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Gustav turns toward Sister Islands


By Alan Markoff,

Friday 29th August, 2008   Posted: 16:56 CIT   (21:56 GMT)

Hurricane Gustav made its expected turn to the northwest Friday, tracking it farther away from Grand Cayman and closer to Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.

Aston Rutty Centre storm shelter

Awaiting the storm on Cayman Brac at the Aston Rutty Centre storm shelter. Photo: Ed Beaty

At 4pm, the storm about 100 miles east of Grand Cayman and moving to the northwest at 12mph. Based on the forecast track of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, the closest point of approach for the centre of Gustav for Grand Cayman would be 62.4 miles away at about 2:30am Saturday morning.

However, the hurricane would come within 11.7 miles south of Little Cayman at about 8:30 Friday evening. The forecast track would also bring Gustav within 28.6 miles of Cayman Brac just after 8pm tonight.

Gustav regained hurricane strength just after 2pm, with sustained wind speeds of 75 miles per hour, making it a Category 1 hurricane. The storm is expected to continue intensifying over the next 48 hours and is predicted to be come a major Category 3 hurricane with winds over 125 mph in the Gulf of Mexico.

The first squalls from Gustav reached North Side, Grand Cayman around 2:30 pm Friday and then George Town about an hour later.

Although the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service did not ask the Governor to implement a curfew for Gustav, all residents have been asked to stay off the roads starting at 4pm Friday.

Tropical storm force winds are expected to begin affecting Grand Cayman between 5pm and 7pm Friday. Although sustained hurricane force winds are not expected on Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands National Weather Service meteorologist Alan Ebanks said gusts of hurricane force winds could occur.

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