Clarendon Municipal Corporation preparing for 2020 Hurricane Season amid COVID-19

Clarendon Municipal Corporation preparing for 2020 Hurricane Season amid COVID-19

Monday, May 18, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— As Tropical Storm Arthur crawls closer to the North Carolina coast in the United States, the Clarendon Municipal Corporation (CMC) is ramping up its preparation activities for the upcoming North Atlantic Hurricane Season

This year makes the sixth consecutive year that a tropical storm has formed before the official start of the hurricane season and the CMC is ensuring that it is prepared even as it continues its fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The 2020 season is predicted to be above normal and may prove to be quite challenging and the CMC has accepted that with the present situation with COVID-19 its operations will have to be significantly adjusted.

Since the start of this month the CMC, through its Parish Disaster Committee has been re-inspecting shelters, updating its shelter listing, and is still in the process of carrying out shelter inspections.

Chairman of the CMC Winston Maragh says the corporation is currently developing a protocol for the operation of shelters during the pandemic and how to deal with persons who may be exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 in the shelters.

“The Parish Welfare Sub-committee has met to ascertain and review its shelter welfare plan and its operations which include a joint inspection with the health department, fire brigade and the shelter managers of all priority shelters,” said Maragh.

Parish disaster coordinator at the CMC Eleanor Coombs-Waithe noted that it is important to carry out the shelter inspections as that provides a true and current status of the facilities and will allow the corporation to readily identify the gaps and have them addressed before the season starts.

“Coming out of these shelter inspections we will be able re-evaluate the shelter capacity and put in the markings in keeping with the COVID-19 guidelines in order to limit overcrowding. We will also be training the shelter managers in donning and doffing of personal protective equipment and they will be provided with a checklist of how to operate during COVID-19 in keeping with the Ministry of Health and Wellness guidelines,” said Coombs-Waithe.

Tropical Storm Arthur formed Saturday in waters off Florida.

The US National Hurricane Centre in Miami said Arthur is expected to move near, or just east, of the North Carolina coast, where one to three inches of rain is expected, today and then turn away from the East Coast Monday night and Tuesday.

As of 5:00 am today, the centre of Arthur was about 135 miles south-southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

Arthur had top sustained winds of 45 mph and was moving to the north-northeast at 14 mph.

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