Monday, December 18, 2017

Erika brings rain

Erica strom rainWhere Danny failed, Erika is making up for past expectations of rain, with maybe more than what people bargained for. After months of dry weather, the North of the Dominican Republic is finally seeing rain, in the form of torrential downpours. Tropical storm Erika, the center of which is now approaching Isla Saona, will pass over the country across Samana around 2pm and will then continue along the coastline to reach Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas by the evening

Tropical storm
Due to the high amount of expected rainfall, the Dominican Centre of Emergency Operations (COE) has increased the level of alert to red for nine provinces, including Puerto Plata.  The COE has recommended that people who live on the coastal areas where the tropical storm will have a frontal impact as well as people who live on steep inclinations evacuate due to the risk posed by the storm and the possibility of landslides. It has also prohibited owners of small and medium sized boats to exit ports, as well as the recreational use of the beach, both on the Atlantic and Caribbean side of the island. Watersports, both on the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean, as well as in rivers and inland bathing spots have also been prohibited.
The Dominican Meteorological Office Onamet expects that the rain showers will become heavy this afternoon, especially in the North East of the country, and will continue until Saturday morning. To follow the path of the storm and the rain check out windty.
A tweet by the Presidencia Republica Dominicana recommends that people should stop what they are doing starting midday. It also recommends that the population follows the official news bulletins.

tweet precidencia republica dominicana

In the past few days as the tropical storm made its way towards the Dominican Republic, it wreaked havoc on the small eastern Caribbean island of Dominica where it caused floods and landslides. Dozens of people are still missing and at least four people have reportedly been killed. The island’s infrastructure also took a bad hit.

In the early hours of Friday Erika drenched parched Puerto Rico, where warnings of flash floods were emitted by the National Weather Service of Puerto Rico. Several airlines have canceled their flights for Friday, and ferry transportation has also been suspended due to the storm. 

land slides flood car

The tropical storm is reportedly moving at a speed of 28km/h with maximum sustained winds of up to 85km/h. The chances of Erika becoming a hurricane are not high as the shear winds, which effectively break up the formation of a hurricane, are still very strong. As Erika passes over the Dominican Republic, the mountain ranges will also further break up the storm formation.
The international airport of Santo Domingo has communicated that flights operated by Cubana and Spirit have been cancelled for today due to the storm. A flight operated by American Airlines, Iberia and British Airlines to Miami has also been cancelled. Flights to and from Puerto Plata seem to be flying according schedule, except for a Westjet flight to Toronto, which has been cancelled.

Aerodom, which runs six Dominican airports including the international airport of Santo Domingo and the airport of Puerto Plata, will continue to monitor the situation and will keep passengers updated on any others delays or cancellations caused by the storm.
Surfers who went out this morning despite the COE prohibition had a ball at Encuentro, with waves of up to 8 feet. Tomorrow the waves are expected to be slightly smaller reaching heights of up to six feet and with a cross offshore breeze.

big wave encuentro

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