[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 - Tortola & Virgin Gorda

The most recent updates can be found on another page.

Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 11:39:35 -0500
From: Lynn McKamey (scubamom@scubamom.com)
Subject: bvi

From Guana Island, BVI:

Georges went  directly over Guana with winds of 100 to 135 mph, but
since hurricane Hugo we have taken great pains to protect ourselves.

Fortunately, we had no structural damage we are in great shape.  We have
many hurricane procedures that we take very seriously, nevertheless we
still consider ourselves lucky to have escaped so well.

We have a lot clean up from the downed foliage and rains, but nothing
else to worry about.

Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda

The resort had limited damage to landscaping and grounds.  It will be
closed for cleanup until October 18th.

Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 11:24:19 -0500 From: Lynn McKamey (scubamom@scubamom.com) Subject: Bitter End Yacht Club - Virgin Gorda Bitter End Yacht Club, north sound of Virgin Gorda had no major damage and will be ready for guests again by this weekend. The North Sound Express (ferry) will begin operating today and the airport should be open by tomorrow. -- reported by Lynn McKamey (ScubaMom)
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 11:11:13 -0500 From: Lynn McKamey (scubamom@scubamom.com) Subject: Mango Bay Resort - Virgin Gorda From Paloa Moretti, owner of Mango Bay Resort on Virgin Gorda: Everything is all right! A lot of cleaning up to do but no major damages. We have lost only few trees. Virgin Gorda has, I would say, suffered no damages at all. We were very lucky. Few electricity poles down but by Monday everyone should be back in order. Today the businesses are already open. Phone lines are still not in perfect shape but they are working on it. We should have electricity back by today or tomorrow. All The Islands are looking fine! I have heard about San Juan and Santo Domingo...I believe that VG has a very special geographical situation or... we are really blessed! -- reported by Lynn McKamey (ScubaMom)
Date: Tue, 22 Sep 1998 20:34:01 -0400 From: Eileen Gilbride (Gilbridelydon@mediaone.net) Subject: sunsail charters Called Sunsail charters in Annapolis Md. to check on upcoming charter. Their response was that all charter boats in Tortola are fine and all charters are still on. Best of wishes to all in the Virgin Islands and hope for a speedy recovery.

[Tue, 22 Sep 1998 16:33:52EDT] - Received the following from Arjan Stoof (BVI Yacht Charters - sailbvi@media1.caribsurf.com). Translated from Dutch:

Everything went better than expected.  We did not sustain any damage.  Our
yachts are fine.  On the island about 10 yachts were on 'higher ground',
and about 15 fell over in dry docks.  Also, a few homes lost their roof.  
However, we were lucky that at the time Georges arrived in our area that 
it had become a category 2 down from a category 5!

Date: Tue, 22 Sep 1998 16:17:48 -0700 From: Tony Edwards (trublmkr@caribsurf.com) Subject: RGeorges.. Several readers have enquired as to the progress and performance of our French friend, and I'm sorry (ha-ha) to say that, having spent a long, dark, boring and noisy day while he did his stuff, frankly, it wasn't worth the effort. There are a lot of branches down, and some trees, a tremendous amount of shredded foliage plastered all over every thing, a few damaged roofs, and three or four boats ashore. Also some toppled in the various yards, but most of them look to be almost undamaged. We are still, of course, without power, but that shouldn't last too long as the power co. here have a very cautious attitude. They turn off the power as soon as the wind reaches storm force. This means that there is only damage to lines and poles, but the switches, breakers, trnasformers and generators are all undamaged after the storm. Nor is there any damage to home equipment due to power lines shorting together and putting serious surges on the line, or even any chance of being electrocuted by downed lines. So the crews simply have to check the lines and poles, and fix what is needed. Close to the power plants, power will probably be on later today, and the rest of the islands over the next few days. Also, many people have generators, (which is how this is going out) as do have many of the larger businesses such as supermarkets and banks. Another thing that helps us to weather a storm is that, having been there and done that, many people have serious hurricane shutters, buildings are usually over-built with reinforced concrete etc. lots of hurricane clips on the joists, and plenty of time to get the ubiquitous plywood nailed up. So the damage is limited. Also, the various charter companies have things down to a fine art when it comes to getting their many boats into safe harbours and tied down like you wouldn't believe. Even Houdini would have trouble freeing himself from the way that a charter boat is tied for a hurricane As usual after a storm, there are still some heavy seas, but that should calm down in the next day or so, and then we will be all ready for you happy holiday-makers. Seriously, hurricanes are very nasty and dangerous, and this one has been disastrous for some of the other islands such as Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis and Montserrat. They are not as wealthy as the BVI and their buildings are built accordingly, and consequently, as they took the initial brunt of the storm, they have suffered greatly, so if anyone wants to help, look out for them. They really do need help.

[Tue, 22 Sep 1998 14:43EDT] - Cynthia Ross send me the following update:

     hello, anybody still down there on tortola? i had a brief cell phone
     contact with kevin rowlette who was driving up past paraquita bay... he
     said it didn't seem to be too bad. "not as bad as the last ones..."
     whats that mean? i still haven't been able to raise anybody down in
     redhook... thats ominous... anybody whos checking boats in paraquita,
     please do J.Doe a favor (thats the j30 in the corner with the black
     mast)and let me know if i need to be on the next plane... as long as i
     know shes still alive and floating, maybe even still attached to a
     mangrove or two... i'll wait till the madness ends... any info will keep
     me from pulling my hair... j30jdoe@hotmail.com... the redhead

[Tue, 22 Sep 1998 12:47EDT] - Mike Whitcomb reporting on Virgin Gorda:

     Valerie Barcik, Guavaberry, Virgine Gorda, BVI

     I received an e-mail from Val saying that all was ok.  She says that there
     is major plant and tree damage.  She had water damage in parts of her house.
     She has spoken to folks on rest of VG and Tortola and most damage is water
     and foliage.  She has friends on Anegada which is north but has not heard
     from them yet.

[Tue, 22 Sep 1998 11:41EDT] - Lynn McKamey reporting on Biras Creek Resort, Virgin Gorda:

     I'm happy to report that Biras Creek suffered no damage from Hurricane
     Georges and plans to be open on schedule  October 22, 1998 -- they are
     presently closed because of scheduled renovations during  September and
     part of October.

[Tue, 22 Sep 1998 10:10EDT] - Just spoke to Pamelah Jills Jacobson. She had to keep it short, busy, busy. But the good news, it is not really bad. They have no power, but the phones are working! Fort Recovery Estates is fine. Not really structural damage except for some broken windows. Insurance will visit later today. More damage to vegetation, some uprooted trees. But that will all grow back pretty quickly. The seas were very very high. They had a shipwreck right in front of their beach, and saved 4 people from the yacht. Pamelah put them up in one of their villas. The seas brought a huge amount of sand, which unfortunaly resulted in the loss of half their dock. She has not heard of any fatalities.

[Mon, 21 Sep 1998 06:40EDT] - Tony Edwards reporting from Tortola:

     As of 0635 Sunday morning, we have had a few showers, a mild
     gust or two, and some very strange pictures on TV showing strong winds in
     Puerto Rico?!!
     Even the reports of Georges' position vary quite alarmingly, so we are
     beginning to wonder if this is "wag the hurricane" time.
     Should things change later on, we will let you know.

[Sun, 20 Sep 1998 09:01EDT] - Liane Le Tendre reporting from Tortola:

     Me again!

     Its 9:00 a.m. and based on my "personal interpretation" of the satelite
     images ... I think the eye will pass over or near Tortola. Not a happy
     thought. Damned near crippled at this point in time ... I am presently
     putting away all of my little treasures, taping cupboards shut,  pushing
     all my furniture against the far wall of my apartment and rolling up my
     carpets and preparing to bail out of here.

     Georges is nearing a category 5 hurricane and is potentially catastrophic.
     I don't mind saying I am very frightened. Still no sign of my landlord or
     the wood needed to board up the apartments in this building. Apparently, he
     does not have access to the internet or T.V. ... or perhaps he believes
     that a higher power will protect us all.

     As sick as this may sound, it brings to mind a joke I heard several years ago.

     A very poor, unemployed man (with a large family) goes into his church and
     prays to God that he will win the lottery on Monday morning. To his great
     disappointment ... he did not.

     The following Sunday, he goes back to church and once again prays he will
     win the lottery ... but adds, "God, you are not listening to my prayers."
     "Please, I beg you to help me win the lottery tomorrow!" He doesn't win.

     Pissed right off with life and desperately in need to feed his family, the
     man goes to church the following Sunday and declares to God, "I just want
     you to know that I no longer believe in your existance!" "I am fed up with
     "I have always tried to be a good Christian and followed the ten
     commandments all my life; and what did it get me?" "You have deserted me in
     my time of need and to hell with you, God!"

     Just as the man was stomping out of the church, the sky became very bright
     and a huge clap of thunder stopped the man in his tracks. A loud voice
     boomed out, "Work with me here Bob; Buy a ticket!"

     I wish my landlord could see the irony in this joke. I may be able to
     report once more ... but then I am out of here. I will be staying with
     friends at the Lighthouse Villas in Cane Garden Bay. I just pray that we
     aren't hit from the north side!

     Best wishes and good luck to all!
     Kind regards,

     P.S. At the moment ... everything is still almost perfect!

[Sun, 20 Sep 1998 08:40EDT] - Pamelah Jills Jacobson, Fort Recovery Estates reporting from Tortola:

     So far so good, very calm here.  Fort Recovery is in a very safe location
     thank God. The storm seems to be south of us, although we'll probably get
     tropical storm to hurricane 1 winds by Monday afternoon.

[Sun, 20 Sep 1998 05:36EDT] - Liane Le Tendre reporting from Tortola:

     Well hell, this thing is a beast! Currently it is 5:30 a.m. and Georges
     is reportedly 150 miles per hour strong with winds gusting to 190 M.P.H.

     I'm not certain where I will end up staying ... that depends on which
     side of the island the storm will come from. I'd like to stay at my own
     place ... but my landlord hasn't even started boarding up and it doesn't
     appear there is enough wood to go around anyway. I think it is pretty
     clear that I won't be staying here.

     Based on the current position, it looks as though the track is heading
     straight for Tortola. Not good at all. I'm going outside to start making
     enough noise to wake everyone up and  do what we can to board up.

     All is still calm and pleasant and darned near perfect for the meantime.

[Sat, 19 Sep 1998 19:06EDT] - Liane Le Tendre reporting from Tortola:

     Its not looking good for many of the islands right now. This storm is huge
     and is likely going to create a great deal of damage!  We are battening
     down the hatches, buying up provisions and preparing for the inevitable.
     Unfortunately, my knee and ankle have no significant changes to report.

     I have had several people contact me regarding my last report and I just
     wanted to thank you all for your kindness (and solutions to my problem)
     which were offered. I also want to thank you for your well wishes.

     Right now, I am  thinking that my physiological "clues" to impending
     weather changes are kind of neat. I have a veritable "built in hurricane
     device."  Beat that Doppler and NHC!

     Everyone on Tortola is taking all possible action to protect life and
     property at this point. The charter companies have been very busy preparing
     the boats and getting them to the hurricane holes or other safe anchorages
     and many hotels have evacuated their guests

     Home owners can be seen and heard boarding up their windows and loose
     objects which can become missles are being stowed away or tied down.
     A few die hards have still not begun to board up ... but I suppose they
     still have enough time.

     Anyway, it is a beautiful night in Tortola and everything is almost perfect
     ... still!

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