Tropical Storm Sandy predicted to hit Jamaica as hurricane

Kingston's Tivoli Gardens neighborhood on May 27, 2010.</p>

Kingston's Tivoli Gardens neighborhood on May 27, 2010.

Jamaicans are bracing for the arrival of Tropical Storm Sandy, which weather forecasters said would hit the Caribbean island as a hurricane on Wednesday before moving on to Cuba by Wednesday evening, the Associated Press reported.

The storm is expected to drop more than 10 inches of rain on the island, with flash flooding and landslides likely, the AP reported. Forecasters said water levels along Jamaica’s southern and eastern coasts could rise by as much as three feet above normal tide levels due to storm surge.

Jamaica’s meteorological service predicted the central and eastern parts of the country would be hardest hit, the AP reported.

Officials announced a day off for schools on Wednesday, the AP reported. Authorities said Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston would close tonight after its last flight and Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay would close at 8 a.m. Wednesday, the Jamaica Gleaner reported.

In an attempt to prevent looting and other criminal activity, the Jamaican police announced curfews beginning at 6 p.m. today and ending at 6 p.m. on Oct. 25 in communities across the island, the Jamaica Gleaner reported. During the curfews, residents of those neighborhoods were to remain indoors.

Sandy is the 18th named storm of this year’s Atlantic storm season, according to the AP.

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