- Updates from the Islands -

- - Turks & Caicos Islands - -

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

- All Clear
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Sat, 23 Sep 2017 06:49:30 -0400
The "All Clear" has just been issued for the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Maria was but a windy day for Provo.  We didn't even get rain.

Some of the other island were closer to the storm and had more of an impact, in 
particular Grand Turk and Salt Cay.

This weekend will be spent assessing the damage from both storms, cleaning up 
around our homes and generally setting up to go back to our normal routine next 




All the Best,
John Lawson

- Back to Normal
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2017 16:26:44 -0400
We are still on lockdown, which means we are not allowed outside, but the risks 
have all but disappeared.
The wind is calming, it will be gone in a few hours.
There has been no rain, which is really weird.  With a hurricane. Plants do not 
like salt, so if you live in Provo you should be rinsing your plants with 
If tomorrow were not a Saturday, it would be business as usual.  As it is, 
we'll take the long weekend to relax, recuperate and say thank you!
Much of the island is still without power, but we expect the teams to be back 
on that immediately.  

Thank you all for your constructive words, thoughts and prayers , we are 
delighted to report that we are all fine.  We will rebuild quickly.  Do not 
cancel your trip here, come and visit!  We are open for business!

All the Best,
John Lawson

- So Long Maria
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2017 12:49:01 -0400
Maria is about to depart the TCI.

Minor wind and no rain!

Recovering from Irma will be our focus within a few hours.

All the Best,
John Lawson

- Maria Update Friday 11:00 am
  • By "Terry Richardson" <survey at tciway.tc>
  • Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2017 11:51:04 -0400

Hi Gert,


Just a quick update from the Turtle Cove Marina area on Provo.


Last night was uneventful, with winds a bit breezy, as we would say in the UK, which made for sitting out on the deck after an afternoon of putting up the hurricane shutters a pleasant change and the breeze kept the mosquitoes down. Electricity stayed on all night before going off around nine a.m. this morning. My Landline and therefore my internet is still down from Hurricane IRMA and may take a while to re-establish.


I’ve driven up to the Golf Club where my daughter and son-in-law have just moved to, where they have power, water and internet. The drive over was uneventful no trees or poles down and I didn’t expect to see any. In truth the winds we’ve experienced on Provo so far weren’t as bad as a winter storm in the UK. We’ve had some rain showers though, which must have been trying for anyone who suffered roof damage from IRMA.


Your “How Close Can It Get” Tool shows that MARIA is currently about 79 miles away, which is as close as it’s going to get to Provo it would seem, and is now slowly heading away from us.


Grand Turk and South Caicos will have experienced worse weather than we have and await reports from there as the day progresses.


All for now Gert,

Thanks again for all your work.



- First Light
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2017 07:10:50 -0400
Good Morning,

No change since last night.  I can see a little bit of salt spray on the 
windows, so I am guessing the wind is at or just below 50mph.

There is still no rain.  From our current position we can not tell how high the 
water is or how high it went.

All the Best,
John Lawson

- Wind but no Rain
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2017 02:51:25 -0400
I just got up and had a look around.  The wind is howling, but there is no rain 

The CPA tool suggests that we are "on the edge".

The generator had overheated and shut down, so I refilled the coolant and fired 
her up again.  I am not sure where the old coolant went..,

PNG image

All the Best,
John Lawson

- Many hands makes light work!
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2017 21:48:58 -0400
We have had a great crew helping us at every turn today.  Dinner just fed a 
very large , diverse crew from all over and the amazing thing was how fast the 
dishes were done!

Wind has grown to 40 knots or so, bits of rain, but nothing spectacular.

We are going out to make sure the neighbours are ok, then maybe a quick swim.  
The night promises to be hot!

All the Best,
John Lawson

- Batten the Hatches!
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2017 17:37:34 -0400
I am facing north, right on the coast of Provo, with an excellent view!

I have tied and secured boats, put in sandbags, moved the BBQ off the deck, 
installed the shutters.  ... we are ready!

The wind is gusting up to about 35 knots so far and we anticipate a slow build 
to 50 or 60 knots by Morning.  Our challenge tonight will be the rain.  We are 
staying in a place with huge windows that funnel the water into the tracks, 
which seem to be set to drain into the living room... I'll let you know.

People were preparing for this one.  No doubt they feel a little vulnerable 
after Irma.

We are staying with a pile of relief workers from various organizations. I'll 
pass on their updates a little later.  

For now, please know that we are well prepared for what I believe will be a bit 
of inclement weather compared to Irma!

JPEG image

All the Best,
John Lawson

- North Caicos
  • By Neil <rooneyneilj at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2017 20:37:46 +0000
The first band of wind and rain has passed through Sandy Point. 
Pardon my typos, sent from my iPhone

- Approach of Maria
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2017 07:21:06 -0400
Good Morning from Sunny, Breezy Provo

Maria is due to arrive tonight.  While she is presenting herself to some of the 
islands as a major hurricane, it is my sense that she will give Provo a 
glancing blow.

I anticipate the possibility of a lot of rain, but i do not see this as a major 
wind event for Provo.

The Center of the storm is forecast to miss Provo by more than 100miles.  Of 
course she could waiver, but I don't think she will.

Either way, we are VERY prepared in Provo.  We are still recovering from Irma 
and between that effort and preparing for Maria we have all been very hurricane 

I will provide updates later this afternoon as Maria arrives and passes. 

Please do not misinterpret my forecast as a reason to NOT prepare.  Preparation 
for the worst case is important.  Also, I am not a weather guy, just an 
armchair observer.

All the Best,
John Lawson

- Last of the IRMA pics before Maria gets any closer
  • By "Terry Richardson" <survey at tciway.tc>
  • Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2017 16:39:17 -0400

Continuing with photos… I had to go to a storage unit at South Dock to pick up some “Peal and Stick” roof felt and took some shots along South Dock Road and also into Chalk Sound area. Many power poles down along the way:

Some homes along South Dock Road below:

The road leading to Ian Harrison’s  hydroponics farm and storage units

The Hydroponics farm

Some storage units fared better than others.

A warehouse at S. Dock

Chalk Sound Police Station

Below are photos of some houses in Chalk Sound:

Harbour Gates

La Baia Bella

Emerald Cay came through with flying colors by the look of it.


Returning to the Turtle Cove Area this house below on the road from Suzie Turn to the marina was referred to by some as the “Jumbie House” I believe. The Dominican workers who rented here lost quite a lot but were fortunately all gathered downstairs when the upper story collapsed.

Tiki Hut

Finally…. the Heroes of the week Joey Iguban, Jeprie Conversion and Kien Le Van… workers for Dave Doherty’s Olympic Construction who turned up very quickly and did an extremely fast and professional job on my roof for which I’m extremely grateful.

That’s all Gert… thanks again for all your work.

Cheers Terry


- Post Hurricane IRMA photos
  • By "Terry Richardson" <survey at tciway.tc>
  • Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2017 16:28:11 -0400

Hurricane IRMA hit Provo full force around 10:00 p.m. Thursday the 7th Sept these are a few photos taken on Friday morning in my immediate area. We couldn’t get out of the cul-de-sac because the neighbors porch roof flipped over the house and blocked the road and together with some downed trees, it was a while before we could clear a way through. Just to point out to those not familiar with asphalt shingle roofs… as the shingles land they INVARIABLY land with some roofing nails still attached and pointing up… so it’s not just a question of using leaf rakes etc to clear away debris but inspecting the road looking for the many loose roofing nails too.


Below are some iPhone pics I took the following Friday morning after IRMA had moved on:

View from my deck looking NW of Third Turtle beach and land behind. The standing water is either sea water flooding or rainwater… probably some of both.


Entrance to Turtle Cove Marina… note vessel beached on the RHS


Turtle Cove Marina second vessel on Diddle Cay was retrieved safely the following day.


Neighbor Joe immediately East of me with his porch roof in the road.


Joe’s place sans porch.


Ron’s house to the South of me… he still hasn’t found his number plate.


Previously known as Third Turtle sales office.


My modest 2 bed cottage… front porch was lifted and moved onto the deck by 4 inches at the far door.



Have to move it back and secure it to the concrete slab with anchor bolts before MARIA arrives at the end of the week otherwise it will be like Joe’s. Fortunately my electricity came on yesterday evening.


My Roof.


Finally got the road cleared and drove to see how my daughter and her family had fared (no phone service) and took some snaps along Leeward Highway:


Telecommunications mast collapsed.


Plaza Doc Withey built many years ago… can’t remember its name for the moment but “Mis Amigos” restaurant is just out of the picture to the right.



Chancery Court opposite First Caribbean Bank.


Supreme Court


St. Monica’s Anglican Church


Faith Tabernacle Church of God aka Butterfield’s Church. This was also used as a shelter before the wall collapsed when it had to be abandoned in the middle of the storm.


Walkin Marine


Menzies Medical Center.


Another view of the old Third Turtle Office showroom in the distance and the Original Third Turtle Inn in the center which was in ruins but has further collapsed. A couple more boats pushed into the cliff too.


The old Erebus “Bird Cages” (4 individual rooms on stilts which overlooked the marina) have finally gone.


Another casualty in the marina where most boats did extremely well.


Grace Bay Pharmacy building. Fortunately the pharmacy is on the ground floor and wasn’t affected and repairs to the roof are now well under way.


Apartments on Leeward Highway.


Misick & Stanbrook Law Offices


A unit at Williams Storage… the majority held up well.


All for now Gert.


I’d just like to thank you for all your work in making this site available so that friends and relatives as well as old residents here who have moved back to the mainland can get some understanding of what is happening on a more personal level.


Thanks again


Cheers Terry


- Busy Day
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Sun, 17 Sep 2017 23:57:42 -0400
The days are all running together, so it is hard to recall which day is which.

Fortunately, I do remember today!

We had tons of volunteers helping to unload relief planes and boats. The 
attitude and cooperation is fabulous.  

The Masons "Back to Work Program" has really taken off.  In fact it is really 
busy!  Tons  of work getting done... and plenty of people with jobs. The team 
needs more supervisors!   Can you help?

All the Best,
John Lawson

- More IRMA pics from Provo
  • By "Terry Richardson" <survey at tciway.tc>
  • Date: Sun, 17 Sep 2017 20:56:57 -0400

More Pics from Provo after Hurricane IRMA


Overlooking South Side Marina in the foreground.


This house overlooks Flamingo Lake



Boat got loose from its mooring sometime during the storm and ended up beached high and dry on the peninsula between Turtle Cove Marina and the entrance channel… It’s back at the dockside now.


Also beached in Turtle Cove Marina


Turtle Cove Inn


Turtle Cove Inn


Pinder House in the foreground with the Yacht Club Condo’s behind…. The marina is to the right.



Canal bridge Turtle Cove




- Provo, TCI Update
  • By "Terry Richardson" <survey at tciway.tc>
  • Date: Sun, 17 Sep 2017 17:56:03 -0400

Hi Gert… I hope this comes through… I haven’t the internet connection or time to check what’s already been written so


Thursday 14th September 2017

Category 5 Hurricane IRMA passed through the Turks and Caicos Islands beginning last Thursday evening and left an unprecedented trail of destruction in its wake. Grand Turk and South Caicos were reportedly hit hard as was North Caicos and Providenciales (Provo)… no news as yet for Salt Cay.


Initially news and information circulate via bush telegraph for the most part as boats pass between the islands and later aircraft get back on schedule gradually news filters around the communities. Initially all telephone (both land line and cell phones) were knocked out so two-way radio also played its part. Gradually limited cell phone service was restored and this continues to improve but is still far from what it was and land lines will be fixed last. So it will likely be weeks before some of us here on Provo understand the true impact Irma has had on the Bahamas and those states that were affected in the US.

7 days on and still most of Providenciales does not have electricity supply, and while most houses have water cisterns (used for catching rain water,) many are now also on mains water, supplied by Provo Water Co. While some homes get their water pressure from the main others use the mains water supply to top up their cisterns… the difference being that one still needs electricity service to pump the water from the cistern to the house under pressure. Without power, one is limited to dipping the tank/cistern using a bucket. So most still don’t have the luxury of running water even if their homes were spared physical destruction. And it’s cold showers only unless one has a solar water heating system which really do work well in this climate.


Initially roads were blocked by trees and power poles and/or flooded, which made driving around to check on friends and family difficult since cell phones were also down. Then due to the affect IRMA was expected to have on Florida, Government realized that re-supply of gasoline etc. may be delayed considerably as Florida sorted its own problems out, so gas (petrol in the UK) stations were ordered closed providing gas only to emergency and essential services… This lasted several days until the situation clarified itself and gas stations were reopened for business but not without long lines for a couple of days.

Meanwhile for most of us it was the beginning of the long clean-up. Unfortunately, with these natural disasters it is usually those who can least afford it who are hit the hardest and IRMA was no exception.

The following photos were taken yesterday, i.e. Wednesday the 13th Sept. driving slowly through Blue Hills as power company crews cleared downed power poles. It’s important to remember that the Blue Hills beach road has largely been cleared of debris, trees and poles by the time I was able to drive along it several days after the storm.












Government Dock, Blue Hills


Blue Hills Community Center


Wesleyan Methodist Church… Steel frame totally collapsed.



Sailing Paradise


Sailing Paradise






AKA Palmers Tire once upon a time.




Froggies Quad Bike Rentals and Bar





Millennium Highway Gas Station, Blue Hills

Just to point out that when you see wood or plywood visible on the roof due to the shingles and tar-paper being blown off, it means that rain went straight through and as well as soaking the drywall ceilings, walls and any insulation bats, it’s ruined any and all tv’s and electronics, furniture, bedding etc. 3 or 4 days after the passage of the storm, black mold starts to show in the damp/wet areas too so it’s imperative to get furniture outside in the sun to dry.


More pics to follow… if this gets through.


Apologies that it has taken so long to post these but I live in Third Turtle Road, Turtle Cove… and we have no Power, No water, No internet, No Land Line and no screens and the bugs have been out for two or three days now. Power did come on for Turtle Cove Residents on the North side of the Marina and the bottom Bight Road on Thursday/Friday evening though… Grace Bay Area is also up and running and  bars and restaurants are open for business and doing well.


I’d like to acknowledge also IGA at Grace Bay for providing free coffee and cell phone charging immediately after the storm.


All for now. Terry









- Progress, Progress, Progress!
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2017 22:46:16 -0400
There is so much going on right now that it is hard to hit on everything.

Power is coming back a little bit at a time. Cell phone service seems stable 
but improving. All the mains roads and many of the feeder roads are cleared.

Relief efforts are  in full swing.

The airport is open, many businesses are open, hotels are putting up relief 
workers. It is all looking good

The list goes on and on!

All the Best,
John Lawson

- Island Bargains is Shipping
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2017 12:21:15 -0400
Island Bargains is delighted to inform Provo that its daily air service and 
weekly shipping service is now up and running.

Goods can be shipped to:

Your Name
Provo - Air (or Provo Sea)
3387 SW 13th Ave
Ft Lauderdale, Florida


All the Best,
John Lawson

- So much is happening so fast!
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2017 09:57:20 -0400
FERRY SCHEDULE UPDATES! For the remainder of the week, the ferry schedule will 
be as follows: 

9:30am Provo to North 
11am North to Provo

5:00pm Provo to North
5:30pm North to Provo

Contact us if you have any questions or concerns, and remember to share with 
your friends!

All the Best,
John Lawson

- More Good News!
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2017 15:19:09 -0400
West Jet will arriving today at 6pm

PNG image

All the Best,
John Lawson

- Jet Blue Arriving
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2017 15:06:55 -0400
Jet Blue will start flying as of tomorrow. Please try to have as many guests as 
possible call JB directly, as all communication is down on the airport.

JetBlue toll free reservations 1-800- JETBLUE OR +1 (877) 390-5447 (local toll 

Please do not send any guest to the airport who are not holding a confirmation.

All the Best,
John Lawson

- Back To Work Program
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2017 15:03:35 -0400
A few days ago, I posted about a "Back to Work Program" hosted by the local 
service organization, the Freemasons.  While not widely known as a service 
organization, these guys are in it in Provo.

I caught up with one team that was cleaning up brush and tying caution tape on 
downed power cables.

JPEG image

JPEG image

JPEG image

JPEG image

JPEG image

Thanks to these guys and everyone else in Provo who is out on the street doing 
what they can!  Awesome to see.

All the Best,
John Lawson

- More Updates
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2017 14:14:52 -0400
Provo is recovering at a blistering pace.  Many shops open and cleaning up at the same time. Roads are clear of debris, power coming on, airport reopening.  All way ahead of everyone's estimate. Thanks to a resilient community based population with a true sense of pride in their country. Everyone knows how important our tourists are so they are going over and above to get this place back to the shining star of the Caribbean!

"Scotiabank (TC) Ltd wishes to advise the public that the main branch on Lwd Hwy will be open from 10am - 1pm today, providing limited banking services."

"Valued Customers, be advised that Flow Lwd Hwy Office will be open from 9am - 1pm today to provide top up, charging stations, WiFi hotspots & SIM activations."

Rumour has it that British Troups have arrived!

The airport, highways and marinas are bustling with activity!

All the Best,
John Lawson

- Air Evac
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2017 13:18:01 -0400
My father-in-law in Canada says:

According to Canadian global affairs department both air canada and westjet are 
flying people out of Provo today. Spread the word.

All the Best,
John Lawson

- North Caicos
  • By Neil <rooneyneilj at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2017 16:56:39 +0000
Power is back in Kew on North Caicos and Sandy Point should be back on later today. Cell phone service from Flow is back today too. There are many power poles down which will take some time 

The Ferry to Provo is running.  

Hurricane Jose is circling to the Northeast 
Pardon my typos, sent from my iPhone

- Airport Reopening
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2017 10:33:30 -0400
We'll take a look at this!

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands, Monday, September 11th, 2017– The Turks 
and Caicos Islands Airports Authority (TCIAA) announces the resumption of 
flight operations at Providenciales following the passage of Hurricane IRMA at 
11am today, local time.
The Airports Authority remains committed to the safety of aircraft, passengers, 
staff and other users of the airport. We regret any inconvenience caused and 
passengers are asked to contact their respective airline for flight 
Is a statutory body that was established in 2006 following the split of the 
Civil Aviation Department into the Civil Aviation Authority and Airports 
Authority. TCIAA is mandated for the constructing, controlling and managing of 
airports; providing and maintaining runways, taxiways and terminals for the 
efficient operation of airports; providing facilities for Customs and 
Immigration services, and Health and Security checks; and for incidental and 
connected purposes.
For more information call 649.946.4420 or email: info at tciairports.com. Find us 
on Facebook:www.facebook.com/tciairports or follow us on Twitter -  at tciaa


Lavern Skippings Reynolds, MBA

Terminal & Marketing Manager

Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority

Tel:- (649) 946 4420  

Cell: (649) 232-3399

Fax: (649) 941 5996


All the Best,
John Lawson

- We Got the Power!
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2017 21:01:52 -0400
Great news!  Many places on island have power restored. Emergency helicopters 
buzzing the skies, rescue flights coming in. The airport will be soon ready to 
resume commercial airline travel.

This is going to be one of the fastest recoveries the world has ever seen.

If you have booked a trip to the TCI, do not cancel!  We are ok. Many resorts 
are already back in business.  

The beach, one of our most precious resources, is awesome.  It may even be 
better than before.  The reefs are fine, but need a few days for the water to 

This destination will remain one of the best in the region.

JPEG image

All the Best,
John Lawson

- Fortis and Provo Water getting close!
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2017 16:26:41 -0400
Yes it is true, both Fortis and Provo Water are working really hard and making 
headway. Unfortunately Provo Water says no 15mins of glory tonight, alas... 
in other words they say no short stint of water pressure tonight.

In positive news, Fortis basically said that Crocs are in! They suggest turning 
of all breakers in their notice and they go on to say "wear non-conductive, 
rubber soles shoes" when turning stuff back on.

First Crocs, now I wonder which utility will be the first to formal endorse 

All the Best,
John Lawson

- The Cone of Silence
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2017 14:24:05 -0400
At the best of times, communication between Provo and the other islands is 
tough. Just now it is basically impossible.

As frustrating as it is, we all have to wait until some of the systems are 
restored in order to get reports.

From all accounts, there were no deaths but plenty of damage.

All the Best,
John Lawson

- Ferry to North
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2017 11:18:24 -0400
There will be a ferry to North Caicos at 3:30pm from Heavin Down Rock. It will 
return to Provo at 4:30pm.

The ferry is trying to get to South and North as often as possible but there 
are issues with fuel and water visibility. It is best to go by the ferry office 
to check on the next boat.

All the Best,
John Lawson

- Speedy Recovery
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2017 08:19:12 -0400
Cell phone coverage seems to be coming back quickly.  It is still difficult to 
make or receive calls, but messaging, texting and email over the cellular data 
networks seems ok for many.

I was fortunate enough to tour Grace Bay by boat. There were many people on the 
beach and it was a sunny, fabulous day.  The beach looks better than ever.

TCI will be back on its feet in no time.  Plenty of cleaning up has already 
been done!  

JPEG image

JPEG image

All the Best,
John Lawson

- Sometimes it is the Small things!
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Sat, 9 Sep 2017 19:17:12 -0400
I recalled today that Provo Water ( we call it city water) was going to turn on 
from 4pm to 7pm.  They are trying out in order to find breaks in the mains.  If 
they left it on all the time, they would pump all of their fresh water into the 
So they give us advance warning and say have showers, flush toilets fill 
buckets etc.
I recalled that at 6:45pm on the highway.
I raced home, messed with the complex valve system that I have and had a 
shower. I filled buckets, I flushed toilets and now the time has past. 15 
minutes of bliss!

All the Best,
John Lawson

- Safe
  • By Gert van Dijken <gert at vandijken.com>
  • Date: Sat, 9 Sep 2017 11:10:47 -0700
From Neil Rooney on Parrot Cay

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Neil <rooneyneilj at gmail.com>
Date: Sat, Sep 9, 2017 at 10:55 AM

In COMO Parrot Cay hotel with power and water. Cell phone just came back. 

Pardon my typos, sent from my iPhone

- Donations Welcome!
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Sat, 9 Sep 2017 10:18:13 -0400
The local Freemasons Lodge (Caicos Island Lodge #9661) has set up an awesome 
"Back to Work" Program.

It is intended to get the economy moving by paying some money to those who want 
and need to work, but can't.

The program pays $10/hour to able bodied people who are willing to engage in 
cleaning up. For the most part it will be guys doing outside work, but we'll 
take anyone.

Please contribute by sending your generous donation to:

backtowork at cil9661.com

Alternatively, individuals or companies with cleanup projects and a budget for 
cleanup, should contact 

j.lawson3 at me.com

All the Best,
John Lawson

- Administer WD40 with Ringers Lactate and Transport as soon as Possible!
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Sat, 9 Sep 2017 07:05:56 -0400
As a kid I watched "Squad 51" with Johnnie and Roy.  After type of emergency 
that they were called to, the advice given by the hospital was the same, 
"administer IV with ringers lactate and Transport as soon as possible"

If only the advice required to recover from this emergency were the same.

The damage will be more devastating for some. Those "at risk" didn't have very 
much to begin with. Probably a few pairs of clothes, and hopefully a little 
cash from last weeks pay.  They were living on the edge already. They weren't 
paying much for rent which means that their place is now gone, perhaps with 
everything except what they were wearing. Theses folks have to find food, 
shelter and a job very quickly.

For others there will be the insurance issue. The least expensive home 
insurance has a 10% deductible in the event of hurricane damage. In other 
words, if your house is worth $500,000 you have to have more that $50,000 
before insurance will pay. If only sustained damage and not total destruction, 
it will be tough to come up with the 10% to make repairs.

There is no social system in place for those at risk. We rely on private 
individuals and international aid organizations to provide food and money for 
work projects. Getting organized begins now.

No reported loss of life is an awesome thing. Hopefully the others in Irma's 
path fare as well. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those being hit, or about 
to be hit.

JPEG image

JPEG image

JPEG image

JPEG image

JPEG image

JPEG image

All the Best,
John Lawson

- Update
  • By Ray Heraty <rayheraty at hotmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 9 Sep 2017 05:10:05 +0000

We finally got someone in to inspect our home.  There is standing water inside and several doors and windows have blown out but our roof is still on.  We are on one of the highest points on the island.  Some of our neighbors have not been so fortunate and there has been some major devastation in parts of the island with many reports of lost roofs, doors and windows.   We are hoping that some help arrives on the island and grateful that most people seem to be uninjured.

- Fwd: Middle INFO!!
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2017 21:00:50 -0400

Just in from Mike Witt , who has done a drive round the island…he has generator and hughesnet. All comms down.


“Everyone on Middle safe and uninjured, with damage of varying degrees”


John Lawson

- Morning has broken
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2017 07:38:36 -0400
There is a lot of clean up to be done!

JPEG image

All the Best,
John Lawson

- T-2 Hours to Spam Breakfast
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2017 04:51:14 -0400
Good Morning!

I am delighted to sat that we weathered the night just fine up on Blue 
Mountain, in Provo.

The wind has reduced to less than a tropical storm but it is still raining.

We could not and still can't see the water level so we do not know how high it 

We can see anything past the length of out flash light beam. We can see that a 
number of trees are gone and most trees have had all their leaves pruned.

The house leaked a bit and we lost one plywood shutter.  Other than that the 
bunker did its job.  Up until about 75mph we could not here anything inside.

There is going to be significant damage, but we'll at least until daylight to 
assess it.

All the Best,
John Lawson

- North Caicos
  • By Neil <rooneyneilj at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 08 Sep 2017 01:18:08 +0000
The wind has picked up but not too intense and I still have cell phone and internet service. Will post again with significant wind increase 
Pardon my typos, sent from my iPhone

- 4:07pm
  • By jim&sharon <piratesofsaltcay at mac.com>
  • Date: Thu, 07 Sep 2017 16:09:59 -0400
Winds 49   west
Bar 29.38

Pirates Out

- 3:48
  • By jim&sharon <piratesofsaltcay at mac.com>
  • Date: Thu, 07 Sep 2017 15:51:01 -0400
Wind   26   Gust 45  Out of the west
Bar 29.35
Rain full time

Pirates Out

- 3:03
  • By jim&sharon <piratesofsaltcay at mac.com>
  • Date: Thu, 07 Sep 2017 15:04:59 -0400
Wind   30   gusts  40
Bar 29.41
Raining now

stay safe

Pirates Out

- TS Conditions hit Grand Turk
  • By Brian Heagney <mrbheagney at btinternet.com>
  • Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2017 17:12:12 +0000 (UTC)
13:11hrs 30 knots sustained from the NE gusting to 40, small branches breaking, very rough seas, moderate surge.

- 11:30
  • By jim&sharon <piratesofsaltcay at mac.com>
  • Date: Thu, 07 Sep 2017 11:35:47 -0400
winds ENE at 20   Gust 24
Bar  29.75

Little rains so far
Seas building out in Columbus Passage
Banks still pretty calm

Moved down to the “compound” now. May have to move upstairs fi a storm surge does occur. Hoping the Banks do not have enough water to allow much of a surge. Different for the Columbus Passage side.
Stay Safe  All

Jimmy and Sharon

AKA The Pirates

- Grand Turk
  • By Brian <mrbheagney at btinternet.com>
  • Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2017 11:09:01 -0400
Sustained winds at 30 knots from the NE, gusting to 40, rough seas. 11:07am. Thunder and steady rain.

- Current View Of Irma
  • By Neil <rooneyneilj at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2017 10:30:56 -0400
Here is the current view of Irma as she approaches Turks and Caicos Islands

Neil Rooney

Attachment: Irma 1030Am Sept 07.pdf
Description: Adobe PDF document

- Update
  • By Ray Heraty <rayheraty at hotmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2017 13:41:21 +0000

I will provide updates from my neighbor who will text me as conditions change as long as she is able. I personally am not on the island

Good morning friends and family outside of Turks and Caicos. Thanks so much for all your messages and kind thoughts. It means a lot. In my 23 years of living with hurricanes, I don't think we've ever had so much time to prepare. We have prepared our home the best we can. I will be surrounded by the best of friends. I have cooked amazing meals for three days; we have Moroccan chicken, French onion soup, honey garlic chicken and the banana bread is baking. In 23 years of living in Turks and Caicos we have never had 'the storm of the century'. Yes it is unnerving. Especially seeing Barbuda's devastation. But I've lived here for 23 years because of the people!!!! The best people and community you can imagine. I know we love each other and we will help each other....because that's what we do! Will communicate as soon as I possibly can. The storm is starting now...winds have picked up and here comes the rain. Good luck to all my TCI friends. See you on the other side!!! TCI Rules!!!

- Irma
  • By jim&sharon <piratesofsaltcay at mac.com>
  • Date: Thu, 07 Sep 2017 07:58:12 -0400
Good Morning,

We are on Ambergris cay which is about 9 miles south of South Caicos.

Barometer is 29.84
Winds sill low 10-15 and gusting to 22
Skys grey

Looks like closes to us will be about 15-20 miles around noon

Every one stay safe

Will try to continue reporting but the Cay will shut down power when the winds get to about 50 mph.


- Swirling Clouds
  • By Neil <rooneyneilj at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2017 07:20:16 -0400
It's seven AM and the ominous feeling of the low pressure is here in the Turks and Caicos Islands with the clouds beginning their chorography.  The eye of Irma is due to visit us at 8PM.  The ocean is going to rise, maybe up to 20 feet above normal?  I am on high ground  with ample food and water.  I will send out more information on Friday morning, pending the availability of the internet. 

Neil Rooney

- Who's that knocking at the door?
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Thu, 07 Sep 2017 06:05:44 -0400
 I think we have missed the opportunity for a dramatic shift in direction.  
Irma is very close.  We expect tropical storm winds just before 11am and the 
arrival of the center or "eye" just before 10pm.
There will be a steady building of wind and rain between now and 10pm.  24 
hours from now, it will all be gone. (The storm I mean...)

Closest Point of Approach Image for Provo

Currently it is pitch dark (yes I am looking out a window that does not have a 
storm shutter) and the wind is beginning to gust.  I would say under 20mph at 
I'll take out the sliders on the screen porch.  Too bad I didn't install a 
floor drain in the screen porch! I'll make another pass around the house to see 
what I missed and then I'll throw a few things together (SPAM and beer ... But 
you knew that!) and head up the hill to the little bunker I'll be staying in.

I feel bad for the many tourists who came to the island for a week of R&R.  
They are getting more than they bargained for.  We had several evacuation 
flights yesterday, but not nearly enough.  There are hundreds of tourists in 
resorts and that means that a lot of staff have to be there too.

It would appear that the DR is getting hammered by Irma and soon Haiti will 
too.  Our little island country has so many more resources than those places 
and a storm like this will affect them far more significantly.
Thank you so much for all the kind words, thoughts and prayers ... It seems we 
will need them!

Best Regards,
John Lawson

- Provo Pre Hurricane Irma
  • By "Terry Richardson" <survey at tciway.tc>
  • Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2017 01:40:41 -0400

Hi Gert,


You requested a sit rep pre IRMA


It’s now 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning 7th Sept. The IRMA is predicted to be either over us or at her closest point in approximately 24 hours.


Situation on Provo yesterday Wednesday 6th Sept was everyone making last minute preparations, finishing boarding up and buying last minute bits and pieces. Long lines at the “Do It Center” for last minute building supplies… long lines at the tills and not a “D cell” battery to be had on the island.


Weather wise it was a beautiful afternoon… blue sky with a slight breeze. Most folks have hauled their boats onto dry land. Larger boats have left for safer waters.


Leeward Marina slips are now completely empty:



As are the beaches at Leeward




… while some operators have moved their boats to Turtle Cove Marina which is acknowledged to be the safest in the islands:



In view of the horriffic photos from islands left in IRMA’s wake, and advisories from the USA National Hurricane Center of possible storm surges as high as 15-20 feet in the Turks and Caicos Islands, many people have boarded up their properties and will be staying either with friends on higher ground or camping in their second storey offices overnight untill the worst is over.


Our thoughts are with our brothers and sisters who have already been through this ordeal further down the Caribbean as we prepare for what the next 24-36 hours will bring.


Power will go out by design once the wind speed gets to a certsain point and will only come back again as lines are checked and repairs carried out as necessary… So it may be a while before I can post again as that can take a few days.


September 7th is also the 57th aniversary of Hurricane Dona which in 1960 was the worst hurricane in living memory in these islands and is still spoken of in awe by those who experienced it.


Cheers Terry.





- Pretty in Pink
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2017 13:48:26 -0400
Good Afternoon,

It is a bright sunny day here in Provo.  No wind.  The odd ominous rain shower.   Seems perfect...

The website that I use a lot, stormcarib.com, has Irma's trail as a Cat5 hurricane indicated by a bright pink line.  I am guessing they have not used that too much, but it is a nice, pretty colour.


As you can see in the picture, the forecast path is 27 miles south of us. Given the width of the serious hurricane part of the storm is 90 miles wide, we are in a bad spot. Imagine going head on with a truck.  You don't have to hit the center of the cab, an impact way over by the headlight will be serious.  In this case bulldozer may be more accurate then truck.

Prices have started to rise on things like gas, sand bags and food.  Apparently the law of supply and demand is in effect.  Price Gouging like monopolies is allowed here.

By now you have seen all the hype and glamour that the news stations like to show.  By all accounts it is a very serious storm.  Thankfully, we knew that pretty early on.  Some of us "old timers" took our time getting into the rhythm, but we are all pretty focused now.  Most buildings are boarded up.  People are generally well supplied.  Of course people are hoping it will turn away, but I think most are preparing for it to continue as predicted.

The storm will start for us in the morning.  It will be a normal rain storm when we wake up tomorrow  and it will get progressively worse.  At about noon we will hit tropical storm conditions with winds hitting 50mph.  Cocktail party fact: at 50mph water gets picked up and carried with the wind.  From that point on, it will look foggy out as there will be a lot of water picked up off the sea and thrown around.  Add the rain too, fairly heavy at times.  By sunset, it will be getting loud.

So tropical storm at noon, the peak will be 12 hours later at midnight.  Then we ramp down.   The peak winds are gusting around the 225 mph mark with sustained winds at the 185mph mark.  At the peak of the storm, the ground will be trembling, the noise will be deafening and you will be saying your final farewells.  It will be dark out and that doesn't help at all.  Then it will get better.  They wind will reduce and you will take a deep breath and you will be delighted to be alive.  The important thing is that if you choose a safe place and you don't have to move around in the dark, you will be fine.

With luck, we will get some much needed sleep on Friday night.  By Saturday we'll know what is going on.  Sadly, we may not be able to communicate with the rest of the world.  If the winds are as predicted, we will lose cell towers, power poles and phone lines.  Our infrastructure will be significantly damaged.  

If you are reading this from off island, please know that we are very prepared and we have gone through all the scenarios.  We can handle what this storm will dish out and we apologize, in advance, for not being able to tell you that we are ok.  We will be ok...we have Spam.

Best Regards,
John Lawson

- Oops!
  • By William Smith <w_smith at compusmiths.com>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2017 15:25:52 -0400
Whoever said:

165PMH winds gusting to 100MPH

clearly meant:

165MPH winds gusting to 200MPH

I’m blaming it on lack of coffee, yeah, that’s the ticket!

- The Calm Before the Storm
  • By William Smith <w_smith at compusmiths.com>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2017 15:04:25 -0400
So the skies are clear, the sun is out, there’s a 10MPH breeze from the North, and the ocean is as flat as a pancake!

Our house is closed up and checked out for Hurricane Season, but nobody expects CAT5, and we really can’t tell how bad it’s going to be.  The latest forecast has Irma passing just south of the TCI with 165PMH winds gusting to 100MPH.  Every forecast today has been a little different, with the Closest Point Of Approach (for Provo) varying from 27 to 60 miles.  Since the eyewall is 30 miles in radius, and the strongest winds are in the eyewall, that’s varying from “Pretty extensive destruction” to “Knock everything down”.

Irma is currently doing the Eyewall Replacement Cycle thing.  From: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/09/how-category-5-hurricanes-form-conditions-weather/

Still, Irma’s intensity could fluctuate thanks to the complex mechanics of powerful hurricanes. Intense storms often undergo a phenomenon known as an eyewall replacement cycle. The eyewall, which contains a hurricane’s most powerful winds, surrounds the calm center of the storm. As a powerful storm travels across open water, a second eyewall can encircle the existing eyewall, causing the first eyewall to disintegrate and weakening the hurricane’s highest winds.

On the other hand, a hurricane can re-intensify after this eyewall cycle is completed if waters are still warm and wind shear is low.

So trying to predict hurricane track, size, windspeed, and damage potential within a few miles or a few miles per hour is going to be a guessing game at best.

The best we(*) can do is do the best we can do, board things up, stock up on supplies, and hunker down.  With internet and power as fragile as they are, they’ll go out first and come back much later, so we may not hear anything for several days after the weather returns to normal on Saturday.

(*) I’m not actually there, but I’m very worried about the folks who are!

- Turks and Caicos Islands Preparation
  • By Neil <rooneyneilj at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2017 13:53:33 -0400
I for one am growing anxious to have this visit from Hurricane Irma over.  I was in Sint Maarten for Luis in 1995 and Lenny in 1999.  I really do not need to experience another Hurricane.  North Caicos is pretty much boarded up.  The stores are empty.  We shall see how long the power and internet stays on tomorrow or into Friday.  I will post again when the storm reaches us.  Fingers crossed!


- Beaufort v Saffir Simpson
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2017 09:42:44 -0400
My earlier post indicated the effects of a Cat 5 on the Saffir Simpson Scale as 
opposed to a Force 5 on the Beaufort Scale.  Two entirely different wind 

All the Best,
John Lawson

- Update
  • By Ray Heraty <rayheraty at hotmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2017 03:03:06 +0000

I decided that discretion is the better part of valor and will ride out Irma in the safety of my second home in Seattle.  My house is prepared but we are on a hill and there is only so much you can do when the wind is close to 180mph.   So I'm letting go the worry of property damage, that's why I pay an outrageous amount each year for hurricane insurance, and instead I am wishing my friends and everyone in TCI, and indeed everyone in the path of this monster, a safe passage of this storm.  Remember, things can be replaced.  People cannot. 

The point of closest approach is now 34 miles based on the brand new forecast track.  It's going to take some kind of major miracle to save TCI this time.

Best wishes to all


- Sweetheart,
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2017 23:21:10 -0400
Ok here's the deal.  Folks here have a very positive attitude.  It is hard to feel too stressed out when everyone around you is feeling positive and helpful.  

I am not saying that there is no nervousness or uncertainty.  We went from casual little hurricane to potentially record setting Cat5 devastation.  We have had plenty of warning.  Many, many people took this seriously from the start.  We have plywood, water, food and we have the comfort of knowing that our neighbour has our back.

I am not saying it isn't dangerous, but statistically speaking, hurricanes kill very few people.  It is highly likely that one of the most serious injuries to come out of Irmas visit to TCI will be Camille's falling off a ladder.

The storm is likely to be ever present starting on Thursday morning.  First light has a forecast of wind and rain that no one wants to go out and play in.  While we ma not see 50mph until around 4pm in the afternoon, we will see windy, stormy conditions when we awake on Thursday.

The eye is likely to hit us at 3:30am  or so on Friday morning.  Thursday night, leading into Friday will be a rough one as the wind increases throughout the night.  The peak of the storm passes through Provo at night.  Sorry to say it, but they all hit us at night and it sucks.

The maximum sustained winds are now being measured at 185mph, gusts will be as high as 225mph.  This is a real storm, take real precautions .

Best Regards,
John Lawson

- Evac Flights leaving Provo
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2017 14:57:30 -0400
Good Afternoon,

We have heard that Jetblue, American and Westjet will all have extra flights leaving Provo.  The exact times are sketchy.

I will post as soon as I have info, however, please check with the Provo agent for these airlines.  These flights will not likely be on their websites.  No doubt they will fill up quickly.

Best Regards,
John Lawson

- Turks and Caicos
  • By Neil <rooneyneilj at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2017 10:32:18 -0400
Turks and Caicos Islands

As elsewhere in the area we too are preparing for Hurricane Irma.  Batteries 
charged, Bottled water is on hand.  Gas tanks are topped up.  My freezer has 
one gallon water jugs frozen is anticipation of a power outage.  Rain gear is
dusted off.  Laundry is done.  Passport and other documents are bagged and
stored in a safe place. 

I've reviewed the exact coordinates of my house and reviewed that each degree of
latitude and longitude is approximately 69 miles.
Proactive and prepared for Irma.


- All Hands on Deck
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2017 09:46:13 -0400
First up, if you are reading this as an email, please go to stormcarib.com and look at Turks and Caicos Correspondence.  I will continue posting there so you can get updates.

Second I am not a weather dude, just a guy with an interest in interpreting the data.  I call it my way and that is not based on expertise or anything, so get another opinion.

The 8am forecast brings certain expletives to mind.  Use your imagination.  A category five hurricane is a very, very, very bad thing.   The wind is currently at 175mph.  That is a sustained, measured reading, it gusts higher.  When a hurricane hits land, say a little island for example, it can spin off little tornadoes.  The gusts measured in this event could easier top 200mph.  The forecasted track has all of the TCI in the worst possible place.  Of course it could change.  For those with the power, please pray for a change in course!

I do not want to cause fear where rational logic should prevail, but I think it is important to recognize what is safe and what isn't.

Here is what the Beaufort Scale says about Cat 5:
"Storm surge generally greater than 18 ft above normal. Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings. Some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. All shrubs, trees, and signs blown down. Severe and extensive window and door damage. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the hurricane center. Major damage to lower floors of all structures located less than 15 ft above sea level and within 500 yards of the shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas on low ground within 5-10 miles (8-16 km) of the shoreline may be required. There were no Category Five hurricanes in 1995, 1996, or 1997. Hurricane Gilbert of 1988 was a Category Five hurricane at peak intensity and is the strongest Atlantic tropical cyclone of record."

This is probably prepared for American readers.  Small islands typically get less storm surge because the water can go around.  Leeward channel will be a river with huge rapids.

Flying objects, like your neighbors roof, can cause significant damage to your house, your car and you if you are outside.  Think very carefully before changing locations.  In fact this might be a good time to decide where you are going to go for Thursday night.  Do you have a friend with a stronger or more sheltered house?  Carry the rum and Spam with you when you go to ask about a sleep over.

Before you leave your place, unplug and put computers in plastic bags.  Get everything precious off the floor, preferably in a secure cupboard.

I gotta stop talking about this and get to work!  Storm conditions hit us on Thursday night around 10pm.

Best Regards,
John Lawson

- "Should I Stay or Should I Go..."
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Tue, 05 Sep 2017 06:58:31 -0400
At first it sounded like a fun idea to stay and go to a hurricane party and 
experience the thrill of Mother Nature at her most extreme...now you are not so 

I am starting to get that question a lot now.  Make a list of your reasons for 
wanting to stay.  The cost of the plane flight out should not be one of them.  
On that note, you should probably look at flight availability.  You are not the 
only one with these thoughts.  American has sent in extra planes before to help 
folks get off the island.  Check with their local rep to see if this is 
happening again.

Think carefully about your reasons for staying.  Going to a hurricane party or 
saving the cost of a flight do not rate highly.  Being on hand to minimize 
damage to your home or business, assisting with the recovery, these are the 
things you need to weigh the real value of.  Much of your stuff can be 
protected and at worst, replaced.

The part that many do not consider is the aftermath.  If we get a direct hit 
from Irma, Provo will be an entirely different place for at least a month and 
quite possibly longer.  Provo could be shut down for a while.  The airport 
could be closed.  We could be without power.  Some roads may be flooded for 

Think about it carefully, but quickly.  Be safe.

Best Regards,
John Lawson

- Good News and Bad News
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Mon, 04 Sep 2017 23:44:30 -0400
The good news is that at its current speed, hurricane Irma will peak at about 
3pm on Friday.  That is when the eye will pass us.  Big storms are always worse 
at night because you can't see.  Your mind focuses more on the sound and it is 
just plain scarier.  As this one will pass us during the day, it will not seem 
so bad.

The bad news is that, the current track, while still subject to change, is 
right at us.  Technically the track is 16 miles south of us, which for a 
hurricane, means a direct hit.  Remember  the "bad part" is 60 miles across, 
anywhere in there is a direct hit.

Of course there is hope that it will change some more north or even dip way 
south ... Really anything is possible.

It is wavering very slightly at this point, not wobbling hugely like it was 
earlier, and I would suggest that we take this track seriously.  

Th tropical storm force winds won't start until about 4am on Friday morning.  
The storm will build right through the night on Friday.  This gives us some of 
Thursday to make final preparations, but stores will probably be closed.

Put your passports and important papers in a zip lock and stick it somewhere 
safe.  Move paper and boxes and things that should not get wet, off the floor.  
Put your flashlites in a place where you will be able to find them.  Put your 
BBQ under the deck or tie it to a tree, you may need it.  Turn your car so it 
faces out of the driveway.  Do not park in a low spot that may flood.  In fact, 
if you have areas near you that are known to flood, consider parking your car 
on the other side of the water.

You could disconnect your computer and put it in a garbage bag on your desk.  
You should do this at work too.  Clean up paper and magazines inside your 
house, these might become a sloppy mess if they get wet.

The south and east sides of the island will likely get a bit of storm surge.  
It could be as high as 9 feet in some areas.  Be sure you are staying on ground 
that is higher than than if you are in an area affected by storm surge.  The 
north side is likely to get big waves and big surf.  This can push the water 
much higher up the shore than normal.  Coastal homes in low lying areas might 
consider sand bags across the front of their house to help keep wave down.  
Friday will not be a good day for swimming.  Stay out of the water as dangerous 
rip currents and powerful tides may exist.

I hope that you have thought about all the stuff you have to do.  Maybe you 
should take an extra walk around the property to see if you missed anything.

Once the wind starts it could get very dangerous outside.  Your neighbour (the 
one who stays at your parties too late!) may not have done a good job 
preparing.  Coconuts, firewood, lumber and lawn furniture all make great 
projectiles.  Being hit by this stuff is a real pain in the ass (or where ever 
it hits you).

There is still a bunch of time for the storm to change directions so it is not 
a done deal yet.  And remember, this is mostly just the ramblings of a lazy, 
old Canadian.  Tune into the pros for the real story.  Go to bed and get some 

Best Regards,
John Lawson

- We got this!
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Mon, 4 Sep 2017 18:11:05 -0400
Based on the 5pm report, a couple of important things spring to mind,
Irma has slowed down to 13 mph.  This means she will take longer to get here AND she will hang around like that neighbour who always stays at your parties way too late.
Irma is currently scheduled to arrive in the middle of the night around 4am on Friday as a tropical storm.  The current prediction has her building to a peak of intensity on Friday afternoon around 3pm.  Assuming she stays as a well defined circular storm, she will then take another 12 hours to leave.  All in, that is a 24 hour wind and rain event.

Remember, all sliding doors leak in a hurricane. After 24 hours of pounding rain, you may find that most everything leaks.  Get the fragile stuff off the floor.

As much as I hoped and wished for her to drop south, it appears that it didn't work.  The 5pm shows her passing us at about 52 miles instead of the 55 miles from earlier today.  The relevant fact here is that her course is less wobbly and, at present, she has her sites set on Provo.  A lot can happen, but I suggest we plan for a serious bit of weather.

Speaking of planning, this is the best prepared I have ever seen this island.  Line ups at all the important suppliers.  People getting what they need good and early.  Way to go Provo!

I have not seen a lot of sand bags yet.  As we get closer and closer to a NE quadrant hit, we should be thinking about sand bags.  You are allowed to take sand from the beach for sand bags I believe.  Fill them half full and tie them at the top so the sand can move around.  Place them at the base of exposed doors so the driving wind doesn't pile the water against the door.

Irma is now Cat 4.  We expected that.  She is a mild Cat 4 (if there is such a thing) at 130mph, but there is still an opportunity for her to build.  She is not a slouch.  As she approaches and passes, we are likely to get wind from the South, East and North.  Although it may seem like every direction all at once!

A friend in Monserrat sent out a nice FB message saying that if you are watching the news, you'll become very scared as they tend to sensationalize situations like this.  Here in TCI our homes are largely built of concrete.  Little to no stick homes here.  Many of us have done this before and there are always many helpful folks willing to lend a hand to inexperienced neighbors and friends.  For the most part we are excited about being able to see such an awesome display of power.  We love your messages of love and support and prayer, but please know that we will get through this.  

One of the government offices mentioned that Thursday and Friday the government offices will be closed.  I am sure that banks and schools will fall in soon with enough time to allow people to finalize their preparations.  It looks like a Thursday will be a day to help those who left it to late and Friday will be a Netflix (with power and Internet!) day.

More after the next update!

Best Regards,
John Lawson

- Still trending south
  • By William Smith <w_smith at compusmiths.com>
  • Date: Mon, 4 Sep 2017 17:58:16 -0400
While the forecast track of Irma is still trending south, 3-5 day forecasts are 
notoriously unreliable, so she still bears watching.  Also, as we discovered 
with Hannah and Ike back in 2008, storms that pass to the south of us pile 
water up on the bank, leading to flooding of bank-side coastlines.  On Pine Cay 
we had about an 8-foot storm surge on the south (bank) side, and many low areas 
were inundated with salt water.

Not that I wish the folks in the DR, Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, or the Golf Coast 
ill, but continued southwards trends in the forceast track are fine with 
“Interests in the TCI”.  8*}

And as always, the peak of the hurricane will be in the middle of the night, so 
webcam views will be constrained.

- Monday Morning
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Mon, 04 Sep 2017 06:59:15 -0400
Another big slip to the south, that is great news!

On the current track Irma will be more of a glancing blow than a direct hit.  
However, now that she is projected south of us, we are in the NE quadrant and 
that is the strongest, most intense part.

A few more slips to the south would really help us, but not the DR.  This is a 
serious storm and someone is going to get nailed.

Dave on Storm Carib said that a hurricane hunter was passing through her last 
night to collect data.  We should have that data later this morning.  The 
hurricane hunter can give a lot of info about, circulation, wind speed, 
intensity and size but not direction.

We know it is strong and right now it is dancing on our doorstep.  At the very 
least, we can expect a strong tropical storm. At most ... Well we are still 
seeing significant wobbles and a direct hit is not out of the question.

Use today wisely!  Do the things that other folks will leave until the last 
minute; bank, IGA, propane, batteries, water, beer, and of course more spam!

Check your hurricane shutters.  Fire the generator. Talk to the folks at work.  
Are they ready?

Best Regards,
John Lawson

- T minus 5
  • By John Lawson <j.lawson3 at me.com>
  • Date: Sun, 03 Sep 2017 08:20:40 -0400
Good Morning,

Hurricane Irma's "official forecast" now includes Turks and Caicos.  While this
forecast is subject to huge fluctuations and the path of Irma is very likely to
change, it is possible that we will see some bad weather this week.
Since this is the first real threat in a long time, we should take this
opportunity to review our hurricane prep procedures and do a good clean up of
things that we should have cleaned up anyway.
The timing of the arrival of the storm is important to note.  If it does
continue on its current path towards us, Thursday will be a stormy day with
winds hitting 50 mph at lunch time. That is a bad time to be walking around with
sheets of plywood!
All preparations will have to be complete by Wednesday, with only the most
urgent business to be left for Thursday morning. Schools, banks and Government
offices may be closed on both Thursday and Friday.
Should she pass within 70miles of us, Thursday afternoon will see an increase in
wind speed from 50mph at lunch time to as high as 130mph by breakfast time on
Friday.  Winds will then decrease from the peak strength down to 50mph by 
at midnight.  Again this is based on the five day forecast which leaves a lot 
time for change.  The current five day forecast is also the worst case 
so any change in the forecast will be good news for us.
Power could be shut off on Thursday afternoon when the wind reaches 65mph and
stay off until well into Friday.  Fortis has done this before, but may do it
differently this time (I will confirm their plan today).
Depending on your unique circumstance, today (Sunday) might be a good day to
clean up the yard, make a list of what prep items should be done (and on which
Remember that most people won't think about this storm until Thursday when the
wind picks up.  At that point there will be long lines at DoIt, IGA, the water
company and the gas stations.  Before that, you should buy personal supplies,
fill the cars with gas, test the generator and get fuel for it, and make sure
the hurricane shutters haven't been eaten by termites.
At this point, it would be wise to treat this as a mandatory practice run. 
may not hit us, but it is quite likely that we will see some bad weather this
week.  Time to make like a boyscout and "Always be Prepared!"


Best Regards,John Lawson

Image: Closest Point of Approach for Provo

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