As Dominica faces the intensity of the "extremely dangerous" Category 5 Hurricane Maria, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is among those taking to social media to report their experience. In a Facebook post, PM Skerritsaid his roof had been blown off and his house was flooding. Minutes later, he updated that he had been rescued. There were also reports that the roof of the main hospital has been lost. In addition to roofs being blown off, residents across Dominica have been reporting trees breaking and heavy rain and high winds as Hurricane Maria batters the island withmaximum winds of 160 mph (260 km/h) with higher gusts.

Hurricane Maria has strengthened into an "extremely dangerous" Category 5 storm. According to the US National Hurricane Center, Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft data indicate Hurricane Maria has intensified into an extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with maximum winds of 160 mph (260 km/h) with higher gusts. The eye of the potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane and its intense inner core is nearing Dominica. At 8:00 p.m., the eye of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 15.3 North, longitude 61.1 West. This is about 15 miles (25 km) east southeast of Dominica and about 40 miles (70 km) north of Martinique. Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue through Wednesday. On the forecast track, the core of Maria will move near Dominica and the adjacent Leeward Islands during the next few hours, over the extreme northeastern Caribbean Sea the remainder of tonight and Tuesday, and approach Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Tuesday night and Wednesday. Maximum sustained winds are near 160 mph (260 km/h) with higher gusts. Maria is a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some additional strengthening is possible tonight, but some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km). The estimated minimum central pressure based on Air Force Hurricane Hunter data is 925 mb (27.32 inches). A Hurricane Warning is in effect for... * Guadeloupe * Dominica * St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat * U.S. Virgin Islands * British Virgin Islands * Puerto Rico, Culebra, and Vieques A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for... * Antigua and Barbuda * Saba and St. Eustatius * St. Maarten * Anguilla * St. Lucia * Martinique A Hurricane Watch is in effect for... * Saba and St. Eustatius * St. Maarten * St. Martin and St. Barthelemy * Anguilla * Isla Saona to Puerto Plata A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for... * St. Vincent and the Grenadines * West of Puerto Plata to the northern Dominican Republic-Haitiborder

The Wick Candles and Scents, a local manufacturer of candles, is moving to launch its Island Scents Collection in the United States before year’s end. Business owner, Kimberley Conolly, told Loop News that she is also working to establish a base in the US, which will be useful in reaching a wider, more diverse, cross-section of customers as she eyes breaking into the global marketplace. Conolly was recently interviewed for Loop’s feature, Young People in Business KY, where she shared her story of triumph, hard work and progress as she turned an idle comment into a successful business venture. Conolly who works in the local tourism industry noted that the idea for her business was born out of comments from visitors to the island, who craved an authentic Caymanian-made product. This desire for an authenticity didn’t just get Conolly’s brain ticking, but forced her to revisit fond memories and scents of her upbringing on the island. However it wasn’t just an idle walk through memory lane, but Conolly revealed that getting her business off the ground was much more than crafting a meticulous business plan and setting timelines. Conolly shared some of the challenges she faced in her initial start-up, which included bureaucratic red tape, lack of access to venture capital and limited resources for young entrepreneurs on the Island. While entrepreneurship is touted as the driving forces of both developing and developed economies, Conolly says it is no easy endeavour but one that can yield great rewards not just in terms of profit but overall community development.

A home is surrounded by debris brought in by Hurricane Irma in Nagua, Dominican Republic, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017. Irma cut a path of devastation across the northern Caribbean, leaving thousands homeless after destroying buildings and uprooting trees.

GraceKennedy Money Services (GKMS) has extendedits deepest sympathies to all those impacted by Hurricane Irma, especially to the people of Anguilla, Barbuda, British Virgin Islands (BVI) and the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) where the company has staff, agents and customers. News reports are describing the hurricane as the worst and most expensive natural disaster in Caribbean history. The company says it isaware that the recovery is going to last many years, but isconfident that the true resilience of thepeople will allow for smooth transition to achieve a new normal. As a show of goodwill and support, GKMS says it willoffer a no fee charge to and from Antigua & Barbuda, starting Saturday, September 9. The company says its agent locations in Antigua are in operation.

North Side Primary School students visited Camana Bay on Tuesday participating Literacy Month themed activities. The primary school students kicked off their day at Camana Bay by visiting local bookstore, Books & Books, where they also collected maps and took part in Camana Bay’s Literacy Month Scavenger Hunt. Camana Bay’s Literacy Month Scavenger Hunt saw students not only utilizing their reading skills but getting a bit of physical exercise in as they s searched for their favourite storybook characters hidden throughout the Town Centre. The action packed day ended with the students journeying back to North Side on Cayman Ferries, who sponsored the trip from Camana Bay’s Harbour to Kaibo Yacht Club. Camana Bay which is celebrating Literacy Month throughout the month of September is also raising awareness about a local charity, LIFE, which aims at increasing literacy levels in the Cayman Islands. According to UNESCO Institute for Statistics the Cayman Islands boasts one of the highest literacy rates in the region, at 98.7 percent for men and almost full literacy for women at 99%.

The Department of Environment (DoE) reminded Caymanians on Monday that the deadline to nominate protected areas on Island would close on September 15. According to the department, the idea of protected areas it to ensure that sites, similar to national parks in other countries, are preserved for future generations. The DoE reminded residents that nominations should be emailed to, with a description of the protected area and reasons why it should be protected. Protected areas are usually locations which receive protection because of their recognized natural,ecological and cultural values.


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