[IMG: Hurricane Georges making landfall on the Dominican Republic September 22, 1998; Credit: Dennis Chesters, Marit Jentoft-Nilsen, Craig Mayhew, and Hal Pierce, Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

The Caribbean Hurricane Page

Updates from the Islands
Georges - St.Thomas

See also the updates on this webpage: http://www.house.gov/christian-green/hurricane.htm

After being quoted on Reuters News Service (see e.g. on the Yahoo website) from these pages, another story about our Father José Antonio Oquendo-Pabón. Read it on the Disaster News Network, sponsored by Church World Service. -Gert

Date: Sat, 26 Sep 1998 07:47:55 From: ST TOM (sttom@usa.net) Subject: Power, phones, water all coming back Georges came and went, with only minor damage compared to what we were expecting. From what I heard on the radio, when the storm hit St. Croix, the land mass of the island forced a slight change in dircetion and also some weakening of the storm. The eye missed St. Thomas by 23 miles and slammed into Puerto Rico. We just got phone service restored a few hours ago. Critical services were back up the next day with power and phones. Our side of the island, Frenchman's Bay had little damage. The north side of the island got hit quite hard, a few roofs gone. Georges is history as far as we are concerned. Our thoughts are now with the victims of it's continuing rage into cuba and Florida........
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 14:47:51 EDT From: JHENRY41@aol.com Subject: St. Thomas Just wanted to let you know that I talked to my daughter on St. Thomas this AM at around 10AM EST. She lives in Fortuna Estates, SW part of island and they still do not have electricity. Says that cleanup is going quickly and very orderly..school (UVI) starts again next week. Again, thanks for your page and so happy to get the update on Father Jose Antonio. We here in Northern California are thinking of you and praying for you. Bobbie Henry
For those of you who have followed Georges on this website since the beginning will be delighted to see this e-mail message from El Padre! -Gert Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 06:43:46 PDT From: P. José Antonio Oquendo Pabón (elpadrejaop@hotmail.com) Subject: Re: elpadre Lost the computer: just after sending last update a transformer blew in TUTU estate. Will your let this go on the Hurricane Page so others can see it? When I kidded if anyone was donating a Laptop, several people offered to help me get one, and w/o one I can't do my doctoral thesis or come on line. I found a Deli in Red Hook section that let's me come on for $8 an hour. Will try to get my thoughts about hurricane during the "squall" to you asap. Be blessed all, elpadre
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 11:23:28 -0300 From: Wendy Tipton (resorts@marriott.vi) Subject: Havensight, NorthSide, Waterfront I live on Hull Bay Road, North Side, overlooking Magen's Bay. I pass through the Waterfront at Charlotte Amalie on my way to work near Havensight every day. So, I can honestly say I have seen much of the island by now. For those of you with friends and family here, rest assured, all is well. Here is a copy of the email I have sent to friends and family describing conditions here: Friends and Family: Greetings from beautiful St. Thomas! Yes, beautiful STILL!! Thanks to the positive thoughts and prayers of all of you, we feel blessed in coming through Hurricane Georges in good shape! All of you really made a difference! Frenchman's Reef (where I work) did not have any structural damage to the buildings or facilities. There is only minor landscaping and cosmetic cleanup to do. Some of the palm trees look a little odd at the moment! Remember the trunkula trees from Dr. Seuss? As some others hotels have closed for clean-up --very few for damages-- we are at full capacity. Most facilities and and all systems are up and running. They even managed to keep the power on througout the storm. (Frenchman's Reef generates its own.) This appears to be the story all over the island. Minor damages, if any at all. A bit more sand in some odd places than usual, ha! But, trusty brooms are out and things are coming back to normal rather quickly. The infrastructure of St. Thomas is in surprisingly good condition. WAPA has returned power to the island and most areas are back to normal already. I'd say 95% have power and water now. Heck, mine was on by Tuesday night! Local phone service operated during the hurricane without interruption and long distance service was back on Wednesday. Roads are clear, and the incredible island landscape and foliage held up really well. Homes and businesses took minimal damage if any. I had some water in the kitchen, blown in by a clogged gutter pouring water onto the driveway. Nothing major though and a good mopping didn't hurt it any :-) Curfew was lifted as of last night, so I took myself out to Pizza Hut in celebration. The Tower at Cyril E. King International Airport was not damaged, and runways are clear. American and Delta resumed regular flights on Wednesday. (American service to Miami has been canceled due to impending Hurricane conditions there.) US Airways will resume today. Flights to and from San Juan have resumed, thought the mail planes are still pretty spotty. --Hold off on sending those photos Mom!-- Everyone is being advised to double check their flights if they are coming within the next few weeks. I don't know how long it will take Matt to get out of Mobile and come home, but hopefully Georges will miss him. All in all, we came through just great. I think we learned a whole lot from Marilyn and things were rebuilt much stronger this time. And, folks took it much more seriously than in the past. No one wanted a repeat of '85 or '89! Of course, Georges showed us some mercy as well. I am praying for the rest of the world as he continues his wrath to the North. Love from St. Thomas! Wendy (webwriter@islands.vi)
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 11:05:41 -0300 From: Wendy Tipton (resorts@marriott.vi) Subject: Estate Bakkeroe Report Hi Gert! What a wonderful service you have here! If you don't mind, I have a press release for you..... The Marriott Beach Resorts of St. Thomas Unscathed following Hurricane Georges. ST. THOMAS, USVI (September 25, 1998) Guests at the Marriott Beach Resorts are lounging by the pool and on the beach today as Hurricane Georges left the St. Thomas property unscathed. Nick Pourzal, President and Managing Director reports,"Our recent $52 million redesign and renovation safeguarded us against the intense winds and rains of the hurricane. Our guests continue to express gratitude for the personal attention they've received from our dedicated and caring staff." Marriott Frenchman's Reef and Morning Star Beach Resorts emerged from the storm with no structural damage and only minor landscaping and cosmetic cleanup to do. The resort is fully operational and is enjoying full occupancy. Guests resumed their vacations yesterday with the resort's facilities at their disposal. The Reef Health Club is open and utilized to capacity. Both freshwater pools at Frenchman's Reef are back in service. Long distance and local phone service, as well as the resort's satellite cable TV system are fully operational, including on-command pay per view video entertainment. (I believe it is much the same all over the island.) Contact information: Reservations Only: 800-524-2000 General Info: 340-776-8500 Email: resorts@marriott.vi Web Site: www.marriott.vi

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