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Aftermath of Hurricane Georges

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On-the Ground Reports and Updates

Email from Peter Island Resort, George Acquino, Director of Operations, 10/30/98: Hurricane Georges was not particularly kind to Peter Island during its recent run through the area. Fortunately, Peter Island Resort didn’t get affected by any major structural damage to any of our buildings, but the heavy water surge that came over our seawall didn’t spare our landscaping, dining facilities, kitchen equipments, electrical systems, air conditioning units and compressors, pool area and the seawall. The management of the resort decided to open the resort on April 1, 1999. We would never compromise the Classic Caribbean experience you have come to expect from the resort, by opening a moment too soon.

Email from Frenchman’s Cay Resort, Terry Kennedy, Owner, 10/15/98: Our road is being repaired. The sea surge from "Georges" undermined a section of the approach road retaining wall as it ran next to the sea and a section of road collapsed. We are in the process of replacing about 110 feet of retaining wall and 300 feet of road. Repairs are going well and we will be open for business December 12th.

There was very little other damage to the property: some shingles off roofs – repaired; a tree in the pool which caused some broken tiles – replaced; and a few other minor problems – most of them already fixed up. The major problem is the road, which cuts us off from the rest of the island.

Email from Patouche II, Claudia, Owner, 10/14/98: We did fine. We always put the boat on land at the VG boatyard. By the way the islands look great. No one would know that a hurricane had come close.

Email from Necker Island, Emma Freeman, Marketing Manager, 10/13/98: Necker got away lightly through the winds of Hurricane Georges. A few broken windows and the tennis court looks like another beach but apart from the usual debris we were in pretty good shape once the hurricane had passed. We opened almost immediately.

Email from Villa Laguna, Lee Dion, Owner, 10/10/98: We did very well. Some sceens got blown out, and lots of vegetation damage.
All has been repaired and cleaned up. We are ready to go.

Email from Virgin Gorda Villa Rentals, Tina, 10/8/98: We survived the hurricane very easily this time around, thank God! We have been open for business as usual since the day after the hurricane. Only a bit of landscape damage and a couple of broken windows [VGVR manages a large number of villas on Virgin Gorda].

Email from Arundel Villa, Peter Mendiha Willard, Owner, 10/8/98: "Cleaning" a lot of landscape damaged during the storm; could have been worst; very lucky this time. The landscape will grow back in six months. We just finished 500 sq.ft of New Deck space off the pool area.

Email from Limin’ House, Susan Obert, Owner, 10/8/98: No problem [from hurricane]…the house is built solid. Landscaping needs some cleanup but nothing major. Yes, we are absolutely open for guests with good availability until Christmas.

Email from Pusser’s at Marina Cay, Betty Goss, General Manager, 9/28/98: The enormous seas came at us from two directions and destroyed all docks and fuel house, etc. We have been working all week to get the beaches and other areas back together. The restaurant opened with a limited menu today and the company store/boutique is open as of today. There is temporary dockage for dinghies only. We anticipate new fuel dock in approx. 4 weeks. Hotel rooms will be available as of Friday (Oct 2).

Email from Long Bay Beach Resort, Nancy Brassem 9/28/98: Repairs began immediately at Long Bay. It remained fully operational, and the clean-up that was necessary, i.e. branches and debris, power restorations, some beach erosion, was taken care of. It is now 100% functional.

Email from Sandcastle & Jost Van Dyke, Debby Pearse and Bruce Donath, 9/27/98: Jost Van Dyke and Sandcastle made it through Hurricane Georges quite well. Been spending this past week digging all our plants out from under mounds of sand, but as of today (Sunday) we are just about back to where we started. Lost a couple of trees and several windows, but no serious damage. We will definitely be ready when our season opens on Thursday!

Wreck of the Rhone Report, Lynn McKamey (ScubaMom) 9/27/98: Divemaster/Instructor Randy Keil, manager of Dive BVI Peter Island was anxious to dive the Wreck of the Rhone as soon as the post-hurricane weather and seas allowed. He was excited to report that the sea bottom has shifted somewhat and exposed parts of the Rhone never before seen! The dive will now be better than ever! Randy also saw new fish species at the wreck and will be interested to know if they will stay. Otherwise, visibility is still a little low on the dive sites, but that should clear as soon as the post hurricane seas settle.

Email from Lynn McKamey, the ScubaMom, 9/23/98,Reports on the following Resorts:
>From Paloa Moretti, owner of Mango Bay Resort
on Virgin Gorda: Everything is all right! A lot of cleaning up to do but no major damages. We have lost only few trees. Virgin Gorda has, I would say, suffered no damages at all. We were very lucky. Few electricity poles down but by Monday everyone should be back in order. Today the businesses are already open. Phone lines are still not in perfect shape but they are working on it. We should have electricity back by today or tomorrow. All The Islands are looking fine! I have heard about San Juan and Santo Domingo…I believe that VG has a very special geographical situation or… we are really blessed!
>From Bitter End Yacht Club, North Sound of Virgin Gorda had no major damage and will be ready for guests again by the weekend. The North Sound Express (ferry) will begin operating today and the airport should be open by tomorrow.
>From Guana Island, BVI: Georges went directly over Guana with winds of 100 to 135 mph, but since hurricane Hugo we have taken great pains to protect ourselves. Fortunately, we had no structural damage we are in great shape. We have many hurricane procedures that we take very seriously, nevertheless we still consider ourselves lucky to have escaped so well. We have a lot clean up from the downed foliage and rains, but nothing else to worry about.
>From Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda: The resort had limited damage to landscaping and grounds. It will be closed for cleanup until October 18th.
>From Peter Island Resort, British Virgin Islands, had no major structural damage and plans to reopen during mid to late October.

Telephone Interview with Pat Faulkner at Pat’s Pottery on Anegada 9/22/98: The sea was rough. We got mostly wind, not a lot of rain. It blew things around, "burned" the vegetation but things are still green outside. No roofs came off. Today I went to the village and as far as the bridge. Cars are on the road, stores open. Neptune’s Treasure is ok–we call each other. They’re cleaning up palm tree fronds, etc. We do better than the islands with mountains as it just blows over us [Anegada is a coral island whose highest point is 28′]. We will be open tomorrow.

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