Anguilla Local News

Special News Report: Hurricane Georges. . . .

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 September 22, 1998 - Site Map - Click to enlarge pictures

Hurricane Georges Spares Anguilla

We interrupt the Anguilla Local News to bring you a special Sep-22nd bulletin (Click here for the regular Sep-15 news). The picture above shows Georges trying to rip out the banana plants in our back yard.
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Everyone boarded up, stocked up with groceries, and prepared as best they could. Since Georges was a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 150 MPH, and was predicted by some to go on to the highest Category, 5 (catastrophic), people put in an extra effort. All our doors except one were boarded up and we trimmed our trees back to make it harder for the wind to destroy them.

Then everyone in Anguilla and all of the friends of Anguilla said a special prayer. They couldn't ask for Georges to go elsewhere, since that would be calling down evil on neighboring islands, but they could pray for it to lose strength.

And it did. As Georges neared the islands, it came up against a weather pattern that caused it to disorganize; it lost its well-defined eye, top winds dropped steadily from 150 to 135 to 125 to 115 MPH.
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On Sunday afternoon, September 20th, Cable TV went off as they took down the satellite dishes, but the weather was still nice. However, the surf on the south coast of Anguilla was very exciting, as you can see from this long shot and closeup of Junks Hole, taken at sunset on Sunday. You could see massive waves breaking over Scrub Island and along High Cliff point (west of Sandy Hill Bay).

It was 2:30AM September 21st, Monday morning, Georges was getting closer and the weather in Anguilla was windy and wet, and noisy. Julian Niles had set up a Hurricane Georges forum on his Anguilla Home Page, Vince Cate was sending out live weather bulletins from the station to the Anguilla Mailing List (highest recorded wind speed at his station was 60MPH), and Anglec turned off the power to the island. But telephone and Internet continued to function.
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As soon as the storm started to abate, about 9am on Monday morning, people ventured out to see how their neighbors were doing. Here is the view as drove up to Uncle Ernie's BBQ at Shoal Bay. The famous rib joint is still there and so is the beach!
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As you can see from the picture above, taken from Uncle Ernie's porch, the beach was undamaged and the surf was light.

We took a lot of pictures around Anguilla so you could see the situation for yourself. Here is another picture of Shoal Bay at the upper end. If you look closely you can see that some of the local plants are "burned" (i.e., their leaves turned black), but others are not.
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How did our gardens make out? Our new palm trees, imported from Miami in February, survived the storm because they were braced with 2x4s and trimmed. But they still lost a few more fronds.

You probably know duct tape fixes anything. Here is another example. My wife used it to tie the banana trees to the porch posts. The plants are not as beautiful, but the banana crop was saved.
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There was very little structural damage in Anguilla. Straw Hat Restaurant, which is totally exposed built on pilings over the water, survived but with some damage. Koal Keel Restaurant seems to have weathered another gale just as it has done for 150 years.
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As did the cute little heritage buildings in The Valley.

(All pictures taken Sep 20-22, 1998)

Power was restored in some places on Monday night, but has still not been restored in outlying areas as of Tuesday night. (Lots of generator noise around the island). Hurricane Jeanne and Tropical Storm Ivan are still out there in the Atlantic, not directly threatening Anguilla, but lurking!

Hurricanes, the Internet and Phones

When checking hurricane reports on the Internet, always remember two things.

First, you must sometimes click the Reload/Refresh button in your browser to get the latest version of the forecast page.

And second, Anguilla is located at 18.1N 63.1W. Don't be confused by the fact that Anguilla is so small it is not shown on most maps!

If the telephone to Anguilla goes out during a storm, try sending an email message to someone. Sometimes the long distance circuits are overloaded. If the Internet goes out, you can still reach Anguilla with emergency messages via Ham radio by calling the Amateur Radio Society in your home town.

Top stories from the previous issue.
Computer Boot Camp Carnival Parade
The Daily Herald Reading Recovery

Anguilla Local News



Bob Green

Our villa on Shoal Bay: Bellamare.

And ten minutes away, our villa in St Barths.

© 1998