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> Hurricane Season is Here!, Hanna
donnal
post Sep 2 2008, 03:58 PM
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I'm Donna, a Canadian living in Provindenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands. My arrival here was via The Cayman Islands where I was working on the rebuild after the mass destruction of Hurricane Ivan. In 2004 Grand Cayman was nearly leveled by the power of Mother Nature.
Turks and Caicos has been extremely lucky in regard to hurricanes.
While our close neighbours, Dominican Republic, Haiti,Jamaica and Cuba have already logged nearly a hundred storm related deaths this season, we often see the storms take a more southern route and skip over us. Folks around here tend to have a rather yawning "not likely" response to storm warnings.
Saturday was my first hint that Tropical Storm Hanna was going to be taking more of a northern path than Gustav had just a few days earlier. When I got off work I got busy with the usual get ready routine. Get food, water, gas,cash stash the yard furniture under the deck, then watch the storm reports on TV till the power goes out. Then just sit and watch the
lightning show in the dark.
Saturday and Sunday were little more than big thunder-storms, nothing more sever than I'd experienced here before. Monday was fairly clear by mid morning, I ventured out to see if I could get a coffee and see if if there was damage. There was some typical flooded roads in low areas and a few broken trees. People down at the IGA were up-beat, wasn't too bad they were saying, every one thinking we'd had our usual lick from the edge of the storm. Good luck to those in the Bahama's as they were now in Hanna's path and it was soon to be upgraded to a hurricane.
When the power came back, late Monday, I checked the latest on the hurricane web-site and on the TV. The local gov't ordered all boats into port and the doors were opened at the hurricane shelters. Hanna had changed her course from north to south west and was now heading right for us. I couldn't quite believe it, it was so calm out, I realized this was the infamous Calm Before The Storm I'd heard of. Scary, quiet calm and getting dark very fast. Like a black curtain on the horizon, I lost sight of the ocean and white sand beach that is the usual view from my deck. Instantly the wind and rain hit, I had to fight the wind to slam my door shut and hide. As the wind roared like a jet plane I started to re-think my decision not to go to the shelter. My reasoning had been that the little guest house where I live is high on a ridge therefore safe from flooding. It is also equipped with Caribbean style shutters rather than glass windows as well as a concrete roof. Built to withstand nasty weather. Somehow I hadn't factored in that I'd be scarred out of my wits in my rather secluded location by myself. The power was out again, but I sure wasn't watching this storm. I'd noticed that this storm was different as there was no thunder and lightning only the jet loud roar. From the many recounts I'd heard in Cayman I knew that this was the case right in the eye of a hurricane. Leaving my clothes on in case I needed to flee in the night, I buried my head under my pillows with a plan to hide in the bathroom should the windows or roof fail. It really felt like the house would take-off just like in the Wizard of Oz
Thank God that Hanna had only increased to a "cat-one" when it came directly over top of us last night. Today we are still on hurricane watch as Hanna is staying with us though now a tropical storm. Looks like it has turned back to hit Haiti again and may well hit us again tonight before tracking on to the USA.
Now we are in line for Tropical Storms Ike and Josephine that are just brewing up out in the Atlantic.
Needless to say this is NOT Tourist Season though there has been a big trend lately for visitors to come in the off season for cheaper rates. I doubt they'll be enjoying this week stuck in their hotel rooms.
Hurricanes can occur here anytime June though November and it looks like we are in for a busy season.
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starlagurl
post Sep 3 2008, 10:08 AM
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That's an incredible story, and I'm glad you're safe. Will you be riding out any future storms in the guest house? Or are you going to the shelters in the future?


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donnal
post Sep 4 2008, 08:08 PM
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QUOTE(starlagurl @ Sep 3 2008, 10:08 AM) *

That's an incredible story, and I'm glad you're safe. Will you be riding out any future storms in the guest house? Or are you going to the shelters in the future?

It hasn't taken long for me to be forced into that decision.
What was tropical storm Ike has quickly become a huge cat 4 hurricane, moving quickly and expected to take the same strange south west dip as Hanna_ right at us. I went to work for the first time this week to board up windows and gather supplies to buckle-up for what's to come. Some friends have invited me to ride out the storm at their home. I reminded them that while their bsmt ste is safe from the wind, I'm sure the storm surge of such a huge storm would flood their place. I am staying home, they are welcome to join me.
My 2 employers have tickets out as do many people with the funds for a last minute flight.
!st priority generally goes to the tourists but from what I understand from a friend working at the"Beaches" resort, they have not all been able to leave. Unlike Cayman in 2004, TCI does not have it's own airline nor the runway capacity for huge jets. Many tourists will be stuck here, want to or not.
Some areas of Provo have already had all the flooding they can handle. Those people have crowded the shelters and have been displaced from their homes since Monday.(3rd day now)
I should also mention there are huge work forces here currently living in tents as well as illegals from Haitii that live out in the bush. I doubt very much if these people know what is coming or have the means to shelter themselves. I truly fear for these people.
For tonight it is again dead calm; tomorrow night at this time it will likely not be,
If Ike hits us as a cat 4 or 5 we might all have to kiss our a-- good-bye
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kathryn77
post Sep 5 2008, 07:58 AM
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Hope you and your friends are safe! Thinking of you! xoxox


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donnal
post Sep 5 2008, 07:04 PM
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QUOTE(2olives @ Sep 4 2008, 09:16 PM) *

I hate to hear Turks and Caicos is in so much danger...I love it so much. What of Grand Turk, the Cays and Caicos? How have they fared so far?

I am thinking good thoughts for you. Hang in there!!

Thanks for your good thoughts, perhaps they have helped. At this time Hurricane Ike has been reduced to a cat. 3 , and has slowed, giving us a little more time to get ready. Ike is now expected to arrive Sunday at 8am. Tropical Storm Josephine appears to be losing steam and should not be a factor.
Ike's projections however, show Ike slicing though all of the Turks and Caicos,there are about 40 islands with most of the settlements on 8 of them. It is hard to determine how big it will be then but it will be a hurricane.
Today was an unbelievably bright sunny day. Residents everywhere worked to be sure there is plywood on all windows. Stores are being quickly emptied.and cargo boats will not likely be unloading for a number of days. No doubt this would be more acute on the smaller islands such as Grand Turk, all of the Caicos'. All low lying areas of all the islands received some flooding.
It will be a very long wait till Sunday to see how we fare.
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starlagurl
post Sep 8 2008, 09:27 AM
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How are you doing now, donna? Is the worst over yet?


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starlagurl
post Sep 8 2008, 12:07 PM
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I did not listen to the news this morning. Podcasts, are not great for breaking news.... ai yi yi. I hope she is OK. I hope everyone is OK!


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starlagurl
post Sep 8 2008, 01:47 PM
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Oh, no I just mean, I listen to CBC podcasts in the morning, but they are usually from the night before, so I'm always behind the times a little bit.


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starlagurl
post Sep 9 2008, 01:26 PM
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Ohhhhhh my, I hope Donna is OK. If we don't hear from her soon, we should try and contact her. At least I will...

Story on the Turks and Caicos:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/travellog..._severe_bl.html

80 per cent of the homes have been damaged OR destroyed? I wish they could be more specific about that number...


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starlagurl
post Sep 9 2008, 01:52 PM
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Well, it's good to know there are no casualties yet... Still very worrisome.


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