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Puerto Rico Update

Hurricane Earl- Aftermath Arecibo

Published: Tue, Aug 31 10:41 EDT
By Celso Hernandez <celsoth at hotmail.com>

     In the late hours last night, we started to experience some strong winds in my area of Arecibo, which is 50 miles west of San Juan.  Gusts, I estimate at 35mph.  Accompanying were waves of rain.  We hunkered down to get some sleep and it was difficult to ignore the sounds of the strom.   But just after 1AM, Tuesday morning (all local time) the winds and the rain just died.  It seemed like someone threw a switch.
     There has been absolutely no more rainfall.  The garden suffered only two bent plants out of about 100.  The wife blames me for not protecting them better.  The breezes linger... sometimes reaching perhaps 15 knots.  Sorry, here in Puerto Rico we mix knots, kilometers, foot-pounds, miles almost at leisure. 
     Some of my relatives in Arecibo and nearby Hatillo have been out of electric power for at least 24 hours.  Luckily, my neighborhood has had no black outs.
      Elsewhere in the Island:   180,000 customers are out of electricity.  As reported earlier: no government offices are open.  Schools are closed.  The state government decided yesterday to let go its work force early, at 12PM, and the resulting influx of motor vehicles on the Metropolitan area roads caused perhaps the worse bumper to bumper congestion ever.  It seems the private sector had decided on the same early release and it was chaos in San Juan streets.  This coupled with the loss of traffic lights due to the high winds resulted in mayhem.  Traffic cops could not get to the vital intersections to direct raffic as had been planned.
     But, in conclusion I think that Earl was the storm that could but didn't!   Fiona, which follows, seems a quieter beast.

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