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Published 5th November 2020, 5:30pm

At 4 pm today, the Cayman Islands was placed under a Tropical Storm Watch. Tropical storm force winds (between 39 mph and 73 mph) are possible within 48 hours.

On the forecast track, the centre of Eta will emerge over the Caribbean Sea tonight, and approach the Cayman Islands Saturday and Saturday night. Eta is expected to move approximately 114 miles NW of Grand Cayman, 155 miles NW of Cayman Brac.

Maximum sustained winds are currently near 35 mph with higher gusts. Strengthening is forecast, and Eta is expected to re-gain tropical storm strength on Friday.

RAINFALL - A Flood warning is in effect with up to ten inches of rain forecast for Friday and up to six inches for Saturday.

WINDS - Strong, gusty winds are expected: On Friday the forecast calls for Southeasterly winds at 25 to 30 knots and gusting to 35 knots. On Saturday the wind is forecast to come from the West Southwest at 30 to 35 knots, gusting to 40 knots. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the Cayman Islands Saturday or Saturday night.

SEAS - A marine warning is in effect. On Friday waves are forecast to be six to eight feet, increasing to eight to ten feet on Friday night and Saturday.

Hazard Management Cayman Islands is recommending residents take the following actions:

Exercise increased caution on flooded roads. Excessive rain has led to numerous potholes opening up, and the flood waters make these more difficult to detect. Periods of torrential rainfall will result in limited visibility on the roads.

Residents are encouraged to limit travel on the roads to essential journeys from Friday afternoon and into Saturday.

Residents should take steps to ensure vessels are secure and in safe harbour.

The Cayman Islands has been experiencing rain over the past week, and as a result, the ground is already saturated. With more rain forecast and strong, gusty winds this could lead to some trees toppling.

The Red Cross Shelter is on standby. Other shelters are being prepared should the need arise as a result of localised flooding.

Residents should continue to monitor official sources of information (such as about this system.