- Updates from the Islands -

- - St.Thomas (USVI) - -

| home | tools | pleas for help | QHWRN | guide | climatology | archive

- - - 2005 Hurricane Season - - -

  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Sat, 3 Dec 2005 14:58:34 -0400
As we see another storm moving SW very slowly wondering if it will eventually interfere with Santa's sleigh?
With gorgeous blue skies and crisper Christmas winds coming our way it is hard to imagine another storm.
Should we really close this site until it is really over?  HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all, we have much to be grateful
for, especially those of us that missed the big ones this season.  Take care and come visit us in the islands anytime.
Scraping ice off the windshield is your reminder to come see us and BE WARM.  Gert, thanks again for this
great site....it keeps us all a little saner during the crazy times. 
Jane Higgins
Jane Higgins Resortwear
Visit our showroom in sunny St Thomas Virgin Islands
jhigginswear at islands.vi
340-774-7071 ph/fax

- weather or not?
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 12:07:34 -0400
Sometimes our readers email me and ask how the weather is in the Virgin Islands based on
dates for  an upcoming  visit.  I always advise them to check in with this site and a few others to see.
This has been one of the nicest Novembers I've experienced since I have lived in St Thomas...but
of course as I write, a depression has blown thru south of us and is bringing in some clouds and rain.
Historically speaking October and November are the rainy months, so you never know...today just
big pillowy clouds moving very fast, with lots of sun breaking thru, and more rain to come I'm sure,
but I  would rather be here on vacation then stateside no matter what the weather.  Think of your
vacation as TIME OFF no matter where you are visiting, it all begins the minute you walk out of your
door.  We in the tropics  are bound to have rain showers pass by but all in all we have that
tropical light and aura .....great people, great food and the perfect atmosphere for relaxing.  Another
piece of advice that I always give newly arriving visitors is this....for a wonderful vacation follow our
Caribbean cultural tradition of greeting your hosts...the visitor is expected to say hello first, and how are you?
to the host.....that means to anyone you come in contact with at your hotel, your taxi man, your waitress....etc...
 If you greet first you will have a fun vacation, we expect good manners and greetings and will give it back to
 you tenfold.  Follow the local customs and EAT THE LOCAL FOOD....nothing yummier than a good pate, with
fungi, sweet potatoes, and peas and rice on the side.  No matter what the weather, enjoy your time off....come visit anytime!!!

- the water truck will go broke
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2005 10:59:24 -0400
As most of you know, we collect our water for home use off our roofs into our cisterns...and let me tell
you both of our cisterns are within inches of overflowing!!! this is good news for when houseguests
come and forget the "flushing" rules....we have been "downloading" the pool for two days back into
the cisterns....and the driveway has a river running thru it...BUT....WE ARE THE LUCKY ones...that
is for sure...now getting some wind to dry things out a bit between downpours...looking at about 10inches
in last 30 hrs....the orchids and roses are loving it...schools are closed today, and mold is the word
for the day.  Take care, stay dry and don't drive if you don't have to!!!

- new pool in the courtyard
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2005 06:33:13 -0400
Woke early (4a.m.) to pouring rain, and now the wall behind our house is so saturated the water is flowing
like a river into our east courtyard, kind of like a wading pool with current.  Everything is backed up including
the driveway.  Will have to start pumping some overflow out if we see a window of no rain in the next few hours.
So glad today is a holiday in the USVI and hoping no one drives if they don't have to.  Will try to stay dry and
follow up with you later.

- two blanket nights
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2005 15:16:54 -0400
Hey at last after loads of rain and clouds we are seeing fabulous sunshine and clear skies.  I was out on the
deck between about 4 and 5:30 a.m.....saw loads of stars in the crisp cool darkness, so glad the weather has
turned cooler, we threw another comforter on the bed, must be winter!! We can only hope the worst of storm
season is over, and be so thankful for our good news so far.  Of course we are still up for the tropical update
every a.m. at 5:50....till they decide to not do them anymore.  Let's just stay lucky and help those that weren't.

- Rita downgrades?
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 14:54:20 -0400
Only hoping the downgrading of Rita I see now will hold...the evacuees were very wise to drive away,
no matter how long it took.  It is the aftermath and the rain that kills more folks than the wind itself.
We continue to count our lucky stars so far....and hoping so good.
If anyone has mailing addresses in the states where I can send brand new sample clothing
from my business directly to evacuee families please forward to me.  I sent some to the
Astrodome a while back, now looking for the U.S. mailing addresses of any other shelters
for Katrina or Rita victims or temporary addresses where the homeless may be staying.  Please advise. 
Jane Higgins
Jane Higgins Resortwear
jhigginswear at islands.vi

- Over Rita into Phillipe
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Wed, 21 Sep 2005 11:14:02 -0400
On Monday Sept 19 I was flying back from a trade show in Orlando, after a delay waiting for our
plane to come up from San Juan we flew to San Juan on a route I've never taken; over Rita over
Cuba towards Jamaica then a sharp left turn to Puerto Rico into the outer bands of Philippe. The
amazing part was that it was a smoother ride than we normally have over the Turks/Caicos.  It
was a total white out for the first hour and then into the blue with huge thunderheads along side...
really a gorgeous glimpse into the weather makers.  In St Thomas on the rain forest Fortuna side we
received 5 " of rain on Monday late day, and another 1'' overnight.  Tuesday was mostly just thunder
boomers far away.  We'll take the rain anytime, and are so grateful for our luck so far.  Rita is a perfect
shape, a scary picture, the kind of storm that brings our memories back and strikes  fear in our
hearts for those in her path.  There is no way of making her go away, if you can drive away from Rita
PLEASE DO......you have an option on the mainland that we don't have here in the islands.  Be prepared
for the worst please.  Let us know what we can do to help. Looking east to Africa I'm hoping the height of
season has passed, knowing full well I'll be on alert for at least another 6 weeks. 

- Help them by helping yourself
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2005 08:48:21 -0400
We are all still reeling in shock from the horrible losses along the Gulf coast, while Caribbean islands
are still rebuilding from last years and this years storm hits.  As storm survivors know, the aftermath
seems to go on forever.  We hear good news from Grenada; rebuilding after storms last year
and this summer, and more good news of other islands coming back stronger. 
Being OVER-PREPARED...if there is such a thing, is our individual responsibility. Katrina has
reminded all of us in the tropical storm region that we only burden others by  not being ready. Those of
us in the U.S. Virgin Islands must be realistic and understand that our government is stretched thin
and we should NOT COUNT ON  seeing any help from FEMA and other agencies if the worst happens.  
Once again today I will refill my hurricane pantry, continue to clean up loose items around my house,
keep gas in the car, keep cash on hand, and visualize being self sufficient for weeks after a storm.
We can't help anyone else, if we don't help ourselves first by being ready.  Now is the time to focus
on what we can do to not be a burden to others when a storm hits, and think about what we can do
to help our neighbors suffering in the aftermath of nature's storm cycles. 
The emotional toll of surviving a catastrophe is huge, the memory of surviving when watching others
current crisis strikes deep chords of fear and anxiety.  The realization that we are stronger and more
human after re-building is what I will  hang onto to get thru the rest of the season.  Remember all
the good deeds that came your way and are yet to come.  If we continue to give we'll continue to get.
Be ready.   

- the gulf
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 07:06:34 -0400
It is incredibly sad and scary to see what has happened in the Gulf states.  A dear friend from 7th grade living
in the Elysian Field area of New Orleans emailed to say he evacuated to Lafayette and doesn't know when or
how he can get back to see if he still has a house.  If anyone reading this knows anything about that area
in  the city please let me know.  Having been thru 6 storms and one CAT 5, I know that if I could drive away
I certainly would, I also know that there are many people without the resources to do that.  The aftermath is
horrible to think about, but we must stay focused on helping and I know we will. We need to think about
all that we can do to help those in the Gulf area and  those still rebuilding from past storms in the islands.
The kindness I experienced in St Thomas after Hurricane Marilyn will be with me for the rest of my life.  The human
element explains why we live and endure.  The best of us will come out now.  Stay safe, and be ready.
And drive away if you can.

- Wow....what a rumble
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 09:53:15 -0400
Yesterday was a wild day in the rain forest of Fortuna, Northwest St Thomas on the Atlantic Side.  We had
about 3" of rain on and off all day, just after I hung the clothes on the line for that rainwater rinse.  The thunder
and lightening WAS INTENSE.....really really dramatic, right over our heads, allot of energy, the temp dropped
by at least 5 degrees, very very quickly, then at 2pm the power went out and didn't come back for about 12
hours........so glad I unplugged all of the equipment, it was a wild day.  Now looking at this thing to the east
and just wondering what is up????
Jane Higgins
jhigginswear at islands.vi
340-774-7071 ph/fax

- that is why they call it a rainforest
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2005 15:10:23 -0400
Right now, around 3pm,  rain gauge is showing 1 1/2 " in last few hours, weather station on the deck
is showing 87% humidity...(shouldn't it  be 100% if it is raining?)  85.3 degrees, and 29.21 pressure.....
guess that is why they call Fortuna (northwest side of St Thomas) a rainforest.  We do love it when
the pool overfills and we have to pump it back into the cistern....just like money in the bank!!!! The
roses and tomatoes are loving it too, they can't get enough.  After seeing NOAA's new predictions
I  guess we can't relax too much.  Let's enjoy the calm while we can.  Hey Dave, I have to do business
in Aruba next week, how does it look for them?

- the birds know
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2005 01:55:00 -0400
Out here on the Northwest end of St Thomas in our rainforest called Fortuna we had pretty good showers
off and on all day and a great light show.  Right at sundown the wild parakeets were sending in full squadrons
to continue cleaning  out the huge genip tree at the end of our deck.  The birds know when to chow down and store
up when the weather is like this that is for sure.  Now at 2 am more flashes of light and a large cloud buildup
is in the Northwest sky.  We are so lucky so far, just a real muddy driveway and a touch of mold.....hoping the
system to the East stays pretty far North.  Bunny Wailer was playing in Tortola BVI tonight, but in the normal
Reggae manner by the time he took the stage hopefully things had dried out a bit.  Every ting cool mon...
Weatherman Dave, the old airplanes thank you for the heads up on St Croix.....

- last night was wild
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2005 09:10:09 -0400
Last night was wild on the northwest end of St Thomas, we had loads of rain, wind, and thunderboomers that
shook the house, the dogs and me. We lost power for a while, but we are still the lucky ones.  I'm hoping that
the system that went over us will not develop into anything.  The gardens and cisterns loved it.  Today we have
strong haze, can't see the horizon line on the Atlantic, but seas are calm and skys are sunny.

- Hurricane Supplication Day in USVI
  • From: "Jane Higgins" <jhigginswear at islands.vi>
  • Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 12:08:54 -0400
Fellow Caribbeans,
Today is Hurricane Supplication Day in the US Virgin Islands...       
we pause and pray that we make it safely thru this storm season.
Hoping there is good news from the Yucatan, and so glad that other islands were
spared by Emily.  Take care, be ready....be safe and dry....
Let us know how we can help.

- Emily
  • From: RonUSVI at aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2005 01:01:34 EDT
Well it seems like Emily may be brushing past us. Folks were already out shopping today and she wasn't even named yet! we remember Bertha July of '96. With the fury of Dennis, I guess we are all on edge! Keep your fingers crossed for us.
Ronnie Lockhart
The Crystal Palace
The Crystal Palace
The Villa Fairview
The Villa Fairview

Back to top | home | tools | pleas for help | QHWRN | guide | climatology | archive