WEATHER | Hurricane Elsa pounds Barbados leaving roof damage and power cuts

WEATHER | Hurricane Elsa pounds Barbados leaving roof damage and power cuts

MONTEGO BAY,  June 2, 2021 -  Hurricane Elsa formed over the waters of the Atlantic Ocean early Friday just west of the Caribbean island of Barbados, one day after the system became the fifth-named storm of 2021.

Elsa, the first named storm of 2021 in the tropical Atlantic, arrived as forecasters predicted just before 8 a.m. packing winds of 60 miles per hour, and hurricane strength gusts.

Hurricane Elsa 875Hurricane Elsa 875Reports from Barbados say that Elsa, now a full-fledged hurricane,  this morning  whipped the island with strong winds and heavy showers.

Elsa's heavy winds has blown off roofs, and according to reports, galvanized fences have been blown away, and trees felled mostly in the southern part of the country.

Heavy rains are also pounding the northern part of the island, based on radio call-in information.

In the central part of the island, residents of St George were dealing with power and water outages as part of the Barbados Water Authority’s planned shut-downs. The roof of houses in Gall Hill, Christ Church and Inch Marlow have been was blown off, leaving homeowners open to the elements.

Areas also affected since the storm reached landfall just after 7 a.m. are Rose Hill, St Peter, Bath Land, St John, and Oistins, Christ Church where mostly powerful winds are doing damage.

Elsa was racing west-northwestward at 28 mph on Friday morning, about 20 miles west-southwest of Barbados and had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.

The system is expected to continue on a general west-northwest path over the Caribbean and is likely to remain a hurricane while approaching Hispaniola and Jamaica this weekend.

Weather forecasters, having expected the cyclone to reach hurricane force, continued monitoring Elsa and predict it will approach the United States next week after it unleashes heavy rain, strong winds and stirs up dangerous seas around the Caribbean islands through this weekend.

Elsa was racing west-northwestward at 28 mph on Friday morning, about 20 miles west-southwest of Barbados and had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.

The powerful winds and rain were associated with feeder bands associated with the cyclone which spread around 100 miles from the centre of the system.

The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) activated a hurricane warning for  St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, meaning hurricane conditions are expected in the next few hours and preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

Elsa's progress should be monitored by the Windward Islands, Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Cuba, the Miami-based NHC said. It forecast additional hurricane warnings would likely be needed later in the day for portions of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft was entering the hurricane and a NOAA aircraft was scheduled to investigate the system this afternoon, the NHC added.

Elsa's storm surge is expected to raise water levels by as much as 1 to 3 feet above normal tide levels in areas of onshore winds in the hurricane warning area in the Windward Islands and along the southern coast of Hispaniola.

The NHC forecast total rainfall of 3 to 6 inches with maximum amounts of 10 inches on Friday across the Windward and southern Leeward Islands, including Barbados, which could lead to isolated flash flooding and mudslides.

The system is expected to continue on a general west-northwest path over the Caribbean and is likely to remain a hurricane while approaching Hispaniola and Jamaica this weekend.

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