KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaicans stocked up on supplies and reinforced roofs on Tuesday ahead of the arrival of Tropical Storm Sandy, which is expected to hit the Caribbean island of posh resorts and sprawling shantytowns as a hurricane with lashing rain and wind.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm was churning over warm Caribbean waters and should reach Jamaica today, most likely as a Category 1 hurricane. The late-season storm is expected to travel from south to north over the island, which local meteorologists say hasn't sustained a direct hit from a hurricane's eye since powerful Hurricane Gilbert in 1988.
Acting Prime Minister Peter Phillips said "all Jamaicans must take the threat of this storm seriously" and asked people to look out for their neighbors, especially children, the elderly and the disabled.
Hurricane conditions were possible in eastern Cuba by tonight. The storm is forecast to pass near but miss the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, where pretrial hearings are being held for a suspect in the attack on the Navy destroyer the USS Cole. Authorities at the base had considered suspending this week's proceedings, but said that as of late Tuesday they planned to continue despite Sandy.