The Caribbean Hurricane Page
Updates from the Islands
The recent reports can be found here.
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 21:33EDT] - Debra Vela reporting from San Juan, Puerto Rico:
Can't believe we're still in communications. Sorry for the sloppy typing. We've just been hit by the west wall. It's been the most incredible experience of my life. Unfortunately, we're expecting the worst east wall. Three people have died in Caguas due to a collapsed building. We still have phone and radio. Everything else is down. El Conquistador is reporting heavy damage. They're east of us. Just heard from friends at the Mariott. Windows are blown out and everyone is in the hallway. Not looking good. The woman who reported seeing the two-story house fly by her called in to WOSO about an hour ago and reported that she was really scared, since they were going thru the east wall, and that all her windows had blown out in her concrete house and her house was getting completely destroyed. She was hiding in her interior bathroom. Also heard from a listener in Old San Juan, two balconies have fallen to the street in her building, the roof came off. Not good. We're bracing for the east wall. Wish us luck and thanks to all for all the e-mail. The noise has been incredible. I never want to do this again.
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 18:52EDT] - alberto "alberto" roque reporting from Puerto Rico:
oh man this is realy tough i am in the middle of the worst hurricane i have ever seen winds uo to 125mph this is catastrofic have little time out of power so long guys taking care of the family MAY GOD BLESS US ALL
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 18:33EDT] - Just got off the phone with Rafael Buxeda Díaz. He has lost power already. Via AM Radio he heard that at Roosevelt Roads Naval Station windspeeds of 101 mph, with gusts of 125mph were measured with an anemometer. Channel 4TV is off the air. As well as the radio stations NOTIUNO and the Mother Station of San Juan. Highly likely the antenna has snapped. He expects hurricane force winds in San Juan at about 7:00PM for about 2 hours assuming that the eye will go right over him, however, if they don't get the eye it might well be that they feel hurricane force winds for a total of 5 hours! But he was in good spirits, doing fine, sitting by candlelight, not worried about his home (it has been standing there for the last 60 years anyway!).
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 18:33EDT] - Jose Cruz reporting from Isabela, Puerto Rico:
Current Time 6:35 P.M. ET So far we have start to feel very little gusts and light rain as we pass the 6:00 PM time from were we should began experiencing light tropical storm winds. The gusts that we are experiencing are to little that it is hardly to believe that we are about to experience a hurricane later today. My neighbors still expecting something to happened and all of them and my wife are sitting on the balcony expecting something to flight in order to said...Is here lets get inside. All utilities, water, electricity, and phones are working fine. Here we lost cable TV services but the although the electricity remains I think it won't last for long since the local government always shut energy out as a safety procedure. I'm going to eat something, I'm starving and I'll keep in touch...
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 18:42EDT] - Felipe Hernández (www.huracan.net) reporting from Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico:
It is 6:37 pm, After many attempts to get a clear line, finally connected... The storm has increased its strenght, , Im due south of San Juan aprox 3 miles and the wind is around 60 mph and gusting up to 75 mph and still the eye is not near things are getting very rought, trees and power poles down, doesnt look good, this is the strongest storm seen in 70 years... the storm surge around 7 feet in the east coast and with waves of over 10 ft. Lost power 4 hours ago, but running on backup power. will keep you posted.
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 17:33EDT] - José M. Mejías Meléndez reporting from Manatí, Puerto Rico:
Center of Hurricane Georges will arrive to the east of PR in the next minutes. Right now, we are being affected by strong winds and rain. Trees, power lines, being affected now. In my town, power failure will occur at any moment. According to TV and radio stations, hurricane reorganization occured at the south side of Vieques.
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 17:09EDT] - Jose Cruz reporting from Isabela, Puerto Rico:
Hello Everyone, It's getting closer. Todays 5:00 PM report stated that the hurricane was about 40 miles west of the Island shores. Coordinates were 18.0 N / 65.6 W. The hurricane is moving toward the west-northwest at about 16 MPH and its motion is expected to continue. Maximum winds remain at 110 MPH with gusts to near 150 MPH at higher terrain. Winds extend from the center outward 85 miles mainly to the northeast. As far as I know, the hurricane is getting smaller, thanks God. Yesterday the hurricane was cat. 4 with winds of 150+MPH with gusts around 190+ MPH. In Isabela, we had a cloudy afternoon with no rainfall since 2:30 P.M. No gusts are experience so far but local authorities said that the weather should deteriorate during evening. In Isabela, the afternoon remains without rainfalls and some little sporadic gusts are now been felt since we are getting close to the time were we should be experiencing the first tropical storm winds. If you have relatives around the west-northwest part of the Island, I will keep all of you posted. As long as the web services and the batteries of my laptop work I will remain online....
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 17:09EDT] - Debra Vela reporting from San Juan, Puerto Rico:
Things haven't changed much here since last update three hours ago. Power came backbriefly then was gone again. It looks like the hurricane is almost stalled. Wind gusts are intense at times. We've been listening to the radio and an entire two-story wooden house went flying on Vieques. Here in San Juan, there are still reports of idiots driving around in cars and out walking. Keeping this brief as I am working off battery. Thanks to all for your thoughts and e-mails. We appreciate them. Will reply when I have electricity.
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 17:05EDT] - Edwin reporting from Puerto Rico:
Hola a Todos! Just got power again in this area of Guaynabo (north), and wind gusts increase slowly but steadily. Rain is light... power is off. Must run. Good luck!
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 16:29EDT] - Rafael Buxeda Díaz reporting from Puerto Rico:
21-IX, 1630Z, 04:30 pm EDT Well, I guess the power company was just testing the OFF switch. Or the good Lord would rather have me banging the keyboard, rather than biting the nails. Be it as it may, I'm still here. Within the LAST HALF HOUR wind speed has increased 10 mph, to 41 mph at Roosevelt Roads. It's gusting to 52 mph. The wind was strong enough in Vieques, I could hear the wind, via a caller to a radio station in San Juan. And he was in a closed house. Wind is starting to pick up. Gusty is NOT breezy. Rather it just of sorts picks up and slams doors. Sort of like a jab to the jaw, not very hard, but it'll shake you up. Renacuajo is urinated off, since the gusts woke her off. Besides that, she's hanging in there. I can see power lines going bananas outside my window. It's been dark enough for the last hour to require house lights, not something usual until 6:30. As much as I appreciate personal e-mail, things will only get really worst at 18.45°N, 66.08°W. Even though I've tried to answer each one so far, I fear that will no longer be possible. Please take this into consideration, and do not interpret any lack of answers in any other manner.
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 16:08EDT] - Rafael Buxeda Díaz reporting from Puerto Rico:
21-IX, 2007Z, 04:07 pm I just lost power. I'm out of here until it comes back. See you all later. God luck to fellow correspondents in Puerto Rico. Hang tight, this will just get better. desde la nación boricua, cuna del Rossellato, aunque sea por seis años más(tm) rafa://puerto rico
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 15:55EDT] - Ivan Rodriguez Bermudez reporting from Puerto Rico:
This will be my last posting, the high winds blowing over the island keep disconnecting me from the Internet. I can hear transformers blowing up in the distance and the high voltage cables who pass near the river are making a loud bang as they collide with one another. I'm writing this as fast as I can without making a mistake. The local TV stations are saying that the worst part of the hurricane is yet to come tonight. For those of you who want to see the hurricane in JAVA, in color and in motion can link to: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ Goodbye for now, it was a pleasure helping many of you out there in cyberland.
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 15:34EDT] - Rafael Buxeda Díaz reporting from Puerto Rico:
21-IX, 19:30Z, 03:30 pm EDT I've heard two live reports from St. Croix indicating that the south and south westerly winds ARE stronger than winds prior to the eye. Wind speed in San Juan is 25 mph, gusts at 35 mph. Roosevelt Roads Naval Air reports 31 mph, gusts at 39. Certainly something that will worsen dramatically within the hour. The eye will make landfall probably right on top of this station. Unofficial reports have St. Croix being smacked by Georges' tail. In fact the eye is so wide, it covers the entire area between Vieques and St. Thomas, a good 30 miles. Taking into consideration that Puerto Rico is only 35 miles wide, if George holds steady, the eye will literally cover the island from the Atlantic to the Caribbean. I've lost cable service at 18.45°N, 66.08°W. desde la nación boricua, cuna del Rossellato, aunque sea por seis años más(tm) rafa://puerto rico
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 14:57EDT] - Debra Vela reporting from San Juan, Puerto Rico:
Debra from San Juan . . . It's starting to get windy here but not bad yet. We're also starting to see a little rain. The power went off for a few minutes a little while ago but came right back on. It just went off again. We're scared.
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 14:50EDT] - Jose Cruz reporting from Isabela, Puerto Rico:
Folks, Current Time 2:40 E.T Conditions are as follows: All services on the northwest part of the island are still on. Sound crazy, but here in Isabela for the last 15 minutes the rain suddenly stops and we can see barely the sun light. I wish stays like this but the forecast remains also the same. Authorities report that at 1:00 PM the center of the hurricane was located at 17.9 N - 64.7 W. That is 70 miles east-southeast of San Juan. The system is moving at 16 MPH and is expected to bring the core of the system near or over the Island later today. Regards the winds, near 110 MPH winds with gusts near 150 MPH are possible over high terrain. Wind forces extend outward up to 85 miles mainly to the northeast of the center. Rainfall is up to 5-10inches. With this type of scenario, we certainly need to stay home and keep our prayers to the Lord. Hey, I attach a photo of the path they believe it will follow. If anyone need information about conditions it the northwest part of the island, don't hesitate to Contact Me!!!
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 14:11EDT] - Iván Rodríguez Bermúdez reporting from Puerto Rico:
Local TV channel 4 was transmitting live information from the puertorican island of Culebra which is closer to the hurricane than the island of Puerto Rico itself. All of a sudden the channel went off the air. Since they have their transmitting antennas in Cerro la Santa, maybe they lost them due to the high winds that are blowing over there. Here in Bayamón it is quite cloudy and windy, and it's getting windier every minute that goes by. Since I will not be able to stay on line all the time, here is the URL of a site that has most of the local radio stations transmitting information about the hurricane. This URL is for students and relatives residing in the U.S. who are worried about the well being of their kinfolk here in the island, the URL is: http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Lab/8560/NOTICIAS.HTM
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 14:01EDT] - Eric Tulla reporting from Puerto Rico:
1:40 PM (AST) and the wind is now starting to howl. I live in the mountains 13 mi. south of San Juan Harbor at 1600 ft. (Aguas Buenas) and until now there had been very little wind or rain. The radar shows that the eye is south of the island of Culebra off our eastern coast and the television shots in Culebra show huge winds but the waves do not appear huge. All services on the main island are still on but that should not last. The government seems to have taken the necessary precautions and are keeping the people informed. I don't know whether all this information is better than when we used to get only radio reports every 4 hrs.; can't stop progress nor Georges!
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 13:46EDT] - Luis Salazar reporting from Puerto Rico:
SAN JUAN, PR Monday 9/21/98 1345 AST The governor of Puerto Rico flnked by his cabinet has just adressed the population of Puerto Rico via TV. Here are some of the major points in his message: 1) Puerto Rico and its residents will suffer major damage due to this iminent danger. 2) There are now 11,124 refugees in shelters before the storm passing. 3) Major damage will be basically from winds and then water. Winds have been forecasted up to 150 mph in the mountains and 100 mph on the coast during its passing. 4) Area hospitals are at 40% ocuppancy, this is below normal and all are ready with their disaster plans in effect. 5) National guard is activated to provide extra security in jails across the island. Many US Air Force C-130's are ready to ferry SAR teams and DR teams into Puerto Rico as needed in the next few days. We have also received pledges for help from states along the east coast with disaster relief teams and SAR. The states of Ohio, New Mexico and Indiana have groups ready to be ferried to Puerto Rico in case we need help. This is the best prepared that the island has been according to these government sources for any hurricane in its history. Everyone is taking it very serious. 6) 65,000,000 have already been allocated as aid through FEMA and State goverment funds for disaster relief. As soon as President Clinton authorizes, more will be made available.
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 13:30EDT] - Rafael Buxeda Díaz reporting from Puerto Rico:
21-IX, 1720Z, 01:20 EDT American Airlines has cancelled all Tuesday flights. Unofficial reports from St. Croix, St. Thomas mention that power has been cut as a preventive measure. Unofficially, St. Croix reported 74 mph in the last hour. I have seen no official, nor unofficial reports from St. Kitts and Antigua. Vieques and Culebra are in tropical force winds, (35-70 mph) and the instruments will break the +75 mph hurricane barrier in the next hour. The 12:42 pm EDT Doppler image out of Puerto Rico clearly shows Georges' eye just sitting on St. Croix. (See link below) I personally appreciate personal e-mail, and I am answering as time permits, and the power holds. I tip my hat at out web-master for getting us back on the Web, as well as posting my messages in a very timely manner. I do know for a fact that he does work a normal 9-5. So how he keeps the page updated, is better left untold. Renacuajo has claimed her space under a bed, but every now and them, naps upon the monitor and checks out her food plate. http://www.intellicast.com/weather/sju/nexrad/ The trees are starting to sway at 18.45° N, 66.08°W. The sky is the dirtiest gray imaginable. I am listening to a caller from western St. Croix, via AM radio in San Juan. He's using his mobile phone via Puerto Rico. He's in the middle of his yard, as the calm in the eye passes over him. He believes that the wind strength was not as bad as Hugo. But he also brings up the fact that he still has to feel the wind coming directly at him from the south. Power was cut as a preventive measure at 9:00 am today.
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 12:51EDT] - Jose Cruz reporting from Isabela, Puerto Rico:
Current Time : 12:35 Current weather report : "AT 12 NOON AST...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE GEORGE'S WAS ESTIMATED NEAR LATITUDE 17.8 NORTH...LONGITUDE 64.5 WEST OR ABOUT 20 MILES EAST- NORTHEAST OF ST CROIX...AND ABOUT 110 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF SAN JUAN PUERTO RICO." So far in Isabela, to the northwest of Puerto Rico were the Hurricane is expected to leave the Island, conditions remain cloudy, little rain, people still moving around and local government has already evacuate people that leave near the beach to schools nearby that are been used as shelters. We haven't experience any windy condition neither heavy rain. In Isabela we still have water and power services although cable TV services are out. I'm using my laptop just in case we ran out of power Local authorities estimate that the system will take six hours to pass by the Island if maintain its velocity ( 17 MPH ). I will keep you posted before, during and after the storm. God bless all and thanks for your prayers.
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 12:32EDT] - Debra Vela reporting from San Juan, Puerto Rico:
Debra from San Juan . . . Almost had to go off-line for this storm. I usually use my desktop but had to shut it down and use my laptop. Unfortunately, I didn't have Gert's e-mail address on it! Found it through USA Today! A friend came to help me pack up this morning. We secured the office and house. I packed to come stay with them. Sam Juan, my black Lab, is with us. I forgot to bring toys and bisquits for her. We're in Guaynabo. I parked my car at his mom's house because all parking garages were full. As we were driving this morning, everyone was fairly much boarded up. I can still hear saws running. The storm is about 125 miles from us right now. The sky is cloudy. It was extremely calm when I arrived at Jaime and Pilar's. The wind is starting to pick up a bit. Jennifer says that it's starting to rain. As of 12:30pm, we still have power, water and cable TV. We heard that the eyewall is just passing St. Thomas. We've already cooked dinner for tonight because we don't expect to have power.
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 12:41EDT] - Felipe Hernández (www.huracan.net) reporting from Puerto Rico:
As the Hurricane approaches at 12:30 pm started raining lightly in San Juan Area with winds from the NE @15 with some gusts of 25mph. The East coast of PR is reporting winds of 30mph and gusts of 40mph and waves near 5 ft. The Island Of Vieques(6miles off the east coast of PR) is reporting winds of over 35 and gusts of 50mph. Waves up to 7 ft and menazing the tourist area of Esperanza. There has been little rain asociated with this so far. I will be reporting as much as conditions permit, I have back up power so as long as I have telco lines Ill report every two or 3 hours.
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 12:38EDT] - Luis Salazar reporting from Puerto Rico:
SAN JUAN, PR Monday 9/21/98 1230 AST Wow it is impressive!! The eye is now visible on the doppler and it is just east of St. Croix. I was reading Father Jose's report from St. Thomas and he better get ready for a little more as heavier bands of water are moving towards him pronto. Locally just a lot of grey in the sky and a little wind. Shelters continue to fill as this monster cyclone nears. Some mountain towns have already lost water, wind is begining to pick up. Thanks for all communications for our well being and prayers. We still have power, phone and the ISP is online so reports will be forthcoming.
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 12:07EDT] - Rafael Buxeda Díaz reporting from Puerto Rico:
21-IX, 1600Z, 12:00 EDT The 11:00 am bulletin places Georges' center 35 miles east of St. Croix and 125 miles ESE of San Juan. The core of the storm is just now arriving at the Virgin Islands. The Virgin Islands have been feeling tropical force winds since 8:00 am. Hurricane force winds are about to hit St. Croix as well as the British VI's, St. Thomas and St. John (USVI) with the western eyewall. The northern eyewall, will be over Culebra by 1:00-2:00 pm. The hurricane force winds will continue westward, hitting Vieques at about 2:00 pm. Landfall on eastern Puerto Rico should be from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. Georges might leave Puerto Rico via Rincón between 10:00 and 12:00 tonight. Reconnaissance aircraft has not entered George seen 8:00 am. Satellite images show that the downward cycle of Georges loosing strength has stopped. There is a possibility the storm is regaining strength. The eye is visible again on satellite photos. And that ain't a good sign by any measure. If the central pressure goes south (no pun intended) winds speeds will pick up, and might place George into a Category III storm. What I'm seeing is not on the sunny side, (bad choice of words) at all. Just yesterday we were seeing a storm loosing strength. I would dare expect winds in the range of 110 mph, and gusts in the mountains at about 150 mph. Roosevelt Roads Naval Air Station on Puerto Rico's east coast reported 21 mph winds, gusts at 32 mph at 10:00 am Similar reports were made by St. Thomas at 11:00 am. The 6:00 am report (please note a good 6 hours old) and the latest available report had wind speeds of 58 mph and gusts at 95 mph (not something to sneeze at). San Juan reported 18 mph winds, 26 mpg gusts at 11:00 am. Barometric pressure has dropped .03 inches in the last 3 hours It is definitely downhill from here on until midnight. Switching to iced oatmeal cookies and still at it, while the good Lord and the power company permit at 18.45° N, 66.08° W rafa://puerto rico
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 11:32EDT] - Luis Salazar reporting from Puerto Rico:
SAN JUAN, PR Monday 9/21/98 1130 AST The doppler is really showing some major activity in the area. Very heavy bands of squalls are coming up from St Croix and St Thomas in the USVI towards Puerto Rico. At 1100 Georges was located at 17.7N 64.3W or about 35miles east of St. Croix. This places the eye at 125 miles ESE of San Juan with a movemnt just north of due west at 16 mph. It is expected to reach the island of Culebra at 1300AST. The main Puerto Rico Island will receive the impact between 1600-1800. It has now been rescheduled to exit PR through the western coastal city of Rincon at about 2400AST. In other words the eye will rake PR from east to west right through the center of the island. Power is begining to fluctuate so I don't know just how long messages will be able to be transmitted. Squalls are more and more numerous. Current indications show that the downward cycle of Georges has stopped and is now regaining strength since the eye is begining to reappear. It is also growing from a cat 2 to cat 3 very similar to Marilyn.
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 11:27EDT] - Iván Rodríguez Bermúdez reporting from Puerto Rico:
It's 11:00 AM, Monday morning here in Bayamón, Puerto Rico and the wind is beginning to pick up speed. I can see the trees swaying to and fro from my window. Neighbors have picked up every lose object from their roofs and are boarding up for what is coming ahead in the evening. The city government of Bayamón sent trucks through the streets to pick up any garbage, tree trunks and garbage that neighbors might have in their patios. It is getting darker, windy and cool.
[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 10:40EDT] - Luis Salazar reporting from Puerto Rico:
SAN JUAN, PR Monday 9/21/98 1100 AST Well here is the final statistics in regards to Puerto Rico. Location as reported is 17.5ºN 63.7ºW. Landfall in St. Croix (USVI) will be at 1100, in Vieques (Puerto Rico outer island) at 1400, on the main island of Puerto Rico at 1600. The eye is forecasted to enter through the eastern coastal city of Humacao and exit through the northwest corner city of Aguadilla. The sun has left and squalls are begining to pelt San Juan from the Northwest with a little wind, so change is evident. Closer examination of the Puerto Rico/USVI doppler shows heavy bands (probably outer bands) approaching from St Croix which is consistent for an 1100 landfall on that island.
Earlier reports have been moved to this webpage.
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