Barbados Meteorological Service warnings on Tropical Storm Tomas caught Dept of Emergency Management pretty much off-guard

"The system was said to be moving west north westerly at 15 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds nearing 60 miles per hour, with higher gusts."

JUDY THOMAS, DIRECTOR of the Department of Emergency Management is tonight suggesting that the warnings from the Barbados Meteorological Service on the passage of Tropical Storm Tomas caught them pretty much off-guard.

She says given the 8 o clock intermediary it means that we are expecting winds in the region of 60 miles per hour and our level of vulnerability is very high for this 60 mph winds sustained so I think we are looking for what I would call significant impact if what is being projected at this time occurs.

At 8pm the centre of Tropical Storm Tomas was located at 11.7 degrees north, 57.6 degrees west or about 170 miles southeast of Barbados. On its present trajectory, it was expected to pass 70 miles south of Barbados during the early hours of Saturday morning. Increased strengthening was also predicted.

The emergency management director urged persons to determine whether or not it would be in their best interest to ride Tomas out at home or go to a relative to friend.

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