Lieutenant Governor Osbert Potter on Friday urged Virgin Islanders to prepare themselves as Hurricane Beryl — only a day ago regarded by the National Hurricane Center (N.H.C.) as a “tiny” storm expected to quickly degenerate — heads towards the Lesser Antilles and is expected to gain strength in the process.
According to the release, Mr. Potter, who also serves as the territory’s commissioner of the Division of Banking and Insurance, said that although it might be difficult to buy homeowners insurance now for protection against Hurricane Beryl, homeowners are still strongly encouraged to buy property insurance for the remainder of the 2018 season.
And he issued the following reminders:
Review your policy and know what your homeowners insurance policy covers.
Store important documents, such as your homeowner’s insurance policy, in a safe and dry location.
Secure your property by putting up shutters and plywood before a storm approaches the territory.
Go to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor’s website at http://ltg.gov.vi, and download the Home Inventory Checklist. Complete the inventory of all your home contents.
Take photos before and after a storm.
Make a list of all your damages immediately after a storm.
Stay tuned to your radio and television stations for weather updates.
Hurricane Beryl, which was only two days ago a disturbance in the Atlantic, has continued to gain strength and remains organized while heading towards the Caribbean islands in the Lesser Antilles over the weekend and into late Sunday or Monday, according to N.H.C.
Dominica, an island that was leveled by Hurricane Maria and is still facing daunting challenges in wake of the Category 5 storm, is now under a hurricane watch. A tropical storm warning is in effect for Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy.
A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area. Tropical storm or hurricane conditions are possible within the watch areas by late Sunday or Monday.
The N.H.C. said interests elsewhere in the Lesser Antilles should monitor the progress of Hurricane Beryl, as additional watches could be required for other islands tonight or early Saturday.
According to N.H.C.’s 5:00 p.m. advisory, the center of Hurricane Beryl was located near latitude 10.6 North, longitude 47.8 West. Beryl is moving toward the west near 15 mph (24 km/h). A faster westward to west-northwestward motion is expected to begin over the weekend and continue through early next week. On the forecast track, the center of Beryl will approach the Lesser Antilles over the weekend and cross the island chain late Sunday or Monday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 80 mph (130 km/h) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days, and Beryl could still be a hurricane when it reaches the Lesser Antilles late Sunday or Monday. Weakening is expected once Beryl reaches the eastern Caribbean Sea on Monday, but the system may not degenerate into an open trough until it reaches the vicinity of Hispaniola and the central Caribbean Sea.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 10 miles (20 km) from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km). The estimated minimum central pressure is 994 mb (29.36 inches).