Hurricane Dean Hits Jamaica – Projected Path Into Gulf Of Mexico – Oil Platforms Being Evacuated Of Texas Coast

Hurricane Dean Hits Jamaica – Projected Path Into Gulf Of Mexico – Oil Platforms Being Evacuated Of Texas Coast

Projected Path

(Best Syndication) Hurricane Dean is bearing down on the southern portion of Jamaica at this time. The category-4 hurricane is huge, measuring nearly 400 miles in diameter. Southern Jamaica can expect gusts in excess of 140 mph into Sunday night. So far the northern portion of the island near Montego Bay has not been hit as hard and wind gusts of 85 mph are expected.

The projected path of the hurricane is becoming clearer now. Last week, Best Syndication reported that some computer models predicted Dean would travel over the northern portion of the island. It now appears that the capital and the southern portion of Jamaica will take the brunt of the damaging winds.

etoys.com (eToys Direct, Inc.)

There are reports of damaged homes and injuries in the capital. CNN has reported that authorities are on the scene where a house collapsed. The report stated that disaster preparedness is in the middle of a “rescue”, but it is uncertain how many people are involved.

There is also a collapsed building in Kingston. Some roads on the southeastern end of the island are blocked. The island has also had “difficulty with communications”. The eye is scraping the southern tip of Jamaica. That is where the worst winds are and they could approach or exceed 145 mph.

In parts of the island the power and water supply was shut down as a precaution. If the island is lucky, the storm should pass within 4 to 5 hours, and then mop-up operations can begin.

The hurricane is currently on course to hit the Yucatan peninsula with category-5 winds. There is no wind or rain on the Yucatan right now; it is the calm before the storm. There are many tourists trying to get out of Cancun tonight.

Two years ago, hurricane Wilma hit the Yucatan peninsula. That was only a category-4 storm. That hurricane caused property damage and loss of life. Another hurricane, Gilbert, hit in 1988 killing around 250 people in Mexico. Gilbert was a category-5 hurricane. Billboards and light-posts have been taken down as a precaution.

Dean will likely hit the Yucatan peninsula as a category-5 hurricane Monday night into Tuesday morning. It is expected to lose strength crossing the peninsula, and could be downgraded to a category 1 hurricane as it moves into the Gulf of Mexico.

Although the projected path of Dean crosses into northern Mexico, oil companies are pulling their employees from platforms off of Texas just in case Dean decides to swing north.

By Mark Williams
Best Syndication News Science Writer

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