BREAKING NEWS: Schools ordered closed immediately; public service to close at noon

Below is a statement by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit on the closing of school and suspension of work in the public service as Hurricane Irma draws closer to the islands.

Fellow Dominicans and residents, as you are aware, for the past week or so, we have been following the movements of what was Tropical Storm Irma out in the Atlantic moving towards the Caribbean Islands.

Today Irma is a major category five hurricane with one hundred and seventy-five miles per hour, with its center only two hundred and forty miles east of Dominica.

We are relieved that it doesn’t appear that Dominica will see any hurricane conditions, but given the size of Irma and its proximity to Dominica, we have been placed under a Tropical Storm Warning, which means that we can see tropical storm conditions later today.

We have therefore decided to take the following courses of action out of an abundance of caution and concern for our people; schools should be closed immediately for today and tomorrow Wednesday there shall be no school. Work will be suspended from twelve noon for the public service and we are encouraging the private sector to also close operations from twelve noon today. Persons who work in essential services should report to work as normal.

We want to urge fishermen to use their next hours to secure all gear and not to venture out today.

Shelter Managers should arrange to have shelters open for persons who need to use those shelters from about 11:00 am today.

Coastal residents and residents close to rivers and other waterways are asked to remain alert and if the situation warrants moving, please do so early.

We want to call on all residents to complete all preparedness activities and remain indoors this afternoon into tonight as much as possible unless you have duties to perform.

Our thought and prayers are with the people of Antigua and other islands north of Dominica, and we hope that they will pull through without any damage.

Our thought and prayers are also with our people here in Dominica, as we pray and hope that our people and our country will be safe.

We continue to pray for God’s guidance and protection on our homeland and may God bless Dominica and our people as we prepare for Tropical Storm Irma.

Again, we want to urge all our residents and citizens to take all precautionary measures. We do not know precisely what Tropical Storm Irma will do to Dominica and therefore we need to be prepared to the fullest.

Do not take anything for granted as we have in recent memory experienced the ravages of a tropical storm. this is a massive hurricane as we have been advised and though we may not be affected by hurricane conditions, we are now on a Tropical Storm Warning, which means we will get some impact, but our hope and prayer is that we will be spared.

I want to again call on us to be prepared to the fullest, ensure that each of our families, our communities, are secured and we have all the essential items at our residence, and as we continue to pray for no impact on Dominica but we have to be prepared.

I thank you for listening to me and we will continue to provide the country with updates through the Office of Disaster Management as we monitor the movements of Tropical Storm Irma, and of course, Hurricane Irma which is now a category five hurricane with sustained winds at one hundred and seventy-five miles per hour, and two hundred and forty miles east of our country Dominica.

I thank you, may God bless our country and protect us from Tropical Storm Irma.



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  1. Man bites Dogs
    September 6, 2017

    @ Opinion above, Why don’t you shut it and get your self a life you stupid loser! If Dr Skerrit Pm was a white man you lots Workers supporters would be happy to lick him all over like slaves mentality.

  2. September 5, 2017

    I my name is Britney I attend the Goodwill secondary school my school
    Going to open tomorrow morning for the new school term I would like to
    Know when is it going to open????? Thank you☺☺

  3. Fran
    September 5, 2017

    Stay safe everyone. Praying for you guys and the whole of the Caribbean.

  4. My opinion
    September 5, 2017

    As for me they say there is no school so I will not send my children to school. They say no work from 12pm, so I will not work past 12. However I don’t take any thing this man called ‘Skerrit’ let alone his address to the nation or statement. He is a pappy show that just likes noticing. In his recent address to the nation he accused the opposition of setting Roseau on fire, vandalizing the city, busting gun shots and so on; he even went as far as arresting some members of the opposition in an attempt to strengthen his lies, only to find out the whole thing was fake! Can I ever believe this man? He needs to let the professionals at the weather center to do their job and go for some well needed sleep. He is not in any position to assume that the hurricane might spare us. He needs to go back to Macau, where he was during Erika and let us fight our battle

    • Man bites Dogs
      September 6, 2017

      @ Opinion above, Why don’t you shut it and get your self a life you stupid loser! If Dr Skerrit Pm was a while man you lots Workers supporters would be happy to lick him all over like slaves mentality.

      • Man bites Dogs
        September 6, 2017

        Spelling mistake it should have been if Dr.Skerrit was a white man you Opinion, would be happy to lick his Axminster all over the ask no questions.

  5. Chalks Corriette
    September 5, 2017

    We are thinking of you all and looking forward to this weather condition passing quickly, and with little damage being inflicted on Dominica, and the other Islands in the Region.

  6. Emile Dominique
    September 5, 2017

    Thank you DNO. Thank you Hon P M, may the Lord continue to bless you and elevate your vision every day as you demonstrate abilities of true leadership. May Jesus protect you, your family and the people of Dominica from the ravages of Irma. Blessings of safety to all.

  7. Mother
    September 5, 2017

    I am pleased P.M. did not go in for grandstanding or politicising the occasion this morning. Common sense prevailed. it dawned on me that communications technology has advanced so much that today we have instant access to weather updates and advice. Cecil Shillingford does no longer have the monopoly on this and he should be less arrogant and more humble. I heard him disputing with Matt this morning that the hurricane had not been upgraded to 175 miles per hour when that was clearly the case. The fact is that we do not need Cecil like we did before.

    • Really?
      September 5, 2017

      you are so right. it actually made cecil look foolish

    • Bezzle
      September 5, 2017

      oh please he may not have had the updated information at the time he was speaking to Matt, that can happen to even the best. Give Jack his jacket and Jacklyne her lipstick with Cecil at the helm information is more forthcoming.

  8. ArayofLight
    September 5, 2017

    some people are just not pro-active, i ,mean come on….with social media and access to the world wide web you should have taken precaution long in advance about the reopening of schools especial pre-schools. Guadeloupe just north of us by 32 miles or so cancelled schools as of yesterday and work just as a precaution cause livessss matter.

    • Waiting on God
      September 5, 2017

      do we really need this showman to tell principals when to close school especially is times like this?????????? principals put students, staff and their lives first BEFORE ministry instruction OR this SHOWMAN……… we still have PRINCIPALS WHO ARE CRITICAL THINKERS

    • Really
      September 5, 2017

      But Guadeloupe was in the danger zone before Dominica,Dominica did theirs one day later,what really is the problem?We seem to comment on trivial things,the point is the decision was taken,so what?You sound dissapointed that it was done!!

    • Man bites Dogs
      September 5, 2017

      @ above comment, So what are your point, did any pre-school children got hurt today? Get your self a life for crying out loud for xxxxsake.

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