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Satellite images of Fabian over Bermuda: stormcarib.com/fabian
Detailed island-map by Bermudahotels.com

- - - 2003 Hurricane Season - - -

- I'm back!
  • From: "Anne Kermode" <mdkaek AT ibl.bm>
  • Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2003 22:12:55 -0300
Hello. Just got my phone back.  Thanks everyone for your concern and messages.
I did fine.  My father in law's house came through undamaged, but my Sister-i-L and Mother-i-L lost their roofs. 
My school collapsed, so my work over the summer...gone :-(  The school has moved to the local community centre for a few months while we wait for some mobile classrooms/rebuilding.  The centre has been fantastic, accommodating, wonderful.  But my teaching plans had to be scrapped, and we spent a few days rescuing materials from the rubble.  Now I'm co-teaching lots of Primary 2 (Grade 1) kids, which is very exciting. Or it would be if my co-teacher hadn't become very ill on the first day of school.  Not an auspicious start to my teaching career!! But we are all very resilient, not least the kids, and my colleagues are unbelievable.
Anyway, Bermuda is getting back to normal. St. George's is still a bit worse for wear, and the broken Causeway linking us to the mainland is a pain in the bum.  I can watch the traffic backing up along the road from my bedroom window as day breaks.  But the cleanup everywhere has been astonishing, thanks to the Herculean effort of almost everyone.  Way to go Bermuda!

- Hurricane Juan
  • From: "Virginia DeSilva" <vdesilva AT bhs.bm>
  • Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 11:41:55 -0300
Title: Message
I am a Geography teacher in Bermuda and we are currently under the advisory of tropical storm warning.  Juan is some 160 miles south east of us.  This morning around 7 am Atlantic Standard Time, I could see swells on the South Shore that looked like what was around before Hurricane Isabel passed near us.  There are also large waves breaking over our reefs. 
This morning, the causeway which is still being repaired and closed in the evenings, was only open for 3 hours.  St. George's in inaccessible now.  It is being checked for structural damage from Fabian today.  Four people and two cars were swept out to sea on the causeway.  Only one body has been recovered and the search for the other three ended this week.  If conditions worsen due to Juan, the causeway will reopen to allow people to get back home to prepare their property for the high winds.  There are many rooftops covered in tarpaulin from Hurricane Fabian and under 100 homes without electricity.   We don't really need another hit!
Right now it is 11:30 am AST and it is cloudy outside the window facing west from my prep room.  It rained earlier today and it's getting windy.  Sorry, I have no instruments in this school to allow more accuracy!  Looking east, the clouds look darker and heavier, so I expect it will rain shortly. 
I have just printed a copy of the picture from www.goes.noaa.gov/browsh2.html I will pin it up in my classroom. 
Hope this is useful.
Virginia DeSilva

- getting back to normal
  • From: Terri Mello <tmello AT bermudasun.bm>
  • Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2003 13:20:17 -0300

Clean-up efforts are coming along nicely, though there will be work to be
done for months after this. I noticed today that two roads in particular are
suddenly clear, and it's due to all the hardworking soldiers and various
other groups out there helping.

Anne, I hope you and your family are all okay. I saw in your last log that
you went from St. George's to your father-in-law's home to wait out the
storm - I know that St. George's suffered a lot of damage and I just pray
that your home was not part of the losses. If you did make it back home, how
was crossing the causeway? I am still afraid to travel over it, even though
they are telling us it is safe. I think I'd rather take the ferry. Please
fill us in when you can! We are concerned and thinking about you!

Someone wrote to me and gave me another great source for photos and also
another hurricane web-log. Go to www.bermudaonion.com to check them out.
That writer had a much more dramatic experience during the storm than I did!

I believe I read that cruise ships will once again be returning next week.
I'm not sure I'd want to see Bermuda like this, so I hope tourists aren't
too disappointed. I just want Bermuda to be at its best for visitors, though
I'm sure everyone understands the situation.

We're all keeping an eye on Isabel, as our island wouldn't stand a chance
against a hurricane so strong especially now that we are hurting already.

Hoping Anne and her family are alright and will write soon. 

- <no subject>
  • From: Terri Mello <tmello AT bermudasun.bm>
  • Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2003 10:50:34 -0300

The good news is that our house now has electricity. I feel almost guilty
enjoying it, however, as thousands and thousands of homes are still in the
dark. And that is absolutely no fun at all.

I have heard from family in Virginia that news on our hurricane is skimpy
since it did not affect the East Coast. A lot of people are wondering what
Bermuda looks like now.

At best it is wrecked. Trees are down, roofs have blown away, boats are
stuck on rocks, and the beaches now look different because of the erosion.
One beach in particular, Horseshoe Bay, is now missing part of its famous
cove that was affectionately called "baby beach" due to its calm, shallow
waters. There are still thousands of homes without electricity, and our
transportation system (buses) is making limited runs. The biggest shock was
the damage wrought on our Causeway - the long bridge that connects the
eastern side of the island (and the airport) to the rest of Bermuda. Right
now it can hold a single line of slow one-way traffic, but it is closed in
the case of rain, winds exceeding 30mph, and also at night. The wait to use
the Causeway is anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. People are urged to
travel it only when completely necessary. They are hoping to have it fixed
in one month, when it will (hopefully) return to holding two-way traffic all
the time.

Some of our well-known landmarks also suffered damage. One example was our
beautiful Natural Arches. These were stones that, over the course of time,
were naturally eroded away to look like arches. Since they sat on one of our
beautiful beaches, they were constantly used as a backdrop for wedding
photos and appeared on many postcards. Hurricane Fabian destroyed them.

Two hotels specifically suffered a lot of damage and will be closed for at
least 6 months - the Sonesta Resort and the Fairmont Southampton Princess.
This is such a shame for locals and visitors alike.

The Bermuda Regiment and government workers have been working hard in clean
up efforts. The Island is already looking better, at least by way of the
roads being a little more cleared. I know it will be years before the
vegetation looks the way it did before last Friday, but nature has a way of
fixing itself. And I know landscapers will be working hard to help the
process along. 

If anyone is interested in seeing photographs that our locals have taken of
the damage, visit www.bermynet.com. In the upper left hand corner you will
see a section on Fabian. There are 10 or 11 pages of photos you can view.

- Safe and sound
  • From: Terri Mello <tmello AT bermudasun.bm>
  • Date: Mon, 08 Sep 2003 08:58:49 -0300

Hello everyone,
Before I say anything, I want to thank everyone for their thoughts and
prayers during the storm. It really touched me to know that so many people
whom I've never met were so concerned. I can't begin to explain just how
much that meant to me. When I arrived at work this morning there were 27
emails in my inbox offering me encouragement. Thank you so very much,

As for the storm, it was frightening but exciting as well. Our home is in a
good location so no part of it was damaged. The yard is a different story,
but I am thankful that it was just the yard. We had an enormous tree
completely uprooted. It now lays on its side on top of what used to be a
stone wall. I'm glad it fell that way and not on the house.

The storm passed through a bit earlier than expected - around 6 or so.
Fortunately I was not alone, thanks to your many prayers. A friend of our
family lives in a home overlooking a bay, and he thought it best not to stay
there during the storm. So he stayed at our house. The wind sounded just
like a freight train blowing against the house. We lost electricity around
1:30 or 2pm. My husband was called in for regiment duty on Friday, but he
was able to come back home around noon before the storm hit. I was so glad.
The three of us listened to the radio until the station went out (after the
storm was in full force) then played Scrabble and Monopoly by candlelight
while we listened to the wind.

My husband left again on Saturday morning to help with the island clean up.
Saturday's weather was beautiful - you wouldn't have believed it was so
different than 24 hours previous. It was warm and sunny, with blue skies and
big fluffy white clouds. Everyone was outside tending to their yards, and
though it was disheartening to see all the damage, everyone was generally in
good spirits. 

The Bermuda regiment is embodied a minimum of one week, as far as they tell
us. They spent all of Saturday cutting down trees and yesterday they were
sent all over the island to help with various tasks.  My husband's group
worked to restore damage to the hospital. This week the regiment will be
working on the government schools that need help (gov't schools are closed
all week). 

My house (and so many others) is still without electricity. I've never been
happier to come to work, where there are lights, air conditioning and
running water. I am hoping our lights may come on sometime today, as some
areas around us have power.

The radio was back up and running on Saturday, and I've been listening to it
since then (it's great company). People who were in need of essential items
such as food and water would call the station and request help. It was
amazing to see just how quickly Bermuda answered pleas for help like that.
The radio DJ would give the name of an elderly person who needed water, for
example, and less than 10  minutes later he would come back on the air to
say that person's needs were answered. It was amazing to see this Island
come together like that. The DJ followed up by playing the song, "Bermuda is
Another World" and it honestly almost brought me to tears.

Driving to work today was when it really hit me - the island looks so
different because of all the trees blown this way and that. You can see
certain buildings that you couldn't before because of the trees that used to
hide it. Beautiful trees and plants and flowers are all just gone, vanished,
taken away by the wind. I saw big palm trees in pieces on the side of the
road, and buildings on the harbour in Hamilton missing whole walls and big
chunks of their roofs. The saddest thing I saw was when I passed the Bermuda
National Trust, where there were several enormous cedar trees completely
knocked down or broken in half (the Bermuda Cedar is a very important part
of Bermuda's heritage and great efforts are taken to preserve the Cedar).
Those trees were very old and it's just such a shame.

One of the most significant things that happened was severe damage of the
Causeway - the long bridge that connects the eastern end of the island to
the rest of Bermuda. It is still impassible as far as I know. Everyone out
in St. George's and St. David's is stranded because of this. The airport is
still closed but looks to open soon - perhaps tomorrow.

You may have also heard of the fatalities that occurred during the storm - I
don't think Bermuda has had any deaths due to a hurricane in a very, very
long time. Originally I heard that there were 4 people unaccounted for, and
today's newspaper says that the first body was recovered - they were

Thanks again for all your encouragement and prayers during this terrible
storm. It meant so much to us. Your concern was overwhelming. If I learn of
anything else I will write again.

Thanks again,

- Fabian has almost arrived
  • From: "Terri Mello" <terrimello AT hotmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 05 Sep 2003 09:54:34 -0300

9:55am - The weather is terrible. We closed the storm shutters last night 
(fortunately), just in time for the big winds this morning. My husband had 
to leave for the Regiment Camp, and I know he'll have to stay there for the 
next few days because there's no way he could possibly go out again in this 

Right now the winds are at tropical force, and they are so powerful that 
it's hard to believe they still have a lot more to increase. The rain is 
blowing almost sideways at times, hitting my front door and windows.

I can't imagine what the ocean must look like right now.

Fabian is now going to be a direct hit - the biggest storm Bermuda has seen. 
It will hit us this evening, but we'll be experiencing all the scary side 
effects all day today and tomorrow, too. They say high winds, torrential 
rain, possible flooding and tornadoes. I hope it's not as bad as that.

I will check in again if possible, though my electricity has already 


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- Probably my last post for a while
  • From: "Anne Kermode" <mdkaek AT ibl.bm>
  • Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2003 06:28:01 -0300
Thanks to those who have been writing with their thoughts and prayers - every little bit's got to help!
I'm planning to take my family to my father-in-laws house in the next couple of hours - we have to travel over the causeway from St. George's, so we want to do it before the serious winds hit and while the tide is low. His phone line is notoriously bad, so I'm guessing that I won't be able to get online to post at all. 
My husband is very relaxed - we are going to store the matresses in our safe area, and we have water prepared for when we get back home after the storm. So long as we have somewhere to sleep and some water, we'll be fine for a few days.
I managed to bring all of my plants in last night so that the pots didn't act as projectiles more that for their protection!  The only problem is that my bathroom has turned into an ant farm.
The power just dipped, so I'll sign off now.  Good luck Terri - my husband was a medic in the Regiment last time a storm came through, and I was left alone with a 2 year old. 
Take care everyone in Bda. There's going to be some serious damage by tomorrow, but we'll be okay.

- Update
  • From: "Anne Kermode" <mdkaek AT ibl.bm>
  • Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2003 18:39:36 -0300
Lots of lines in Bermuda this afternoon - lines at the gas station, lines at the grocery store...and nowhere has any D cell batteries!  Town (Hamilton) was mayhem this afternoon. There is a definate hurricane vibe, as people start to get serious about their preparations. 
As Terri said below, imagine a time before weather forecasting.  Although I do think that you can sense a storm - the humidity is thick in the air, the ocean has a certain aura, and the mist gets heavy.  And of course, the shark oil goes cloudy and the silk spiders move their webs way down low.
Wish us luck!

- afternoon update
  • From: Terri Mello <tmello AT bermudasun.bm>
  • Date: Thu, 04 Sep 2003 13:00:24 -0300

Today at work we were all given time to make trips to grocery stores and
stock up on food, water, candles, flashlights, batteries, etc. Fabian is
moving fast and will arrive sooner than we expected tomorrow, with winds
reaching hurricane force by early afternoon. My husband and I spent some
time today bringing in outdoor potted plants and the BBQ, and tonight we
will have to secure our motorbikes and fill up the bathtub and sinks with
water. My husband is in the Bermuda Regiment, and he is afraid he'll be
called in today to stay on the base through the hurricane and until the
Island is cleaned up afterward. I really did not want to be separated during
the storm but it looks like there is no choice.

The wind is picking up, and though it is still sunny and warm outside, it
feels a bit eerie knowing that such a powerful storm is on its way here in
about 24 hours. A hurricane warning has officially been issued for Bermuda.

A time like this has really made me think; can you imagine a time before
modern weather forecasting? Take today for example - right now it is windy
but sunny and warm and an otherwise nice day. Without modern forecasting
techniques we would have absolutely no idea that an enormous storm was going
to pass almost directly over us tomorrow. A person would be caught
completely off guard with no chance to prepare. I am so thankful for
meteorologists and forecasters who work to give us fair warning about
something so dangerous.

Will update again tonight, if possible.

- It's the big one!
  • From: Terri Mello <tmello AT bermudasun.bm>
  • Date: Thu, 04 Sep 2003 08:42:58 -0300

Well it looks like Fabian is a much bigger problem than we all thought.
First we anticipated the storm being 200 miles away, then 60 miles away, and
now they are telling us that it will be an almost direct hit at just 15
little miles off Bermuda. The mood is a mixture of excitement and fear -
according to the Royal Gazette, our government has warned that this could be
the worst hurricane ever to hit the Island.

Fabian is due to hit tomorrow night, and you can be sure our weather is
steadily getting worse. Right now it's sunny with a small wind, but later we
expect rain and increasing winds. I work for a newspaper, the Bermuda Sun,
and everyone is hoping we can get the paper finished, printed and
distributed before possible (and highly likely) power outages.

Fabian will pass at roughly 10pm local time on Friday. You can bet we will
be snug in our little house with the hurricane shutters closed, probably in

Will update  more as possible. I am hoping we are not out of power for long,
if we do lose power at all (judging from Bermuda's history with big storms,
I'm counting on being without electricity for longer than I'd like). I will
write logs when possible.

Here we go!

- Get Ready!
  • From: "Anne Kermode" <mdkaek AT ibl.bm>
  • Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2003 07:30:25 -0300
High tide on Friday is 11:38 p.m., storm surge is predicted to be 10 - 18 feet, with the storm over us at midnight. That couldn't be worse for flooding - if you are in a low lying area, have a place to go on high ground.  Looks like it will be a big one.  Get ready, Bermuda! 
I did most of my prep yesterday evening, but I'm waiting for announcements on the radio about whether people are being given some leeway to prepare today re: time off work.  More particularly, I'm waiting to see whether the teacher's workshops are cancelled.
As always with me, there is an element of fear, but I am *totally* excited by hurricanes.  The storm itself and the damage is no fun, but it's knowing that this immense force is out there, relentlessly churning toward us just -- well, thrills me.
Anyway, gotta get ready for work.  Will try to update later today.

- More on Fabian
  • From: "Anne Kermode" <mdkaek AT ibl.bm>
  • Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2003 00:03:53 -0300
"Expected to be an almost direct hit", says the Bermuda Weather Service.  The Emergency Measures Organisation met today and are warning residents to prepare, as it could be worse than Emily, the storm infamous locally for flattening the Island fifteen years ago (give or take a year). 
As everyone here has said, people are stepping up the preparations.  I bought a new radio today. Can't move my plants inside, so expect to loose my peppers :-( Well, so long as it's not my roof! The cruise ships will be heading out tomorrow.
I'm looking forward to going over to the south shore tomorrow - I have to go there for work, and watching the spectacular stormy seas should be worth the trip.
We live in a low lying area, so if Fabian maintains its current force, we might have to evacuate to relatives on higher ground.  Hurricane party, anyone?

- Hurricane Fabian
  • From: "Cordell W. Riley" <profilesbda AT cwbda.bm>
  • Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2003 19:55:00 -0300
7:51pm, Hamilton Bermuda.

Bermuda braces for  the arrival of Hurrican Fabian on Friday, September 
4th.  It is not certain at this point if the eye will cross Bermuda but 
authorities are taking no chances.  As of this evening, neither are 
residents.  Hurricane supplies, such as batteries and the like, are 
already being snapped up. A hurricane watch could be issued as early as 
Thursday morning.

Cordell W. Riley

- Fabian
  • From: jlipton <jlipton AT tde.com>
  • Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2003 15:26:04 -0600
We're told to buy batteries and extra food.  The top of Town Hill is 
lookin' pretty good!

- Hurricane Fabian
  • From: Terri Mello <tmello AT bermudasun.bm>
  • Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2003 12:49:53 -0300

As Fabian moves closer it is the talk of the entire Island. It's in the
papers and on the news. Bermuda is warned to prepare for possibly dangerous
weather on Friday. We are already feeling the effects of the storm as we are
suffering from dangerous riptide on our South Shore beaches. One of our
popular beaches, Horseshoe Bay, is the perfect example. Two swimmers had to
be rescued after being carried out too far by the strong waters. Swimmers
are warned not to go in the water in several locations.  

- Fabian brushing by later this week?
  • From: "Marcus and Anne Kermode" <mdkaek AT ibl.bm>
  • Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2003 20:37:59 -0300
I thought it had been kind of quiet this year, and then along comes a storm like Fabian! It's a big one! Fabian is a potential threat to Bermuda, and we expect to feel the effects during late Thursday through Friday. Saturday looks like it'll be a beach day though... Fabian will give us a distant brush (we hope), and will be downgraded to a cat 2 / 3 by then, if the gods are with us!
The Bermuda Weather folks and Media are doing an excellent job (as usual) of keeping Bermuda appraised of the storm's progress.  The seas are already getting a bit angry, with a few people locally attributing some nasty rip tides to Fabian.
The kids in Bermuda are getting ready to go back to school on Monday 8th, and its almost a tradition that the year starts with a close call from a storm.  I'm setting up my classroom for the first time this week and my daughter starts "big school" next week, so I'd rather not deal with hurrican preparations as well!
Otherwise, everyone is quietly going about their business, buying batteries and checking the barbecue is working, just in case...

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