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Hurricane Georges

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The gas station at Zion Hill Road
in early November

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Hurricane Georges Hits Puerto Rico
Photo Credit:
Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Aftermath Reports on Hurricane Georges

The British Virgin Islands are GREEN and GORGEOUS, having emerged from the storm in remarkable shape with nearly all establishments open for business–see detailed reports below.

B-V-I Guide 11/25/98: The worst damage was caused by the storm surge, reported at 12 feet when inundating the Virgin Gorda airstrip as well as the Sprat Bay peninsula at Peter Island (to reopen April 1), the docks at Marina Cay (open) and roads on the Sir Francis Drake Channel, including the access road at Frenchman’s Cay (open). Some roofs were lost and vegetation was damaged, but the hurricane and subsequent rains have transformed the landscape into a shade of vivid green, with evidence of the storm seen mostly as lost and broken palm fronds.

Island Sun 11/5/98 Post Hurricane Renovations at VG Airport & Little Dix Bay Hotel (Little Dix Bay Resort reopened October 30, 1998; Virgin Gorda airport, a minor subsidiary facility, remains closed).
B-V-I Guide
Reports 10/30/98: Peter Island Resort is closed for repairs from damage from the storm surge and will reopen April 1, 1999. Frenchman’s Cay Resort lost part of its road and will reopen December 12, 1998. Open and fared well in the storm–see reports from Patouche II, Necker Island Resort, Virgin Gorda Villa Rentals, Tortola’s Arundel Villa above Cane Garden Bay, Villa Laguna in the Apple Bay Area, and the Limin’ House at Soper’s Hole–see detailed reports.
Island Sun
Chief Minister Makes Statement on Hurricane Georges: Assesses damage, promotes assistence to neighboring islands.
Island Sun BVI Was "Well Prepared" Governor Says: Commends agencies, suggests better communication, equipment and clothing for police out in storm.
The Hurricane Page
Liane Le Tendre 9/27/98: Detailed report on going through the hurricane at the Lighthouse Villas at Cane Garden Bay.
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The Wild Hurricane Honeymoon Cruise: Sailboat Blown Aground Near
Ft. Recovery Estate

B-V-I Guide 9/23/98.
A sailboat lost its mooring in Peter Island’s Great Harbour and was blown ashore near Ft. Recovery Estates (pictured above). See telephone interview with Pamelah Jacobsen. Ft. Recovery Estate remains open, having sustained damage only to vegetation, and now has the sailboat’s honeymoon couple among its guests. See story.

B-V-I Guide Email from Pusser’s at Marina Cay, Betty Goss, General Manager, 9/28/98: Getting new docks, dinghies ok now, reopening–see details.
B-V-I Guide
Email from Long Bay Beach Resort, Nancy Brassem 9/28/98: Fully operational, some repairs made.
B-V-I Guide
Wreck of the Rhone Report from Lynn McKamey (ScubaMom) 9/27/98: new parts of wreck at Salt Island exposed, new fish species, visibility still a little low.
B-V-I Guide
Email from Sandcastle & Jost Van Dyke, Debby Pearse and Bruce Donath, 9/27/98: Everything is ok there.
The Hurricane Page BVI Hotel & Commerce Association reports that the BVI is back to normal 9/25/98.
Travel Talk Nanny Cay Report from Jeremy Wright of Boardsailing BVI 9/24/98; Ft. Burt Hotel Report by Ian Smith 9/24/98.
Island Sun Hurricane Recovery Underway 9/24/98.
Island Sun
Hurricane Georges Lashes the Virgin Islands 9/22/98.
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The famous "tire swing" palm tree at Stanley’s was lost in Hurricane Georges. This cultural icon and favorite of many visitors and BVIslanders alike will be greatly missed. Banana and other trees were also damaged at Cane Garden Bay 9/24/98. Photo from Paradise Vacations.

B-V-I Guide, Update from Reports, 9/24/98: Hurricane winds of up to 110 mph were reported. On Virgin Gorda, partial roofs were lost. VISAR has been much more successful in persuading people not to stay on boats in a hurricane, as less than five boats with storm occupants were on its "hurricane net," down from 125-150 in 1995, according to VISAR administrator Alex Greenspon. Boats were successfully moored in lagoons and mangroves at Beef Island, Fat Hogs Bay, Paraquita Bay and Sea Cows Bay. The Emergency Operations Center of the Office of Diaster Preparedness coordinated emergency preparedness efforts very effectively under the leadership of Donovan Gentles. Post-Hugo structures are built and others refitted to withstand hurricanes, as evidenced by the widespread use of modern hurricane shutters rather than nailed-on plywood.

B-V-I Guide, Update 9/23/98: General reports reveal that the BVI has weathered Hurricane Georges in remarkable shape. No casualities were reported. Damage to buildings is reported to be minimal with some roofs blown off on Tortola. Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke and Anegada have reported no significant damage.
Considerable damage to vegetation has been consistently reported, especially to trees at higher elevations, although it is unknown as to how much is permanent such as uprooted trees. Roads adjoining Tortola’s Sir Francis Drake Channel were damaged by wave action. In many places, the phones were out and telephone poles were down. Resorts and other accommodations have reported little or no damage at this time (see Resort Reports on this page). Only about four boats are known to have lost their moorings, with two commercial vessels blown aground in Road Harbour (see picture of one) as well as the sailboat grounding at Ft. Recovery described on this page. At marinas, several boats in the water have sunk or been damaged. Other boats were blown over while "on the hard," sustaining minor damage.

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Boats Blown off Boat Stands at
Tortola Yacht Services, Wickham’s Cay II

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Reports were posted on the internet during the height of the hurricane from Louis Schwartz at the Jolly Roger Inn (pictured here) at Tortola’s Soper’s Hole (see Reports During Storm below). Many telephones were working during the storm due to lines being underground in many places. Although there was no power, generators were used to run computers.
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B-V-I Guide, Resort & Lodging Reports:
Resort Reports on 9/23/98 by Lynn McKamey, the ScubaMom
: Reports on Mango Bay Resort, Bitter End Yacht Club, Guana Island, Little Dix Bay and Peter Island.
Other Reports: Biras Creek Resort sustained no damage. Biras Creek in Virgin Gorda’s North Sound, had already been closed for renovations and will re-open as scheduled on October 22, 1998.
DiveBVIMarinaCayIcon.jpg (4775 bytes)DiveBVI Report, 9/23/98: Marina Cay, pictured here, lost their docks, according to DiveBVI‘s Joe Giacinto: "Thank you we have survived, all boats ok, all shops ok . . . Little Dix is being assessed on Thursday but I don’t think they will have heavy down time. . . . Leverick Bay is fine, no dock damage no shop damage. Visibility [for diving] should be back to normal in two or three days."
B-V-I Guide Anegada Reports: Anegada weathered the storm very well. See telephone interview with Pat Faulkner at Pat’s Pottery. Email from Randall Thielman at Neptune’s Treasure, 9/24/98: "We at Neptune’s Treasure fared the storm surprisingly well. No damage and we are open for business."
CaribWx Impact of Hurricane Georges on NE Caribbean!
The Hurricane Page Updates from the Islands
Where2Stay Virgin Islands Message Board Mostly about U.S.V.I.

Reports During Storm:
Travel Talk
"Thank you all…Georges gone!!" 9 PM ECT (10 PM EDT) 9/21/98, Louis Schwartz, Jolly Roger Inn, Soper’s Hole, Tortola.
Travel Talk "Most Things Seem Ok!!" 5:15 PM PM ECT (6:15 PM EDT) 9/21/98, Louis Schwartz, Jolly Roger Inn, Soper’s Hole, Tortola.
Travel Talk "It’s Howling, Folks!!" 1:55 PM ECT (2:55 EDT) 9/21/98, Louis Schwartz, Jolly Roger Inn, Soper’s Hole, Tortola.

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Hurricane Georges, 2 PM CDT, 9/21/98
Day-of-Storm Image from Intellicast

Hurricane News
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Weather Reporting Links:
Storm 98 Hurricane Central
CaribWx Caribbean Weather Center based in Road Town.
Satellite Imagery"Cape Verde" Hurricane Analysis.
Intellicast Storm ImageTropical Products.
NASA Visualization of Remote Sensing Data, Image Catalog-Hurricane Georges.

Island Sun Caribbean Weather Guide Published.
Amazon Books The Concise Guide to Caribbean Weather (Second edition), 1998 hardcover, $19.95 (note 4-6 weeks to ship). For quicker results in securing this book, see CaribWx’s Book Page.

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