Tropical Storm Kate exiting Bahamas

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A tropical storm warning remained in effect for the northwest Bahamas last night, but local meteorologists said on its current trajectory, Tropical Storm Kate was expected to exit The Bahamas today.

Department of Meteorology Deputy Director Basil Dean said once this happens the warning for the northwest islands will be discontinued today.

The northwest islands include Grand Bahama, Abaco, Andros, Bimini, the Berry Islands, New Providence and Eleuthera.

The warning for the central Bahamas — the Exumas, Cat Island, Long Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador — was discontinued yesterday.

On Sunday, meteorologists projected that residents in the southeast and central Bahamas could experience flooding and gusty winds by the developing system.

Residents of those islands are still recovering from the devastation caused by Hurricane Joaquin last month.

While the storm was not anticipated to reach hurricane strength, some of the central islands, including Cat Island and Eleuthera, were impacted by a downpour.

But Dean told The Nassau Guardian, the rainfall “is not as bad as one would think”.

Dean said south Abaco was expected to experience some rainfall last night.

Schools on those islands were closed yesterday in preparation for the storm.

As of 5 p.m., the center of Kate was around 20 miles off Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera.

The storm was traveling northwest at around 14 miles per hour.

It was expected to continue north last night and pick up northeasterly today.

Maximum sustained winds were near 45 miles per hour with higher gusts.

Kate is the 11th named storm of the season.

Joaquin, a category four hurricane at its peak, was the 10th named storm.

It devastated Crooked Island, Acklins, Long Island, San Salvador and Rum Cay.

Hundreds of homes were destroyed and 5,000 people were affected.

In the wake of that storm, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Department of Meteorology faced heavy criticisms over their level of preparation ahead of the hurricane and their response to it.

Dean insisted that the government’s agencies have been “on the ball from the inception” of this storm.

“It’s all about timing depending on what time of the day the system forms,” he said.

“Again, the first set of warnings would have gone out during our nightfall, but fortunately it is not a rapid, intensifying system.”

He added, “We can use this season as the benchmark – that we have not seen this kind of activity that close to our doorsteps in terms of their development.

“Of course, with Joaquin [there was] rapid intensification and that followed by another very powerful system that impacted Mexico.“

He was referring to Hurricane Patricia.

 

 

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