for the country, in its decision-making process the EOC continues to take a cautious approach in this post-Irma environment.
The decision has been taken to close schools on Thursday, September 13 out of safety for the schoolchildren. Our Meteorological Services has indicated that the country could experience some gale force winds of up to 35 miles per hour.
Seeing that we still have loose debris around the country; certain school buildings still have challenges; and based on these vulnerabilities due to the aftermath of Irma, and for the comfort and safety of our schoolchildren, it has been advised to close schools for that day as Isaac passes through the Lesser Antilles.
Businesses should give some consideration to those employees who cannot secure childcare services for Thursday.
A decision with respect to school on Friday will be made on Thursday after an assessment of weather conditions. Government services will remain open on Thursday. Business operations can continue as normal on Thursday. Shelters will not open as planned on Wednesday due to a review of the latest information related to Tropical Storm Isaac.
The Police Force of Sint Maarten will continue with their operational plan with respect to checkpoints along the public road network between Wednesday and Friday as Tropical Storm Isaac passes the Southern Leeward Islands. This measure has been taken with respect to safety and security.
The Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten along with the EOC will continue to monitor Tropical Storm Isaac as it passes the Southern Leeward Islands into the Caribbean Sea thereby clearing the area south of the country.
I would like to thank the public for their diligence in monitoring the storm during the past days. Continue to monitor the situation closely as the system is still east of the Southern Leeward Islands.