[IMG: Luis; Credit: Norm Nelson, Bermuda Biological Station for Research - http://www.bbsr.edu/Weather/]

The Caribbean Hurricane Page

Updates from the Islands

- - Puerto Rico - -

- Lenny (Aguadilla)
  • From: "J. Jenkins" <tanakai AT coqui.net>
  • Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 18:27:05 -0500
Just when you think the worst is over and things will return to normal....it happens.  Lenny has chosen to get stronger and remain some what stationary.  The winds and rain we (Western PR) didn't get, are now starting.  With the Lenny becoming stronger, the tropical force winds have extended over the entire
island.  All one can do is just wait it out.  OUR PRAYERS SHOULD BE FOR THOSE IN THE
VIRGIN ISLANDS.  Only God has the power to remove the force at hand.

- Update
  • From: "elva cruz de villalobos" <eljua AT hotmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 20:15:32 PST
Governor of puerto rico has just, indicated that a team from his staff will 
be visiting St. Croix (thursday) to offer assistance due to 'lenny'

Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com

- 11/17 2200Z Santa Margarita de Hungría Update
  • From: "rafa://puerto rico" <rafapr AT centennialpr.net>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 18:35:12 -0400
I guess the good news is that there's nothing worthwhile to report, except
for the fact that the Governor's televised dog and pony show started an hour

Considering that just 24 hours ago, we were facing the prospect of a storm
was packing 100+ mph winds, and that 36 hours ago, the forecast had it's
path cutting across the Island, it's probably proper to take a minute and
thank the powers that be, that we've been spared, again. My own personal
thoughts and prayers go out to the people in St. Croix.

rafa://puerto rico
stocked up with black and white cookies at 18.45°N, 66.08°W
PD If you see another from yours truly before 2,000, then something really
messed up.

- 11/17 2030Z Santa Margarita de Hungría re: Vieques/Culebra update
  • From: "rafa://puerto rico" <rafapr AT centennialpr.net>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 16:16:11 -0400
A live TV report from Vieques and Culebra informed that except for uprooted
trees, there was no major damage in Vieques. Electrical power has been

Winds were clocked at 70 mph with a anemometer in Culebra. It has stopped
raining, and the shelter has closed. Businesses are opening again.

There has been no information, as yet, on the people that are camped out at
the Navy live ordinance range.

rafa://puerto rico
stocked up with black and white cookies at 18.45°N, 66.08°W

- Hurricane Lenny Report from Puerto Rico
  • From: steps AT coqui.net
  • Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 16:01:24 GMT
   It is 4 PM on Wednesday, Novembe 17.  Hurricane Lenny is now heading towards
our neighbors in the northern Leeward Islands, and is on St. Croix.  Our thoughts
and prayers are with our St.Croix neighbors, as this very strong storm is sitting
next to them.

   Here on the northwest coast of Puerto Rico we have experienced breezy conditions
since early this morning.  Winds have been continual at about 25 mph, with gusts
to about 35 mph.  Skies have been overcast, and our last rainstorm/squall was
about 9 AM.  No rain since that time, but it does look as though another squall
line may be coming our way.

     We haven't lost power or water but I hear on the news that over 90,000
puertoriquanos have lost water and power.  Tomorrow is supposed to be a normal
work/school day, at least here on the northwest coast.

     Let's hope that Lenny was the final hurrah for the 1999 hurricane season.

Lauri and Mark Stepaniak

- Lenny (Aguadilla)
  • From: "J. Jenkins" <tanakai AT coqui.net>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 14:37:44 -0500
The most beautiful sight appeared in the sky a few moments ago.......The Sun
Hopefully everyone on the entire island while also see the sun, by tomorrow.  Can anyone out there
give me an update about the people on Vieques???

- LENNY (Aguadilla)
  • From: "J. Jenkins" <tanakai AT coqui.net>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 13:05:56 -0500
Music is playing next door. Out the window I can see pigeons on roof tops. Some people have started
to remove plywood from windows. Winds are gusting 15 to 25 mph.  Visibility skyward is unlimited.
A few gray patches off in the distance.  A great day in Puerto Rico (Aguadilla). GOD has once
again chosen to spare us.  Now, we should all give thanks and learn to live together.

- 11/17 1625Z Santa Margarita de Hungría re: Vieques update
  • From: "rafa://puerto rico" <rafapr AT centennialpr.net>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 12:21:08 -0400
Reports received from Vieques reveal winds at a steady 50 mph.

The schoolhouse where some of the protesters in the Navy live bombing range
sought shelter, was blown away. Another group that had sought shelter in the
tormentera, had to abandon it, when the ocean threatened to flood them out.
There is no information regarding where they are at this time. There is no
electrical power on either Vieques or Culebra.

Forecasts for Vieques and Culebra have them being hit with 75+ mph winds for
the next few hours.

rafa://puerto rico
stocked up with black and white cookies at 18.45°N, 66.08°W

- Lenny
  • From: "E. Tulla" <etulla AT spiderlink.net>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 11:43:47 -0400
1136 AST Nov 17; Aguas Buenas PR  AT  1600' ASL

Mostly rain, some strong, & winds of 15-20 kts in the squalls. Just lost
power. Spoke to the Ponce Hotel Melia operator who reported little rain &
almost no wind there now. She slept through the night without incident. The
sailors competing in the Sunfish World Championships in Ponce were
instructed to be at the Yacht Club at 1200 AST to get their boats out of
storage at a secure warehouse this afternoon to resume racing when weather
permits tomorrow. I guess the competitors got more than they expected when
they came for a nice tropical holiday in sunny PR.
Meanwhile, the models show Lenny a little south of the expected track but
still in line for St Croix (a little to the south) & probably Sint Maarten
& Saba. Good luck.


- 11/17 1530Z Santa Margarita de Hungría Update
  • From: "rafa://puerto rico" <rafapr AT centennialpr.net>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 11:36:48 -0400
The wind has picked up a bit at the airport. Within the last hour, they are
reporting 24 mph winds, gusting to 39 mph. Similar conditions prevail at
Roosevelt Roads. Since dawn, there's been a 1/2 inch of rain in San Juan.

A TV reporter measured winds of about 35 mph, gusting to 60 mph in Culebra.
There is no electrical power in Culebra. Vieques should be starting to feel
65+ mph winds. And will do so for the next couple of hours.

A couple of dam doors at Toa Baja and Carraizo have been opened. This will
contribute to flooding down river. A few rivers have already overflowed
their banks, and have flooded nearby roads.

I've lost power a couple of times since I hit the keyboard. Just seconds,
but enough to force the old 266 to re-boot.

There are only 2,706 people in 128 shelters. Authorities are asking
companies NOT start operations. Since dawn, bank branches have tried to
open, as conditions permit. This is due to the still dangerous conditions.
People are being advised to remain at home, at least until the watch is
lifted.. Some chain stores are open in San Juan, as if nothing were
happening. Apparently somebody are forgetting storms come with the territory
I the Caribbean. If it sounds ludicrous that people be asked be return to
work, it most certainly is.

rafa://puerto rico
stocked up with black and white cookies at 18.45°N, 66.08°W

- Good bye Lenny
  • From: "J R Hennon" <JRHENNO AT ppco.com>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 10:30:41 -0400

Here in Guayama, Puerto Rico we are feeling very fortunate that Lenny's fury
stayed offshore. We think the eye passed about 80 miles SE of our location.
Overnight we experienced numerous heavy rain bands with gusty winds (30 - 40 mph
max). Many people have things to dry out today, but there was little damage. The
story in the mountains, particularly with roads and bridges effected by the
torrential rains, may be different.

Seas are huge and very confused, with swells in the range of 10 - 16 feet coming
from several directions. The river runoff is very strong and full of "stuff",
but things will clean up again quickly.

This storm has intensified from 85 knots sustained winds to now 125 plus in the
last 24 hours so for those still in it's path, you need to take this one very

Good Luck!

- Aguadilla/San Juan
  • From: "J. Jenkins" <tanakai AT coqui.net>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 10:24:46 -0500
About thirty minutes ago, the animals started talking again. Roosters are crowing, birds are singing dogs
can be heard in the background.  Aguadilla has been passed over AGAIN.  The worst of the tropical
force winds are suppose to be pass PR in the next three and a half  (3.5hrs) hours. That's if Leeny keeps
on his current track. Only Mother Nature knows for sure though.

  • From: "E. Tulla" <etulla AT spiderlink.net>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 05:16:29 -0400
I live in Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico, 12 mi due south of San Juan (SIG- Isla
Grande airport) at 1600' above sea level.
It is 0510 Nov17, rain moderate, winds 15-20 mph, gusting 35. Last radar
Doppler shows the eye passing due south at about 125 mi. St. Croix seems to
be in the direct path. PR seems to be spared the worst of it but for the
rain, which looks heavy in the SE corner of the island. San Juan lost power
a few moments ago but it seems to be back now, we have not lost power not
phone. Hopefully, the storm will spare us its worst punch. I hope St. Croix
stands up well. Good luck.

- Wheeeeee! (fwd)
  • From: Gert van Dijken <gert AT vandijken.com>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 09:17:32 -0500 (EST)

>Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 09:23:31 -0400
>From: Debra Vela <davela AT caribe.net>
>It's really starting to blow now in San Juan.  About ten minutes ago, I
>was taking Samantha for a walk on the beach and it was windy.  Even
>though the storm is southeast of us, we're just now starting to get some
>strong winds but nothing to topple over a house.  Light-weight stuff is
>blowing around and it's hard to open my front door without it trying to
>slam shut on me.  We're supposed to get the worst of it at approximately
>2:00pm and it's 9:20am.  My work has been cancelled for today.  Thank
>goodness I have electricity, the Inet and cable or I'd go out of my head
>with boredom.  The rains have been really light in San Juan but we're
>still under a flood watch.

- 11/17 1320Z Santa Margarita de Hungría Update
  • From: "rafa://puerto rico" <rafapr AT centennialpr.net>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 09:23:01 -0400
IF this is the worst wind we'll get in San Juan, Santa Margarita de Hungría
(AKA El Zurdo) is going to be a breeze (no pun intended or implied). There
is barely a breeze at my locale, although the weather bureau officially
reports gusts of 21 mph in San Juan, and 36 mph in Roosevelt Roads.

The warning MIGHT de downgraded to a watch with the 1500Z advisory.

The 1300Z advisory classifies Santa Margarita de Hungría as a category four
storm, with max winds of 135 mph, and the barometric pressure has dropped to
948, 27.99.

It's been raining on and off, but nothing major.

This in no way implies that conditions might seriously deteriorate eastward
from San Juan. Vieques and Culebra are no where near out of the woods, yet.
I suspect we haven't seen the potential for rain as yet.

Some stores are opening as usual, especially on the western part of the
Island. There are reports of a landslide on the Utuado, Arecibo road,
although it's not impassible.

rafa://puerto rico
stocked up with black and white cookies at 18.45°N, 66.08°W

- Lenny and Aguadilla
  • From: "J. Jenkins" <tanakai AT coqui.net>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 08:39:07 -0500
 The weather on the Western part of Puerto Rico is still calm.  Some rain winds come and go.  Basically
it just as if a winter storm was here.  Other parts of our island haven't faired that well. Some flooding
in the South and southeatern parts.  Last report from the Navy puts Lenny 115 miles South of Puerto
Rico.  If his movement continues, Puerto Rico has been spared again.  Thank God.  As soon
as I speak with friends from the other side, I'll send again.  Time for a hot cup of JOE.

- 11/17 1200Z update
  • From: "rafa://puerto rico" <rafapr AT centennialpr.net>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 08:01:56 -0400
A live TV report from Vieques reported calm seas on the northern part of the
island. The reporter had problems trying to stand still. The use of an
anemometer had steady winds of 20 mph, gusting to 40 mpg. Conditions should
start to worsen from now until noon.

The people that have camped out in the Navy's live fire range have sought
refuge in either a old, abandoned tank, a schoolhouse they built, or a
Puerto Rican style storm shelter, known as a tormentera. For all practical
effects, they are completed isolated, since the ONLY way to reach them is
either through the naval base (if rescuers are permitted onto the base), or
via boat. The sea conditions make that impossible. They have made the
decision to remain there, and there are no reports that either local or Navy
authorities will try to forcibly remove them.

rafa://puerto rico
stocked up with black and white cookies at 18.45°N, 66.08°W

- 11/17 1120Z update
  • From: "rafa://puerto rico" <rafapr AT centennialpr.net>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 07:20:43 -0400
American Airlines has cancelled ALL into and from San Juan, until 4:00 pm
local time. A TV report from Luquillo reports steady winds at 20 mph,
gusting to 30 mpg. The road from Fajardo to Humacao is flooded.

In spite of the fact that AM radio stations have changed their programming
due to El Zurdo, 2 commercial TV stations have their normal cartoons and
kitchen shows. The government station started showing some sign of life at
6:00 am. The other commercial TV station has been on the ball since I tuned
in at 4:30 am.

As of 6:00 am local time there are 4,725 people in 191 shelters. About
100,000 water service clients are without service. 80,000 to 90,000 clients
are without electrical power. There are no commercial flights in San Juan.
No major landslides and some roads are flooded. Two confirmed deaths. One
involves a policeman and it was described as a accident. The other was a
person that apparently suffered a fall.

Authorities broke out their Lenny '99, black windbreakers. Sort of resembled
a pit crew at a car race. (Can't really say there wasn't any sponsors logo
on the back)

rafa://puerto rico
stocked up with black and white cookies at 18.45°N, 66.08°W
PD Going into my third cup of java, thanks to the power company.

- Lenny
  • From: "Jim Mollitor" <mollitor AT coqui.net>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 07:09:55 -0400
Its 7 am here in Puerto Rico and Lenny is skirting our south-eastern coast.  I live in the mountains between San Lorenzo and Patillas and so far we have been very fortunate.  We have not felt any significant impact from this hurricane.  We got some wind in the early morning hours but not as bad as anticipated.  It is still raining, the creek in front of our house has grown three times its normal size, but that is not causing any problems for us yet.  I am amazed that we still have phone and electrical service!  It appears that we will weather this storm quite well here.  The concern has to be for the low-lying flood prone areas, coastal towns, like Humacao and of course those people on Vieques, Culebra and the VI.  I would think that, other than the flooding and swollen rivers, those people living north and west of San Lorenzo should be in fairly good shape.  God and mother nature have dealt kindly with us again.

- "Lefty" Lenny
  • From: etulla AT spiderlink.net
  • Date: Wed, 17 Nov 99 10:28:53 +0000
From Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico, 12 mi due south of San Juan (SIG, Isla Grande airport) at 1600' above sea level.

0640 AST Nov 17: Lots of rain, winds  AT  15ktd gusting to 30kts, but nothing too dramatic. San Juan lost power briefly at about 0430 AST but regained power within minutes. We have had power throught the night. Right now, rain prevents viewing the city at dawn. No sign of downed trees, etc. here.
Latest Doppler shows the well defined eye about 125 mi. SSE of mis position, heading ENE on a course (according to the latest Navy models) just south of St Criox. Good luck to our friend there & the rest of the Virgin Islands who seem to be getting much more rain than we.

Will continue reporting.

- 11-17 1030Z update
  • From: "rafa://puerto rico" <rafapr AT centennialpr.net>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 06:35:11 -0400
A 1000Z (6:00 am local) position estimate places El Zurdo's eye at 16.8°N,
65.8°W, a bit less than due south from San Juan. The eye is 115 miles from
San Juan. The wind fields, if they are correct, should have some barely
tropical force winds in San Juan.

Conditions should start deteriorating within the next 2 hours in Puerto
Rico's south east corner, as the eye comes closest to land. Vieques and
Culebra will be feeling tropical force winds until noon.

Winds have died down, and the official reports from the weather bureau do
not mentions any gusts, within the last hour. Roosevelt Roads, on Puerto
Rico's eastern coast, on the other hand, reports 28 mpg gusts. The only rain
at my location is what dripping off the roof. Again, this is just starting.
And I have heard reports of downpours from other parts of the Island.

I've heard preliminary reports of a death related to the storm. Details
later on this, as well as shelters and flooding, when authorities give us
Wednesday's edition of the dog and pony show.

rafa://puerto rico
stocked up with black and white cookies at 18.45°N, 66.08°W

- 3:00 A.M. report from Isabela
  • From: "J.C" <cruzj AT prtc.net>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 02:57:13 -0500

At this moment,  the winds are starting to blow a bit but not as a true
hurricane or tropical storms ones.  Slightly rain start to fall around 3:00
A.M. but it has stop.  The intermediate advisory was released and it locates
the system 135 miles south of San Juan(Latitude 16.5 / Longitude 66.2).
They also state that the strong rain bands will be experience in the south
coast of the Island.  The system continues to moves east-northeast at 14 MPH
and the winds are now near 120 MPH with higher gusts and the pressure
continues to drops, 952 mB.  The system is expected to take a gradual turn
toward the northeast today.  Although weather conditions have been worsen
gradually to the south and southeast of the Island,  here in Isabela it has
been a quiet evening.

With this scenario,  lets see what's going to happen in the early morning
hours to come were I'm confident that this will be the last scary moment of
this year crazy hurricane season!!!

Well folks,  I'll keep all of you posted during the day!!!

God bless and Pray for all of us and the other brothers in the Caribbean


Jose Cruz
Isabela, Puerto Rico

- 11/17 0900Z Update
  • From: "rafa://puerto rico" <rafapr AT centennialpr.net>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 05:09:00 -0400
Here I am, just finishing off my first cup of java, waiting for the 0900 Z
advisory. Most I can say is that it's been drizzling on and off all night
long. There's a good steady breeze out of the east. Although the wind hasn't
forced me to close a south facing window YET, I can feel it's gusting out
there. The official report out of the San Juan Weather Bureau shows barely a
1/2 inch of rain in the last 6 hours and 23 mph gusts, in the last hour.

Those you that might wonder what a 'well-defined eye' is should check the
05:40 Doppler radar out of San Juan, which I hope appears somehow, attached.

I'll hang on as long as conditions, my ISP and laptop batteries permit.

Having said that, if the forecast holds up, conditions should go south from
now until just about noon.

rafa://puerto rico
stocked up with black and white cookies at 18.45°N, 66.08°W
  • Attachment: 11-17 0840

  • - 11:00 P.M. report from Isabela
    • From: "J.C" <cruzj AT prtc.net>
    • Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 22:28:29 -0500
    At 11:00 P.M.,  guru's at the National Weather Service release the last
    Hurricane advisory.  It shows the system about 170 miles from San Juan.  It
    continues to moves toward the northeast and is expected to do so for the
    next twelve hours at 16 MPH.  They pointed out that conditions will continue
    to worsen throughout the night and Wednesday morning.  Maximum sustained
    winds remains at 115 MPH with higher gusts(as usual) what place this one in
    a category 3 on the "Saffir/Simpson scale.  In regards the central pressure
    it when low and now is at 958 mB.  When it goes down,  you know the rest...
    Rain Fall?  The advisory totals are from 10 to 15 inches, which can produce
    life-threatening flash floods and also mud slides. At this time, where I
    live in Isabela,  no rain fall has been recorded since 6:00 P.M... Yes No
    rain at all...
    I'm going to rest for a while now and I will be back tomorrow morning when
    the eye of the hurricane will be close to the Island and the heavy rain is
    Keep us and all in the Caribbean in your prayer's.
    Jose Cruz
    Isabela, Puerto Rico

    - Looks like we might get a LITTLE lucky
    • From: Debra Vela <davela AT caribe.net>
    • Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 23:27:00 -0400
    Am enthusiastic that Lenny seems to be moving more South of us than
    earlier anticipated.  I'm still expecting flooding with all the
    mudslides and such, not necessarily in my area (I live in a concrete
    city), and hope the slides are minimal.  Am still watching.

    - From AGUADILLA
    • From: "J. Jenkins" <tanakai AT coqui.net>
    • Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 23:21:57 -0500
    Things here are still VERY CALM, only the COQUI's are singing.   Word from San Juan is the worst is
    only 6 to 8 hrs away.  Sometime between 7am  and  12pm  tomorrow (17 NOV 99) Lenny will make his presence known. All we can do is hope and pray that Puerto Rico will be  spared again.  In the morning
    I'll be on my cellular to give a complete update from San Juan,  Fajardo and Ceiba. Until then I'm
    going to try and get some sleep. Hopefully I'll (we'll) be able to send emails in the morning.
    Take Care and God Bless.  
    James D

    - 11/17 0330Z update
    • From: "rafa://puerto rico" <rafapr AT centennialpr.net>
    • Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 23:13:02 -0400
    We are NOT out of the woods yet. But, the 0300Z advisory places El Zurdo's
    eye at 105 miles south of Cabo Rojo. Considering that this morning, the eye
    SHOULD have made landfall just about over Cabo Rojo, out luck seems to be
    holding out, so far. Apparently we will be spared any hurricane force winds.
    Yours truly will certainly avoid Puerto Rico's south east corner. It's still
    going to be a mess down there.
    As of 10:30 pm local time, there's barely 2,000 people in shelters, a figure
    I find very low. My feeling is that a lot folks are sitting on the fence,
    regarding going to shelters. And this advisory is going to fool them. If the
    rain really starts, tonight, as forecast, there are going to be a lot people
    being moved during the night.
    rafa://puerto rico
    stocked up with black and white cookies at 18.45°N, 66.08°W

    - Update
    • From: maakg AT att.net
    • Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 01:49:28 +0000
    Hello from Puerto Rico, San Juan
    Kai Griebenow here.  Local time 9:41 pm.  Rain is setting 
    in.  Pretty heavy and constant.  Thus far we have not had 
    significant wind here.  
    My neighbors are doing last minute preparations.  
    However, everyone seems to be quite well prepared 
    allready.  In San Juan, we expect to have mostly tropical 
    storm force winds - but who knows.  Predictions with this 
    hurricane seem to be somewhat unreliable.  Probably 
    significant lack of data for hurricanes moving w-->e in 
    November.  I will try to stay online as long as the 
    electricity allows.  (Impact expected early next 
    One interesting notion: one of my dogs (Lola) got pretty 
    nervous earlier this day.  She knows that something is 
    happening. Usually, when she goes under the bed, we will 
    get something.  Let's see whether dogs are more reliable 
    than the weather forecast.  I hope not....

    • From: "Eugenio J. Camara" <ejcolipr AT caribe.net>
    • Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 21:02:21 -0400
    Saludos nuevamente
    Hace como 10 a 15 minutos que el viento ha comenzado, no es fuerte, solo una brisa.Comparado con la calma que habia hace una hora diría que Don Lenny esta comenzando a hacer de las suyas.
    Todavia hay mucha gente en la calle buscando una que otra cosa. Como yo que sali a buscar un poco de hielo, es que trabajo a las 6:00am y quiero dejar la neverita "ready to go".
    Para los amigos de habla hispana saludos nuevamente al momento todo bien. En el oeste. Desde la cuidad de Mayagüez
    E. Cámara (Geño)

    Older reports can be found on another page.

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