Well, Grand Cayman dodged a bullet. We came through with minimal damage and everyone is breathing a huge "thanks God" then cringing because the only reason we came off so light is that the storm took an unexpected dodge to the East, along with an unexpected strengthening, so the sister Islands got a direct hit from a category 4 hurricane. Very Bad. Reports of lots of damage trickling in from over there but its going to take time to assess and respond. Especially since the runway is flooded so it’ll only be small planes for the nonce. Barges (which is how we ship stuff across) should be back from hiding in Cuba to start running again early next week and the UK Navy warship (with helicopter) is waiting offshore the Brac for the weather to subside, but its going to be a logistical nightmare for the people in charge to assess and respond. The heart bleeds.
Personally, we and our family were fine. There are several trees down around our apartment. We had to mop up a bucket or so of water that beat in through the walls (assumed hairline cracks in outer walls let the water in then the electric outlet let the water into the apartment). We also had a casement window that leaked … ah, sheet rock with windows in it. Compared to the reports of roofless houses we can’t even talk about having to do some moping and put some towels out. Actually the low-lying areas of Grand Cayman that got feet of rainwater flooding into their homes are telling us to keep quite also. But as bad as that is they too realise it wasn’t really a bad hurricane (no storm surge pushing the water through your house and leaving it standing in areas where it can’t drain away eventually).
We went to sleep about 10, joking about setting the alarm for hourly wakings to check the news and the weather but decided that nerves and the wind getting worse (as it strengthened and changed direction directly on to our largest wall with the most windows) would wake us. When I woke up at 4 I turned the A/C off because the wind had dropped out so much that there was no need to keep the A/C cold in the event of losing power because, well, the power was staying on. Yup. We had power for the entire storm. Wow. Water came back on about mid-morning. TV shortly after noon (just as we’d goten back with some videos – many stores are open). Internet (landline) followed soon after. My dad even got a telephone company site visit to check his internet speed (the modem is too old and slow for the improved ADSL but the company obviously isn’t telling people that as then they’f have to recall all their old modems). They must have so little damage that they’ve got more crews than they need working today in preparation for the more damage that we all expected.
Well, that’s the bottom line: we came through with flying leaves and not much else. As good a hurricane as you can hope for. For which we are very thankful. Very, very as our apartment super was unable to put up the plywood over the windows (he got the glass doors done) so we probably weren’t really ready for the sort of hurricane strike that the Brac got. Only hope is that they had a few extra hours to prepare.