Cayman battens down ahead of impending storm

| 23/09/2022 | 14 Comments
NHC graphic of TD9 at 4pm local time Friday 23 September

(CNS) At 4pm, Friday, TD9 was some 430 miles ESE of Jamaica and had still not yet developed into a storm but a hurricane watch was issued for the Cayman Islands as the system was on track for a direct hit on Grand Cayman as a category one hurricane. Forecasts call for “significant intensification” on Sunday and Monday. Moving at 15mph with winds of 35mph with higher gusts according to the National Hurricane Centre TD9 is expected to become a storm later Friday evening.

With Cayman already under a Hurricane Alert most government offices closed by 3pm on Friday allowing workers time to begin making preparations and all government offices and many businesses were already announcing plans to close Monday.

The water authority reconnected customers with outstanding bills and said it will maintain supply as long as possible but depending on the weather it may need to temporarily interrupt water service to protect the system. CBC also urged importers to collect their goods from the Port Authority Warehouse and CBC’s Transit Shed as soon as possible. Cayman Airways also rescheduled and cancelled some flights for Sunday with full details on the website.

Meanwhile, AL Thompson’s will be open on Sunday from 7am until 11am while the other major hardware stores are maintaining normal hours Saturday and will be closed Sunday. All supermarkets including Cost U Less and Price Right will also keep normal opening hours on Friday and Saturday and will not open on Sunday. HomeGas will also continue to deliver Sunday.

All official weekend events were cancelled and the education department also confirmed schools will be closed Monday

Following a meeting of government minsters, MPs and officials Friday morning, Premier Wayne Panton urged the public to stay vigilant and make the necessary preparations for the impending severe weather.

“The Cayman Islands Government has issued a Hurricane Alert based on the likelihood of rapid intensification of Tropical Depression Nine,” said Panton earlier today. “I encourage the Cayman Islands public to finalise your emergency plans and gather all necessary supplies as soon as possible. Plan to stay off of the roads from Sunday afternoon as weather conditions start to deteriorate.”

Residents in low-lying and flood prone areas are strongly encouraged to plan ahead to minimise risk to their property. If flooding is likely in your area, you are strongly encouraged to pay attention to official sources for information on rainfall and shelter options. If the flooding is severe, consider relocating to an emergency shelter. If you go to a shelter, be sure to secure your home before leaving and turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so.

“The dangers of a hurricane are many and varied – from strong winds to high, crashing waves and dangerous storm surge. The best remedy against risk is preparation,” Panton said. “No two storms are the same, and everyone should take all precautions necessary to safeguard their loved ones and property.”

The National Roads Authority has a mobilisation plan that includes equipment capable of road clearing and emergency repairs stationed in each district.

“Vacuum trucks and other drainage equipment were serviced in anticipation of the hurricane season,” said the director Edward Howard. “We have cleaned and cleared existing culvert systems in a number of areas including Rex Crighton Boulevard, South Sound, Esterley Tibbets Highway, among others. In addition, since August last year, we installed close to one hundred and fifty new wells to address drainage and flooding issues.”

The Cayman Islands Government, through the Cayman Islands National Weather Service (CINWS) and Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI), continues to monitor the storm and is taking all precautions to ensure government is ready and able to respond ensuring continuity of essential services. Panton also warned of the dangers of misinformation in an emergency situation and asked people to monitor official sources for accurate information and guidance. Residents are encouraged to visit, or listen to Radio Cayman on 89.9FM in Grand Cayman or 93.9FM in the Sister Islands.

Governor Martyn Roper also confirmed that the RCIPS helicopter currently in Turks and Caicos this week supporting in the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona will remain there out of harm’s way until the threat of the storm has passed. But the second helicopter remains on island and is fully operational. The Royal Navy ship HMS Medway, already in the Caribbean as part of the UK’s hurricane season support is now on its way to out area.

The ship can offer immediate assistance with a Crisis Response Troop embarked, alongside Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief equipment and supplies. The vessel has skilled engineers on board who can help restore the airport if needed, as well as utilities support, fresh water and food stores and trained medics.

A four person Operational Liaison and Reconnaissance Team from the UK Ministry of Defence will arrive in Grand Cayman today and will work under HMCI, embedded in the National Emergency Operations Committee (NEOC) as a direct link to the UK MOD. This is also a an opportunity for the team to exercise for any future threats.

The 100 strong Cayman Islands Regiment, established with UK support and trained by the UK MOD, are also on standby.

Roper said it was “normal practice and also very important in these situations to over prepare” and the country has a strong, regularly tested, crisis response system.

“Covid tested them rigorously and they performed very well. But it is important that the community also prepares for the worst. The current forecast is for possible cat 1 hurricane force winds in some areas of Grand Cayman. But we should all be ready just in case it is worse than this and prepare accordingly,” Roper warned. “We have seen extreme weather events across the world. Climate change is real and feeding greater intensity and strength of adverse weather globally.”

Follow Hazard Management Cayman Islands for a comprehensive list of the items you need to prepare for hurricanes as well as the location of emergency shelters (see: For official bulletins and updates please visit

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Comments (14)

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  1. Bertie : B says:

    My last post to beautiful Cayman , No hurricane will ever take down the Cayman people . No Covid , Nothing , you are all to strong in spirit for that . Goodbye and God Bless .

  2. Anonymous says:

    2017 Irma is an example of why meteorologists urge folks to NOT focus on the cone alone. Impacts from tropical systems stretch far outside of where the center of a storm tracks.
    Hurricane Irma was responsible for one of the worst flooding events in the River City’s (FL) 225+ history.
    It broke the record for the longest of any cyclone in the world since 1932 to maintain that intense of winds — for 37 hours straight and it spent three consecutive days as a category 5 hurricane.
    Irma had seven total landfalls from September 6th through September 10th.

  3. Anonymous says:

    🎶Wha happen to my Westar dish?….🎶

  4. Anonymous says:

    Be safe Cayman!

  5. WBW Czar. says:

    Well here we go with the doomsday talk.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wouldn’t call it doomsday talk. It’s good that people are aware there is a hurricane coming. Sadly many people here are ignorant to any form of news or current events, so have to be bombarded to understand what’s coming. 2 days minimum without water and electricity, which is guaranteed, is worth preparing for.

    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      Weather people like to talk weather. People who don’t like to talk weather should avoid weather discussions.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m really impressed with all the planning! 100+ wells, naval ship loaded with supplies and medics and engineers etc. Well done! On top of that Mac is helping out his West Bay community so they will be just fine.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Stay safe everyone,
    Just remember not to panic.

    • Anonymous says:

      thanks Mom

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t panic…said someone from Denver. Panic is not managed by words. My cat 🙀 gets traumatized from lightning and thunder, always. She never listens when I tell her to calm down. Luckily I have gummies that calm her down a bit.

      So brace yourself for Ivan#2 and take Xanax or valium. I know what it feels like, I am on the direct path of this one as well. Irma, 2017, did spare Cayman, but not my city in FL-center of Irma made landfall in Marco Island Category 3 with 115 mph winds; it wasn’t fun and afterwards we had no electricity for 3 weeks.

  8. Stay safe everyone! Time to come together and support each other as an island community!

    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      I remember that. I remember island community and support. Tribal unity, regardless of your origin. All you had to do was pay your dues with time and sweat and blood.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sweatheart, whe’ you been livin’ these past twenty years? Dem days is looooong gone in Cayman.


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