Location of Ernesto late on Thursday afternoon

A tropical storm warning has been issued for Dominica and residents have been urged to make all necessary preparations as the island braces for the passage of Tropical Storm Ernesto.

“Dominicans need to be on the alert and take all the necessary precautionary measures to save life and property,” Senior Met Officer Fitzroy Pascal said on state-owned DBS Radio.

His views were further echoed by acting Disaster Preparedness Coordinator, Don Corriette who warns of possible “flash flooding and falling rocks.”

“We know the terrain in Dominica and we are asking people to remain vigilant for possible flash flooding and rock falling… continue to exercise extreme caution,” Corriette asserted.

Water company, Dominica Water and Sewage Co (DOWASCO), has called on residents to ensure they have sufficient drinking water in store. PRO Edward Registe said the company is “ready and prepared for anything.”

At 5 pm, Tropical Storm Ernesto was located about 295 miles east of the Windward Islands.

According to the Met Office Ernesto is moving towards the west near 22 mph with maximum sustained winds near 50 mph with higher gusts.

Some slight strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

On the forecast track, this system is expected to begin affecting the area by late tonight or early Friday.