Even as high winds were buffeting Antigua & Barbuda today, July 2, residents were bemoaning the likelihood that the country would see no rainfall of note from Hurricane Elsa.
People across the island say they were forced to close windows and even secure items indoors, while those working outside also report battling the winds. Gardeners, meanwhile, say their plants, in particular banana trees, are taking a beating. And, yet, there has been little to no rain reported amidst the heat.
In the meantime, Elsa, the fifth named hurricane of the 2021 season, left significant damage in Barbados, as photos and videos coming out of that island showed. Reuters also reports that the Category 1 storm “blew roofs off homes, toppled trees and sparked flooding in the island nation.”
An Antiguan living in Barbados says she is acutely aware of the dangers that hurricanes can bring; however, Barbadians are less familiar with such weather and are more likely not to be properly prepared.
All warnings have since been dropped for Barbados, and she says that all is now calm, weatherwise. However, her neighbourhood is without electricity and water services, she says.
Meanwhile, St. Vincent & The Grenadines natives who reside here are reporting that the hurricane is soaking their homeland, with rolling seas and heavy rain that has already swollen the waterways there.
At 2 p.m. this afternoon, says meteorologist Dale Destin, Elsa’s winds were up to 85 mph and it was moving very rapidly, west-northwest, at 29 mph.
According to the Miami-based National Hurricane Centre, Elsa’s progress should be monitored by the Windward Islands all the way up to the Dominican Republic, Cuba and the Cayman Islands.
Little change in Elsa’s strength was forecast over the next 48 hours and some decrease in winds is possible on Monday, the hurricane center said.