The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) has been advised by the Meteorological Service that the strong tropical wave now in the vicinity of Jamaica continues to influence weather conditions across the island. As the system continues on a westward track across the island today, periods of showers, thunderstorms and gusty winds are expected to affect all parishes. Eastern parishes will be most severely affected by flash flooding in low-lying and flood-prone areas.
The Meteorological Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for low-lying and flood-prone areas of eastern parishes until 5:00 p.m. today. These parishes include St. Mary, Portland, St. Thomas, Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Catherine. A Flash Flood Watch means that flash flooding is possible.
All Parish Disaster Committees have been alerted and will be monitoring the situation in each parish. The Meteorological Service and ODPEM will continue to keep an eye on the state of affairs and further updates will be provided, as it demands.
The public is advised to continue monitoring radios and televisions for further advisories and to avoid areas that are at risk from flooding and landslides. The Bog Walk Gorge is currently clear however motorists are advised to proceed with caution. Also take the following precautions in the event of heavy rains:
- Be ready to evacuate if you live in low-lying or flood-prone areas. Decide on likely evacuation routes now. Plan to stay with family or friends in safer areas or in a public shelter and move to safety.
- Avoid flooded waterways, gullies, streams or rivers, either on foot or in vehicles.
Fishers and other marine interests, especially fishers on the cays and banks, are being advised to exercise extreme caution as winds could reach gale force.