Wednesday, August 19, 2009

BICO Up In Flames

The headquarters of ice-cream maker BICO went up in flames tonight, causing at least one million dollars in damage.

The north-western section of the complex was extensively damaged by the inferno that started around 7:50 p.m. and lasted more than two hours.

Chief executive officer Edwin Thirlwell, who rushed from home to the complex, said as far as he knew it was the first fire to hit the company since its opening on Bay Street in 1901.

According to engineering co-ordinator at the plant, Michael Korber, the fire started in the boiler section of the engineering area and extended to the storeroom.

At least nine fire tenders from Bridgetown and other areas battled the blaze, finding the billowing smoke and the absence of hydrants on the property among the challenges.

In a statement issued tonight by BICO's public relations company Redd Advertising, employees of the company have been asked to gather in the car park of Cricket Legends of Barbados at Herbert House, Fontabelle, at 8 a.m. tomorrow for an update on the company's next steps. (TY/PR)


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fire Service Employee Idalia Yarde Has Died

On Friday, members of the Barbados Fire Service learned of the death of Chrisita Idalia Yarde a civilian employee of the department.

Ms. Yarde was employed as a maid and worked with the department for many years serving at all of the fire stations before being appointed to staff (full time) in 2004. She was last assigned to the Worthing Fire Station in Christ Church.

The sincerity with which Idalia approached everyone will certainly be missed by all those who had the pleasure of working with her.

An official notice of the funeral service for Chrisita Idalia Yarde will be published shortly. May she rest in peace.

Second Tropical Storm Forms; Ana Keeps On Path To Northern Caribbean

A second tropical storm, Bill, has formed in the Atlantic, right on the heels of Tropical Storm Ana which is continuing on its path to hit the north-east Caribbean - including Anguilla, Antigua and Tortola - by Monday morning.

Tropical Storm Bill strengthened from a depression earlier today, and by 5 pm was located about 820 miles west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands, moving toward the west near 16 miles per hour, with maximum sustained winds near 40 miles per hour. It is expected to strengthen during the course of the next day.

But the more immediate threat to the Caribbean, Ana - the first storm of the Atlantic hurricane season - continues to move towards the north-east Caribbean - including Anguilla, Antigua and Tortola, still on track to hit in less than two days.

Acting Director of Antigua and Barbuda's Met Office Keithley Meade said officials are keeping a close watch on that storm.

Ana is still some way out from the islands and the Met Office will continue to monitor it, in case a tropical storm watch is required as the storm moves westward," he said.

"When it does reach the islands, according to the present forecast, it will still be a tropical storm...and, as such, all interests in the Leewards should monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Ana," Meade added.

The government of the Netherland Antilles has already issued a tropical storm watch for St Maarten, Saba and St Eustatius. Residents of these islands can expect tropical storm conditions within another day and a half.

At 5 pm, the centre of Tropical Storm Ana was about 805 miles east-southeast of the Leeward Islands. It was moving toward the west at near 17 miles per hour.


Northern Caribbean On Alert As Tropical Storm Ana Forms

The first tropical storm of the 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season has formed and could impact on several islands in the north-east Caribbean by early next week.

The National Hurricane Centre says a tropical storm watch may be required for parts of the Leeward Islands on Saturday.

On its current course, TS Ana is forecast to pass uncomfortably close to or make landfall on Anguilla, Tortola and Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands early next week.

On the current path - based on the 5am EST 15 August 2009 forecast - the centre of Tropical Storm Ana is expected to pass 33 miles east of Antigua and six miles east of Anguilla on Monday morning. On Monday night the track takes it 10 miles east of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands and within 24 hours, 6 miles east of Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

These projections are subject to change with subsequent forecasts. The margin of error for a two-day forecast is 164 miles while for for 24 hours it is 89 miles.

At 5am EST, the centre of Tropical Storm Ana was estimated to be near 14.6 north and 46.8 west oo 1010 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.

It is travelling at 16mph towards the west and has a minimum central pressure of 1005MB. with maximum sustained winds of 40mph with higher gusts. Minimum central pressure of 1005MB.

Tropical storm force winds extend outward from the centre up to 70 miles.

The NHC says the environment is more conducive to strengthening and slow intensification is expected during the next 48 hours.

TS Ana was upgraded from Tropical Depression 2 which re-generated on Friday - one day after it was downgraded to an open tropical wave.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tropical Depression Forms - Expected To Strengthen

A tropical depression has formed in the eastern Atlantic Ocean and poses no threat to the Caribbean at this time. The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) says it should strenghten in another 24 hours to become tropical storm as it continues westward for about two to three days when it should gradually turn towards the northwest as it navigates its way around the periphery of a high pressure system.

Beyond this, forecasters are uncertain.

Hurricane specialist Dr Richard Pasch says that the cyclone is currently situated over marginally warm ocean waters with weak upper level winds (warm water and weak shear are good ingredients for strengthening).

"The official forecast shows gradual strenghening over the next couple of days and is a blend of the various numerical guidance tools. As usual there is considerable uncertainty as to the strength of this system later in the forecast period.

If the cyclone moves farther north than anticipated (in the current forecast) it will probably encounter stronger shear and not intensify as much as forecast. On the other hand if the system moves farther south than expected late in the (forecast) will probably become stronger than anticipated...," says Pasch.

The current forecast track is for this system to curve northwest before reaching the Caribbean islands by weekend. However, that forecast is subject to change.

At 6am Eastern Standard Time, the centre of Tropical Depression Two was estimated to be near 14.4 north and 28.6 west with maximum sustained winds of 30mph, travelling towards the west at 13mph. The minimum central pressure is 1006MB.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hero Breaks Open Door; Saves Old Woman From Fire

Kadooment Hero!
That's what residents are calling a young man who yesterday, Kadooment Day, lifted a 94-year-old woman from a burning house and took her to safety.

Shawn Howell broke down a door and brought Enid Sandiford to safety after a room in her Seclusion Road, Black Rock, St Michael home caught on fire.

He then returned to fight the blaze with the help of others who were on their way to watch the bands parade.

"I broke off the door and already the place was filled with smoke . . . . I made sure I got the old lady out from the front-house, but in the bedroom the bed was on fire and the fan was burning, causing me to get trapped a bit, but no one was hurt," Howell said, adding that his companion Antoinette Smith also helped.

Howell was treated for smoke inhalation by paramedics, while Sandiford was in the care of nearby relatives.

Though Sandiford was not able to speak at length, her daughter, Benita Eastmond, in tears, said she was grateful to Howell and all the others who assisted.

"My mum lived there from a baby and I am thankful to everyone who assisted because this could have been so much worse. It touched my heart to see all the people pulling things from the house and I'm grateful to God and Shawn that my mother was not hurt," Eastmond said.

Six fire officers under the command of Station Officer Trevor Applewhaite responded to the blaze at 1:20 p.m. but by then the fire had already been brought under control by residents and passers-by.

One of them said he had just put down his cooler to watch the bands when he smelt the smoke.

"It was not even ten minutes that I walked by the house and as soon as I found my spot and put down my cooler I smelled this smoke, so I ran back up the gap and that is when we realised what was happening and helped out," Kevin Rawlins said.

There was no major damage to the house except to the room was destroyed. Howell said it was due to the quick response from people who were walking through the gap that made all the difference.

"Everyone lives good in this area . . . . It was good to see that no one hesitated," he said.

That aside, 94-year-old Sandiford was still able to enjoy a plate of fish-cakes and watch the bands on parade - a pastime she enjoyed yearly. (PA)