The Latest on Hurricane Dean--The Associated Press is reporting that the Cayman Islands will be the next destination to feel the effects of Hurricane Dean, which has been plowing through the Caribbean since Thursday, killing at least eight people as of early Monday. Numerous hurricane and tropical storm watches and warnings are in place for the various Caribbean islands, including a hurricane warning for Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, as well as part of the eastern Yucatan Peninsula from Belize City, Belize, to Cancun, Mexico, according to the National Weather Service. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the first hurricane of the Atlantic season was a powerful Category 4 storm, and could reach the highest level-Category 5, with maximum winds greater than 155 mph-later Monday. Jamaica avoided a direct hit when the storm wound up passing to the south Sunday night. Still, Dean uprooted trees, flooded streets and tore the roofs off many homes, businesses and a prison block in Jamaica.
Hurricane Dean passed about 100 miles north of Barbados Thursday night, dropping just a few inches of rain on the island. Grantley Adams International Airport, which was closed for a 12-hour period for precautionary reasons, reopened by 9:00 a.m. Friday and flights resumed shortly thereafter. Hotels across the island remain open and no damage was experienced in the accommodations sector.
Maria Fowell, Director of Tourism for St. Lucia, says Hurricane Dean has caused limited structural damage to that island. There are reports of uprooted trees and broken branches, and hotel pools are full of debris; cleanup was scheduled to take place as soon as the wind and rain stopped Friday. No hotels had reported any major damage as of Friday.