[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 - Antigua

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Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 20:17:41 -0400
From: Douglas Priest (w3cf@email.msn.com)
Subject: Royal Antiguan Hotel

Spoke with John Cather at the Royal Antiguan today and he said they were
open for business with minimal damage to the hotel. John said the pool was a
tad messy and the grounds were tore up some but no where near as bad a Luis.
We are scheduled with a group on October 22nd  for our yearly autumn trip to
our second home and I wanted to insure we would have a good trip. We were
there 7 weeks after Luis and things were REALLY a mess. John said that after
Luis the hotel could not get a full crew to work as the island was that
badly damaged but Wednesday the entire staff was busy at work cleaning up.
One of our group also was in contact with Roy Carty who lives next to the
old sugar factory. We have 5 radio towers with LARGE antennas mounted on top
of them on Mr.. Cartys property. I expected to lose antennas and towers but
Roy said all towers were intact and we only really lost two antennas out of
six.  I'm told the two are repairable. Our prayers go out to all our
brothers and sisters in the beautiful Caribbean who stare down the bore of
these hurricanes. We landlubbers can run to high ground. On the islands
there is nowhere to run. I'll be on island October 22nd. If I can be of some
help, please, contact me.

Doug Priest       E-Mail :         W3CF@MSN.COM

Douglas Priest
Amateur Radio Call Signs :
W3CF  //  V26DX  //  TO5MM
Frankford Radio Club
Hatfield, PA. U.S.A.

John Fuller is back! -Gert Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 18:16:11 -0300 From: John Fuller (fullerj@candw.ag) back in the saddle.got 240 e-mails because of you and i don't type! clean up time. there is no question that G. gave the n coast of antigua stronger winds than luis.by ALL estimations the highest gusts were130-140!v.v. frightening.phones went right after my last to you.luckily didn't last as long as luis.will not complain about MESS . we were spared our lives and most of us our homes.so many GOOD people sent messages.thanks to all of them. antiguans are a hardy people and we'll put it back together.
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 18:26:58 -0400 From: Martie Stevenson (msteven@hankins.com) Subject: Club Antigua Called Club Antigua this afternoon. They are closing tomorrow for a clean-up. Said the damage wasn't too bad, but staff needs to have time at home as well as at work. They said they would reopen on the 21st? Don't know if this means the 21st of Oct. (which I hope it is) or Nov. Prayers continue for everyone on the Island. Martie
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 12:07:43 -0300 From: MARTHA WATKINS GILKES (gilkesm@candw.ag) Subject: LIFE AFTER HURRICANE... Dear Friends September 24th, 1998 I write you this with a heavy heart as it has been such a traumatic time going through this dreadful Hurricane George's It is so touching to have our friends trying to contact us after this terrible hurricane which has turned our lives completely upside down once again after only recently rebuilding and recovering somewhat emotionally and financially from LUIS in 1995. It makes you know that people/love/friendship and life --not THINGS are the MOST important things as the rest can be gone with the wind!! SO I cannot respond to each of you with such limited time to get on with life so am doing a "inf." report for you.. Still we all must have a place called home so on we go with the big depressing clean up Our daily life here is such a drag, literally dragging ourselves out of bed at first light about 5 Am.. with never enough sleep from a short night -being so exhausted that we just collapse at night We are shutting down our generator overnight as we feel it should have a rest from puffing all day it is a god send we did not have after LUIS and gives some order to daily life and allows one to have a cold drink in this heat and we make a few precious ice cubes which we can share with others. Many do not have a generator... However, we also have to conserve the diesel supply in case it is hard to get it (and EXPENSIVE!)^ at least we store 200 gallons so that gives us about 200 hours of operating time.. Once we are cleaned up a bit we will not leave it on all day.. At least the food supply is fine in a cold fridge and we can get to our water supply having water pumps working ---for the massive clean up we have to have the water! As for specific damage to us, for the many who have asked MOST IMPORTANT the lives of Dolphin View.. OF course Tony and I are fine a bit shell shocked but that is expected and all 3 kitties are OK, although Rascal, my beautiful 16 year old Balinese, had a hard time through the storm. He was scared to death and kept escaping from the small "safe Haven" bedroom where we were locked up downstairs to run upstairs under the bed but it was too dangerous up here with the roof creaking so I would dash upstairs during the storm and drag him out each time..finally had to literally hold him tight for about an hour of the worst He did not move for 2 days after the storm and stayed under the bed..but he is perking up.. Also I was able to catch Maxcine, our free flying Moluccan cockatoo so she is still with us.. Of course EC/ KUSUKA and QUACKER were all inside.as were the new additions of 8 loves birds plus ONE BABY love bird found in the nest when I put all the love birds in safe cages As the mother rejected him in the small cage I hand fed him through the storm and the biggest miracle is that nearly 48 hours after emptying the aviary when inspecting the storm damage in the aftermath, we head tiny chips coming from the battered aviary and found 2 more TINY baby love birds in a nest box. Nearly starved. So I am hand feeding 3 little birds every few hours, including through the night! Did not really need that but on the other hand it gives one hope of LIFE AFTER GEORGES and that indeed, we will rebuild our lives once again Have named them HUGO, LUIS AND GEORGES for our terrible hurricanes we have weathered. at least our main house held pretty well although there was flooding through all the cracks in the hurricane shutters; the good old tin /galvanize West Indian type roof put on after LUIS did not peel off like shingles did on TREETOPS causing much leakage.. also, the wide overhangs on TREETOPS peeled off and blew towards our house and huge 20 x 30 foot pieces are lying in the garden in between Heavens knows how we will move them guess cut them up?? Of course when the Treetops overhangs peeled back it opened up the front as it did in LUIS and flooded things.. This time I had covered EVERYTHING in plastic tarps so at least the furniture/ beds are OK. The flat roofs attached to Dolphin View lost the shingles and them and are leaking dreadfully but have been temporarily patched. At Dolphin View all the handrailing upstairs facing south is blown off all over the top the hill here. also most of the gingerbread work both on Treetops and Dolphin View are blown off I have found some of the pieces, each one carefully hand cut by Tony and time consuming to replace!! and I will keep tracking through the remains of the sticker bushes around the hill side for more and the Gazebo garden structure was blown down as was all the white picket fencing.. and my garden GONE.. I hope it will be like it was after LUIS and that new green will spout soon I have put sooo much time and effort into it that is hard to bear looking at it. And there are leaves/ trash/ mess everywhere you look all over the walls of the house has to all be pressure washed and the whole house will need repainting Lord knows when as that is not important right now I know we are much more fortunate than many people we have much left to rebuild on we have our own power supply so at least can have the basic comforts and share a few precious ice cubes with others who have no power and we have life But it is still really tough emotionally to go through this devastation once more Our island does not deserve this twice in a row but that is life so onward and upwards, to better times Thanks again for all of your concerns... RE COMMUNICATION.. by some miracle one phone line 268-463**** is still on and my fax line 460 **** is on...But not our main phone number... our phone lines are dangling from the pole so these may go any time, but for now I can log on and get communicate this way.. a god send not to feel soooo cut off... And we have cell phones 268 464 **** - to use in emergency as it is very expensive to operate.. All for now... LOVE martha...
Date: Tue, 22 Sep 1998 23:05:57 -0300 From: MARTHA WATKINS GILKES (gilkesm@candw.ag) Subject: ANTIGUA ... A quick update on situation this end of island.. at least mine... others have been doing a great job on other parts of the island -- but it is unreal our phone lines are working..most of the time.. so now is the big grunt for all of us to CLEAN UP...major clean up.. figuring how to move a 30 x 30 foot piece of roof from the middle of ones garden.. and how to get splattered leaves and green juice off EVERYTHING... and a million other clean up problems... but THERE IS LIFE AFTER GEORGES... I had cleaned out my love bird aviary before the storm...and all bird were secure from late Sat. afternoon Sep. 19th.... when I finally came to close check of damage inspection on Monday afternoon - nearly 48 hours later.. I heard little chipps coming from the battered aviary and found 2 tiny baby love bird who survived GEORGES... now they are named LUIS AND GEORGE... As the mother would not accept them back I am now hand feeding these surviors..and proving THERE IS LIFE AFTER GEORGE.. ..so guys.. hang in there and pull up your boot straps and lets all rebuild our paradise -even if it is for the second time... It is worth the efforts..

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