[IMG: Hurricane Mitch approaching Honduras on 1998 October 26, 13:15 UT.; 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
Mitch - Jamaica

Almost 2 weeks (!) ago Mitch was aiming straight for Jamaica, than
it just turned in time (see below), and did it's rampage journey over 
Central America.  But Mitch didn't want to die, it pulled itself 
together in the Gulf of Campeche and moved quickly northeast. On it's 
way to Floride the heavy rains associated with Mitch reached Jamaica,
as Stacey can attest to. -Gert

Date: Fri, 6 Nov 1998 08:28:58 -0800 (PST)
From: Stacey Lushus (slushus@yahoo.com)
Subject: Hurricane Mitch

Here in Jamaica we are getting terrible rains. Last night was the
worst case of thunder and lightening I have ever seen in my entire
life. i live in St. Andrew and the whole apartment shook and the
lights continually went off, with the car alarms. I have heard that
just up the road (August Town) the floods carried away two children
while they were asleep.

Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 21:38:15 -0500 (EST) From: Tim Lankester (jamcord@cwjamaica.com) Subject: Update from Jamaica "Mitch" is more or less history for us in Jamaica now, but it was a close call and our thoughts, prayers and anything else available go out to those still in its path. To use an over-used americanism, 180 m.p.h. strength is AWESOME !! Actually, we are still getting significant rains and some gusts from Mitch's rain bands, but apart from some local flooding, we scraped by. After a couple of days of indifferent performance by Mitch, we had to start taking notice Friday evening, and on Saturday morning started preparations. In general we got good and timely information from our Authorities backed up by your Weather Channel, CNN and the Internet. Our 'Watch' was upgraded to a 'Warning' at 5:00 PM Saturday and was down-graded at 5:00 PM Sunday. A month ago our Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM or as I prefer, simply ODP) went bananas at midday 23 September and threw the country into a tailspin when 'GEORGES' was following a very predictable path along Cuba's North Coast, by over-reacting to ONE report that impicated our North Coast. They asked for all Schools to be closed (where are the kids supposed to go??) and businesses to close early. Result.......Traffic standstills everywhere, choas and confusion, enormous loss of production, etc. Will keep in touch. Regards, TIM LANKESTER
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 19:16:54 -0500 From: National Meteorological Centre (metja.nmc@daffodil.InfoChan.COM) Subject: Jamaica after Mitch Hello Gert, Well Hurricane Mitch has come and gone and gratefully, he did not give Jamaica his full attention. At its closest to Jamaica Mitch was approximately 255 kilometres south of the western tip of the island. This did not stop it in any way from washing the island from east to west particularly on Sunday October 25, 1998. Many roads were flooded and covered with debris, on the Palisadoes spit for example (a narrow strip of land connecting Kingston's airport to the rest of the country) heavy duty equipment was used to constantly clear debris that had washed up on the road from the sea. The sea was particularly rough and appeared at times to be upwards of two metres above normal. One river in the north eastern section of the island reportedly overflowed its banks. Many roads were blocked and rendered impassable due to landslides. In Spanish Town, the former capital of Jamaica an old house collapsed, rendering 4 persons homeless. Many more were temporarily displaced as water overtook their homes. In the parish of St. Elizabeth one section of the hospital was flooded forcing the evacuation of female patients on one of the wards. The national airline cancelled it flights from Kingston however American airlines did not. One of the island's smaller airline companys carried out a scheduled flight to a the Dominican Republic a country who knows only too well the sting of a storm. Life after Mitch is one of thankfullness, the public had prepared for him, there was a run on supermarkets all over the island, batteries were in short supply in stores prompting suppliers and distributers to go the extra mile to provide same. Bread was out off stock, that was not so easily replaced though! By monday morning things were back to near normal though there was frequent outbreaks of moderate showers. Most of the workforce were back at work though students stayed home. Buses were out and most roads were cleared. There was no shortage of water or power outages, truthfully Jamaica was spared the rage of Mitch which at the time of its passing was a dangerous category 4 hirricane. There are 35 days left in the 1998 hurricane season, Will Jamaica's luck hold out? Yvette Beckford
Date: Sun, 25 Oct 1998 09:19:46 -0500 From: Corinne Smith (daysmith@daffodil.InfoChan.COM) Good morning Gert, You'll be happy to know (not as happy as we are though!) that Jamaica seems to have been spared. It's 9:30 Sunday morning, and so far all that we've had is a lot of rain. I suspect that conditions may be somewhat worse in the south-western parts of the country, but no major incidents have been reported so far. Of course, we will keep a close eye on Mitch, as hurricanes from this part of the Caribbean have a tendency to be erratic in their movement, but for now we are breathing a collective sigh of relief. i Regards, Corinne
Date: Sun, 25 Oct 1998 08:10:07 -0500 From: Raymond Campbell (rcampbell@cwjamaica.com) Subject: Jamaica Update Time 08:10, location Kingston. It has been raining with fluctuating intensity throughout the night, if it continues for the remainder of the day my guess is flooding in low lying areas. Intermittent thunder very overcast. So far very little by way of breeze.
Date: Sun, 25 Oct 1998 From: Chris Marley (cmarley@toj.com) 7.05 am EST Sunday, heavy rain, 5mph wind. Looks like its gone off to the west according to the models that your site link is showing. Wasted hours boarding up last night. Ah well! We remember Gilbert!
Date: Sat, 24 Oct 1998 18:29:30 -0400 From: Corinne Smith (daysmith@daffodil.InfoChan.COM) Hi Gert, Well at least we got the office moved in good time: the old one was a rather leaky old building, so we were pretty eager to get into the new digs. The weather has been pretty calm today, just the odd squall, but no real rain or wind to speak of. Jamaicans seem to be taking this pretty seriously, though, and lineups at all the supermarkets, hardware stores and gas stations are long and loud. We have been checking the models out of Univ. of Hawaii, plus (of course) the predictions from the NHC, and are praying hard that they're right. We have enough problems as it is here in Jamaica, without the hardship of trying to recover from a hurricane. Anyway, will keep you posted tonight if anything exciting happens, and will update you tomorrow for sure. Somehow I suspect that the picnic which we had planned for tomorrow may have to be postponed, or at least moved (like into out living room - of course, the kids think this is all pretty cool stuff). Until later, take care, and take it easy. Corinne Smith Kingston, Jamaica
Date: Sat, 24 Oct 1998 18:18:00 -0700 From: M.Lankester (mal@toj.com) Subject: Re: Hurricane Mitch People are preparing, but we all are a little baffled on its course as it is very unusual to be hit directly from the south. Even if it does not hit us we have had rain and breeze nearly all day. Wish us luck!!!

Date: Sat, 24 Oct 1998
From: Chris Marley (cmarley@toj.com)
Subject: Kingston 4.15pm

Pc battery is dead. Time as above. Thunderstorms now here with
gusts over 20 mph. Get some sleep now. It's coming.         

Date: Sat, 24 Oct 1998 11:59:56 -0400 From: Corinne Smith (daysmith@daffodil.InfoChan.COM) Subject: Re: Hurricane Mitch Hi Gert, We think that Mitch will pass Jamaica to the west, but who knows?? In any event, we are preparing for the worst. As a matter of fact, we are right now in the midst of a move of office. Lets hope that we can finish this before the winds and rain start. Corinne.

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