Hurricane Georges Spares Anguilla
Special News Report:
We interrupt the
Anguilla Local News to bring you a special Sep-22nd
for the regular Sep-15 news).
The picture above shows Georges trying to
rip out the banana plants in our back yard.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Revised: September 25, 1998