Hurricane Dean spares the Cayman Islands as it heads towards Mexico

2007-08-20 00:00:00 (GMT) (Caymanmama.com - Travel News)

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Dean, the first hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane season, was already a Category 4 storm when it touched down on the Cayman Islands. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the torrential hurricane could grow into a Category 5 hurricane before ripping across the Yucatan Peninsula and emerging in the Gulf of Campeche.

Dean bore down late Sunday on the Cayman Islands after pummeling Jamaica, but the vulnerable British territory said Monday it had been “spared the brunt of Hurricane Dean.” How true that statement was: the storm killed at least eight people as it has moved across the Caribbean.

The Cayman Islands blocked all visitors from entering the territory on Saturday. Only returning residents and work-permit holders can enter the islands. Many businesses and banks on Grand Cayman moved personnel, files and records safely off the island.

“Dean’s eye passed approximately 100 miles south of the Cayman Islands, and was spared hurricane-force winds, which extended outward up to 60 miles from the center. The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) advised the public that the curfew imposed in Grand Cayman due to Hurricane Dean would be lifted at 2pm today, Monday, August 20.”

Residents have been advised to take extra care on the roads and only make necessary journey’s until further notification is given later today.

The Caribbean Utilities Company (CUC) is working diligently to restore power to a number of areas throughout Grand Cayman which lost electricity due to wind damage from the outer-bands of Hurricane Dean. 11 of its 23 circuits are out of power.

The CUC teams are on the road implementing critical repairs and have restored power to some areas, but are being severely hindered by the steady high winds associated with Dean. They are, however, optimistic that full restoration could be achieved within 24-36 hours.

In the meantime, the CUC has warned residents to stay away from down power lines. Additionally, those lines which are low hanging could be a life threatening hazard.

The following Cayman areas have been affected by Hurricane Dean:

West Bay

Rev. Blackman Road (just beyond Anglin Road)
Batabano Road
The West Bay Police Station
The Shores

George Town

The Waterfront
Seven Miles Beach North of the Ritz
Cricket Square
Red Cross
Kirk Home Centre
Kirk Supermarket
North Church Street
Crewe Road
Eastern Avenue

Prospect

From the end of Prospect to the beginning of Spotts all the way to East End
Savannah
Northward
Frank Sound
Pockets within North Side

All other areas in the districts listed above are with power.

Although the islands are safe from the wrath of Hurricane Dean, tropical storm conditions are expected to continue through this Monday afternoon.



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