The National Hurricane Center reported on the morning of Friday, September 23, 2022 that Tropical Depression Nine is moving west-north-west at about 13 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph.
If Tropical Depression Nine continues to strengthen over the next couple of days, it may become a tropical storm and, eventually, a category 1 hurricane by early Monday morning as it passes the Cayman Islands, Cuba and Jamaica. It may further strengthen as it leaves the Caribbean, with crosshairs set on the Florida area.
What to expect
Based on the data, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, Jamaica and other countries in the path of this system can expect heavy rainfall and flash flooding. Life-threatening surf and rip current conditions may also develop as a result of this system.
Rainfall forecast (image: The Weather Channel)
Depending on the actual strength of this system when it actually arrives in Cayman or Jamaica, interests in these areas may expect varying degrees of damage. These estimations are based on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
Damage predictions according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale (source: National Hurricane Center website)Maximum sustained windsCategory of hurricanePredicted dangers74-95 mphCategory 1Damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.96-110 mphCategory 2Major roof damage. Many shallowly rooted trees may be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.111-129 mphCategory 3Major damage to homes. Many trees may be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water may be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.
In addition to the above, below is a video illustration of what residents may expect.
Notwithstanding the foregoing illustrations of possible damage based on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, interests in the path of the bad weather system should be aware that many other factors may contribute to risk and damage. These include:
storm surgefloodingpoor building codes for structures
How to prepare
Given the social, economic, and environmental devastation caused by Hurricane Ivan and the potential for this to happen again, it is important that communities and businesses have proper disaster and business continuity plans in place, far in advance of a threat.
In addition, it is critical that communities establish community emergency response teams (CERT), who are members of each community trained by Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HCMI).
If you have not familiar with the CERT programme, you can learn more on HCMI’s website at https://www.caymanprepared.gov.ky/cert.
You can also confirm with HCMI the members of the CERT team for your area, who will assess the resources in your community before a hurricane and assist HCMI and other emergency responders, post-disaster.
To obtain this information, you may contact HCMI at 945-4624 or email them at [email protected].
With this knowledge in hand, however, residents should not become complacent or think that the danger is covered. Instead, residents should remain vigilant on the announcement of a hurricane or tropical storm, stay prepared and test hurricane preparedness plans from time to time, even when there is no threat.