Hurricane Irma Poses Questions

Senator McClean, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season is forecast to be more active than historical averages with regard to the number of named storms, according to the latest forecasts released by Colorado State University, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and The Weather Company, an IBM Business.”

Hurricane Central

So far the 2017 hurricane season is following the script. Unfortunately it is the Northern Caribbean which has suffered nature’s fury with losses estimated in the billions. And as the loss adjusters continue to assess damage to property, we remember the 68 deaths reported.

What the post-response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Irma on Caribbean islands has confirmed is the opportunity for Barbados to improve its disaster response effort if such were to reoccur.  Based on reports the few Barbadians who found themselves trapped in the Northern Caribbean as a result of Irma, exposed logistical difficulty for the Barbados government to mount a rescue effort.

Well managed organizations implement Business Continuity Plans that include a Disaster Recovery Plan. The objective is to ensure if key services become unavailable the business will be able to respond first to protect resources and second to get back online in the shortest period even if in a limited way.  The stories being told by Bajans stranded in the hurricane torn countries- especially Poonka’s- has exposed a weak regional emergency response framework.

Many if not all the English Caribbean islands enacted sunset legislation to support information sharing to facilitate the hosting of CWC2007. The CWC experience serves to support a precedent for strengthening cooperation by efficiently leveraging resources -financial and human.

The inability of regional countries to respond quickly to Caricom citizens trapped in countries affected by Hurricane Irma serves as a reminder the region has some work to do to improve functional cooperation. Stories about citizens having to text Minister McClean and friends to alert of their status was embarrassing. In contrast the US government was able to erringly locate its citizens in the affected countries and airlift them out, quickly. While regional governments do not have access to the same resources, we can do better. What is the role of CEDEMA, RSS, Caricom Secretariat and other regional agencies if not to protect the well being of citizens in the region? Minister Maxine McClean’s explanation about citizens not wanting to declare destination information is weak. Poonka’s suggestion that LIAT’s passenger database- and other regional travel carriers- should be available to identify stranded passengers in times of disaster is a no-brainer.

There is no better way to nurture pride in country than in situations where the citizenry observes how its government responds to nationals in distress in a ‘foreign land’ in this instance.  There is a reason why many Americans are driven to shed a tear and place the hand over the heart when the national anthem is played or the pledge recited.

We continue to debate whether climate change will increase the severity of natural disasters in the future. We continue to debate if there is a building code in Barbados? We continue to debate why citizens affected by Tomas have been unable to unlock funds from the catastrophe fund. We continue to debate why residents trapped in White Hill cannot be given a solution.

On a related note, it is interesting to observe how Venezuela has responded to the humanitarian effort to assist Caribbean islands affected by Irma in contrast to the US and UK where there are reports of restrictions to aid monies.

123 thoughts on “Hurricane Irma Poses Questions

  1. The larger countries have no intention of sharing that hurricane insurance money with their destroyed islands, they prefer watch them struggle from scratch, then lend them money, to be repaid, they are lowlifes and always will be…..parasites.

    While they are debating, hurricanes and systems are forming and gliding across the oceans swiftly, let them keep talking, that’s all they do.

  2. …….Poonka’s suggestion that LIAT’s passenger database- and other regional travel carriers- should be available to identify stranded passengers in times of disaster is a no-brainer……..

    Yes if citizens dont want to divulge where they are and where they are going, that would be the next best step. It wont catch all, but it would catch most people.

  3. The burden of bad ideas.

    Why is it bad for Caribbean governments to acquire the capability to rescue their stranded citizens?

    Because to do so would likely lead them to acquire another (permanent) capability — the ability to track the whereabouts of any individual citizen on demand.

    Now why would we want that?

    When I was a student, I would smile at references to the lack of democracy under British colonialism. Why? Because colonial governments had such limited knowledge and interest in the lives of most of their subjects that the man in the street could feel “free”. Much more so than the ordinary American who is always closely watched by the local police, federal authorities and even his employers.

    For most ordinary people, who are not much involved in politics, freedom means being lost in the crowd, beyond the reach of most law enforcement, and beyond the reach of benevolent rescuers too.

  4. Are you kidding me ! Caribbean countries have limited capacity to deal with major internal disaster, muchless the logistic nigtmare to track and airlift nationals who are affected by natural disaster abroad . Plus, I would hazard a guess that many are in violation of their immigration status and would want to stay put.

    • @fortyacresandamule

      Why do you think this is not possible?

      In the same way regional countries passed sunset legislation for CWC2007 same can be in the event of a regional disaster triggered by predetermined criteria. The RSS coordinated by CEDEMA would access LIAT, and other travel databases to locate non nationals stranded. What is so difficult?

  5. Maria @ 8pm

    “A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
    * Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat
    * Guadeloupe

    A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
    * St. Lucia
    * Martinique
    * Dominica
    * Barbados
    * St. Vincent and the Grenadines”

  6. On another note, no amount of planning or mitigation effort, can avert the calamity of nature’s fury beyond a certain threshold. Even Japan’s, known for its disaster prepation and mitigation culture, was devasted by the 2011 tsunami …leading to the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

    Most caribbean Islands cannot even withstand a direct category 3 hurricane hit without causing major disruption to it’s economy, muchless a direct category 5 hit. In fact we are a stone- age civilization away from a major natural calamity.

  7. @ Hants

    My friend and I thank you for asking. Clarkes Road, St. James was turn into a river like Holders Hill and flowed to highway 1 main road. The solution to Our problems are too simple for this DLP government. The remedies has no kick back money or votes for this or the other Ministers of MTW, It appeared kick back money was paid to allowed the building of this illegal private road in, along and across the watercourse, so the black residents in Clarkes Road got fuck up by two cousins who represented them in St. James Central

  8. @David. In the time of grave natural disaster every man for himself. There are limitations to what government can do, especially, those that with limited capacity in many ways.

  9. If the government wants to track people it isn’t that had. People are asked to volunteer their travel information. A fairly simple online/off the shelf data base can hold the information. If people refuse to volunteer their travel information then they are put on notice that in case of disaster “crapaud will smoke their pipe”.

    Please note that the U.S. government makes its citizens sign a promise pay to be evacuated


    The Canadians make their citizens pay too. Not only that they expect their rescued citizens to settle the invoice within 30 days

    “If your destination is affected by a large-scale emergency, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, the Government of Canada will send out updated information and advisories through its website, social media accounts, by email and in some cases, by phone and SMS.

    The Government of Canada may also, as a last resort, help Canadians with transportation to the nearest safe location on a cost-recovery basis when all other means of commercial and personal transportation have been exhausted. Canada sometimes coordinates evacuation assistance with other countries such as Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

    If you receive evacuation assistance from the Government of Canada, you will receive an invoice for the cost, which must be paid within 30 days. You are also responsible for paying for your travel beyond a safe location and any related costs.?

  11. But we Bajans are a secretive people. Some of us travel and don’t even tell our spouses and other members of the household our travel plans.

    When we do that we DESERVE to be stranded.


    I ALWAYS tell at least 2 first degree relatives exactly where I can be found. Airplane schedule, Hotels, landline telephone numbers, street names, etc.

  12. Why do we always make things seem so difficult? It ain’t that difficult.

    And Minister McClean was right. Too many Bajans too damn secretive. Of course Minister McClean put it in diplomatic terms but I ain’t no diplomat.

  13. This is what the Canadian government asks its citizens to do:

    After having warned them that:
    “There may be constraints on government resources that limit the ability of the Government of Canada to help you during a large-scale emergency abroad, particularly in countries with a high potential for violent conflict or political instability, or countries or regions recently affected by a natural disaster. In some cases, our ability to provide services may also be affected by the laws and regulations of other countries.”

    And they betta pay the rescue invoice in 30 days.

    Dem Canadians don’t play.

  14. A direct hit by a category 4 or 5 hurricane would just about wipe Barbados off the map.
    * Our most secure Hurricane Shelters are rated to withstand only up to a category 2 storm.
    * Builders have been ignoring sensible standards for generations.
    * Our electricity distribution system would be wiped out.
    * Major landslides are possible in the Scotland District.
    * Our electronic communication system would collapse, both the mobile and fixed line networks as well as internet connectivity.
    * Our potable water system would cease to function, both because of infrastructure damage and because it requires electrical power.
    * The sewage treatment systems would be inoperative.
    * Looting would probably start within hours, and we can anticipate a widespread breakdown in civil order within a couple of days as desperation sets in.
    * Most of the efforts of rich nations would be focused on the welfare of their citizens who are tourists here.

    In a word, we’d be f*^ked, and dependent on the kindness of strangers for our survival.

  15. @ fortyacresandamule

    There are no limitations as to what a DLP and a BLP Government can do at anytime, for white people, and do to Black people in this Barbados. I witness how a BLP Government representative for St. James Central, Kerrie Sysmonds claimed helplessness, to this day, in getting a remedy by MTW for a very dangerous situation at Clarkes Road, St. James. In which a foreign white woman was allowed to built an illegal private road in a watercourse, it caused flooding when heavy rain “up to last Thursday”. to the black residents on the other side. The DLP representative George Hutson had no limitations in his effort to get that same private road paved by MTW for the white woman. So where, how and to who does government limitations apply, even with a man made disaster in the making ?

  16. @ PLT wrote “Our most secure Hurricane Shelters are rated to withstand only up to a category 2 storm.”

    Where did you get this information ?

  17. FAAM

    Agree, not much you can do.

    But the better you understand the land around you the better off you are.

    If you are under the cliff say in the Bathsheba get out!!

    Watchman, they say we could get 8 inches so you may see a river like you never seen before.

    Depends where in Barbados it falls.

    Just in case, get out.

    I think we got maybe 15 hours (+-) until we start feeling it but it looks like the business part is going north so we may get off.

    Get a good night’s sleep and face the new day with hope!!

    We may get rain and some wind … or like Harvey we may never know we were hit!!

    But if you know you are in a watercourse or in an area prone to land slippage … get out!!

    In Florida, my family drove 5 hours in traffic to evacuate as ordered then 4 hours back.

    Had to use the internet to find a source of gas for the drive back.

    No damage to house, could have stayed but if the track was a little this way or that, house could have been gone and the need to start from scratch would present itself.

    … but trees all around took a beating.

    So get out of the way, you can replace a house, but not a life.

    When it is over and it is safe, then go and see what happened.

    Folks in Grenada who felt they could prepare with stocks of food and water and a generator got a rude awakening after Ivan.

    The generator told looters where the food and water was so all their plans were for nothing.

    Use your head and don’t do anything foolish.

  18. Try and be with people.

    Many hands make light work.

    If you have to leave home, take a cutlass or chainsaw with you because you may have to make a way back through fallen branches.

    Of course you can sit down helpless and wait till someone clears the road.

    Other than that, catch some water and play it safe.

    It will pass.

  19. We are lucky …. far enough into the Atlantic that storms often don’t get the time to intensify into hurricanes by the time they reach us …

    … and small enough that we can easily be missed.

    But we have been hit hard in the past.

    So keep your eyes firmly fixed on the threat.

  20. @ peterlawrencethompson,

    There are shelters that were designed to withstand Cat. 3 hurricanes.

    There is one that should withstand a cat. 4

    There is also one that is a cat. 5 shelter in place……Dodds.

  21. Here is why you should move if you are in the St. Elizabeth Area or anywhere under the cliff

    Better to return and find things ok than get caught in something like this.

    This happened 11th October, a few years after the devastating 1780 earthquake.

    Crabhole is now St. Elizabeth Village … and all the boulders down to the sea are there to see.

    The next major landslip was in Boscobelle in 1901, end of September early October.

    Rain fell for 3 days, 15 inches, 4-500 acres slipped.

    Cliff edge broke away, can still see it, and the boulders.

    Plenty other landslips in between and after but these are the two biggest I have found.

    From: The History of Barbados by John Poyer, first published in 1808, pp. 569-571.

    “Among the various operations of nature, which excite our admiration, alarm our fears, or amuse our imagination, the following singular and extraordinary phenomenon will not probably be deemed the least curious and interesting.

    On the eleventh day of October, the inhabitants of a part of St. Joseph’s parish called Crab-Hole, were alarmed at the appearance of several deep fissures in the earth, and their apprehensions were soon augmented, at finding that some small tenements had sunk to a considerable depth.

    These alarming appearances continuing to increase, many persons were induced to remove their effects to places of greater safety. The plantation known by the name of Walcott’s, was destined to be the melancholy scene of this extraordinary occurrence.

    Here, the manager, perceiving that the mansion house was in danger of being buried under the soil, which was descending in large, connected masses, from a neighbouring hill, fled with his family to one of the negro huts for shelter.

    In the course of that distressful night, most of the buildings of the plantation fell, or sunk into a deep chasm, which was presently filled up with the mold from the adjacent heights.
    The alarm now became general, and the people assembling near the spot were witnesses of a scene of truly awful and affecting. The aspect of the whole region from Walcott’s to Crab-hole, extending upwards of a mile in length, and in breadth about three hundred yards, exhibited a lamentable prospect.

    The earth, violently torn asunder, was intersected with numerous chasms, whose widely extended jaws seemed ready to ingulph whatever might be precipitated into them; while, in other places, it was swelled and inflated with enormous tumours, whose convulsive motions menaced the few remaining buildings with destruction.

    Nor was it long before they were involved in the general wreck, and, sinking into the yawning gulf, left no traces of their former existence behind them.
    The face of nature was so completely changed in that district, that few of the inhabitants could ascertain the spot on which many objects, familiar to their remembrance, had been recently placed.

    A field, planted in Eddoes, occupied the site on which the mansion house stood, and brought with it a long slip of the broad road, as perfect and entire as if it had not been removed*.
    The cocoa-nut trees, which grew about the house, and even the windmill, were gradually carried some hundred yards from their original position, where the latter was completely swallowed up, no part of it remaining visible but the extremity of the upper arm.

    It is not easy, perhaps, to explain satisfactorily the cause of this phenomenon. Probable conjecture ascribed it to the action of a number of subterraneous springs, in a loamy sandy soil, surrounded with recent excessive falls of rain: these springs, struggling for vent, might probably have excavated the encumbent earth wherever they endeavoured to force a passage. As these invisible waters glided onwards, the surface behind seems to have fallen in, or, meeting with a substratum of a soapy nature, continued sliding down the adjacent declivities as long as it retained, or acquired, sufficient moisture to facilitate its motion”.

    This is an occurrence that happens, not infrequently, in the parishes of Saint Andrew and Saint Joseph, during the rainy season. In that part of the country, which, from its resemblance to the highlands of North Britain, is Scotland, the earth is composed of various strata obliquely disposed. The super-stratum is generally a rich loamy soil of saponaceous nature, which, being of no considerable depth, easily separates, when saturated with rain, from the substratum, which is commonly of a slippery chalk, flat stones, or loose, red gravel, and slides in large masses, with its growing produce, into the vallies below. Thus whole fields of sugar canes, corn, and potatoes have sometimes changed masters, and even lofty trees have been removed to a considerable distance without injury. Of this the curious reader may find instances related in Hughes ‘s Nat. Hist. Barb. p. 21.

  22. @John. True. However, short of a force evacuation, some of our people are obstinate even in the face of danger. Then they turn around and blame the government for their predicament .

  23. The consensus here is that we do nothing?

    Earthquake Northeast of Antigua, Another Northwest of Trinidad on Saturday 16th September 2017.

    Two unrelated earthquakes that largely remain unfelt across Antigua and Barbuda early this morning, then northeastern Venezuela this evening.

    These earthquakes are both unrelated as they have occurred on completely different faults but it serves as a reminder that the Lesser Antilles, including Trinidad and Tobago, remain the most seismically active region on the Caribbean Plate.

    Each year, over 1200 earthquakes are recorded in the Eastern Caribbean. These earthquakes aren’t necessarily a precursor for a larger event.

    On average, the Eastern Caribbean has seen a pattern of quakes within M7.0 to M7.9 every 20 to 30 years. That pattern has stayed true and was last seen in an event north of Martinique in 2007.

    Historical patterns indicate earthquakes at and above the magnitude of 8.0 on the Richter Scale have occurred every century or so in the region, and the probability of another event at that level is high since the last >M8.0 earthquake occurred in 1843.

    No automatic alt text available.

    Image may contain: text

  24. Prepare but please do not be over anxious.

    Have you had a tetanus shot in the past 10 years? If not you should get one now. Cuts and scrapes and tetanus infection can occur during or after a hurricane and many many adults neglect to get a “free” tetanus shot at their nearest polyclinic. If you haven’t been immunised in the last 10 years get your tetanus shot as soon as possible.

    Do you have gloves and boots to make your cleanup a bit safer? Dealing with debris and dirty water without gloves and boots can be bad for your health. Do you have a garden fork just in case you no no water to flush your toilet and need to bury same in your yard?

    Remember we can live without cell phones. I did not have one until I was pass 55. A cell phone is not a necessity.

    A landline is not a necessity. I lived without telephone service in my village until I was an adult.

    We can live without electricity at home. I did not have electricity at home until I was about 12 years old. So unless you are injured and at the hospital without electricity or on dialysis or need to store insulin electricity at home is not a necessity. You can live for days/weeks/months/years without electricity. If you have an infant that has stopped breast feeding please have enough ready made formula on hand or enough sterilized water and dry formula on hand. And enough water to wash your own hands. Daily bathing except for those people who are incontinent is not a necessity. Half a pint of water and a washcloth applied to the right parts, and half a pint for hand washing is enough. Do NOT use your precious saved water to take daily baths. After a hurricane wake up at sunrise and go to bed at sunset. There is no need to run you generator at night.

    Catch enough water for drinking, cooking and hand washing to last a week or more. If you have toddlers in the house watch them very carefully. Toddlers can easily drown in open buckets of water. My mother told me that in the days before running water came to the villages it was a fairly common occurrence for toddlers to drown in buckets of water. WATCH your toddlers.

    In other words don’t over worry about “essential services” at home. Human beings have lived successfully without “essential” services for hundreds of thousands of years. Give the water and electricity people enough time to restore power to the hospital, district hospitals, polyclinics and nursing homes. The rest of us can wait.

    Tell your family overseas that you will contact them when you can even if it is weeks later. Advise them not to over worry and not to jam up whatever telephone service is left after a storm/hurricane.

    Simple Simon who was raised without “essential” services.

  25. My grandmother was orphaned at 12 years old after the 1898 hurricane. Her father was 42 when he died. At that time 14 children had been born into the family, some had not survived, some were adults, but his 38 year old widow of many children had to cope and raise the children without him. And in those days the state provided no welfare benefits especially for people deep in the country.

    He was a carpenter and died in the aftermath of the storm as he had been going out for many days working on damaged houses and “he kept on his wet flannel for too long” Probably pneumonia.

    A young distant cousin died about 20 years ago from one of the big ones that hit Miami. She returned home after dark and backed into her usual space at the back of her apartment building. What she did not know was that the retaining wall at the back of the parking lot had been destroyed after the storm. She and her car fell into the flooded canal and she drowned.

    A lot of deaths occur after a storm. PLEASE, PLEASE DO not to go out at night.

  26. Ensure that every member of your family takes a proper bath before a storm hits. Clean always feels better. And let the children and go to sleep in their clean home clothes, not flimsy nighties or long gowns.

    You and your spouse or other adult family member should sleep in shifts after a storm. At least one adult should be awake at all times. Try to get small children to sleep as much as possible. It will reduce their anxiety and yours.

    Although I was old enough to remember Janet, I remember nothing. Apparently my parents made the children sleep as though nothing was happening, and they took turns being awake.

  27. Rain started

    33 parts in the blink of an eye

    No wind to speak of.

    If you have a dog, bring it in, not much thunder yet but it may make them run.

  28. After the initial downpour the rain eased and fell lightly … so far only 58 parts.

    Probably not enough to affect the levels in the Graeme Hall Swamp to the extent that the manholes will act up.

    Would be interesting to read the level in the channel.

    It is extremely still outside, heavily overcast.

    But no rain falling my side.

    • Barbados will be affected by the outer bands given the distance of the eye which is over 100 miles to the North. It is still because the eye may be passing?

  29. @ David, Will the manholes in Rendezvous start to weep again?

    Rain for most morning, passed there an hour ago, the manhole not weeping as yet…..

  30. The level in the channel is at 0.68 metres, still below .7 metres

    Last High tide was 0.69 at 2 pm.

    The sand was cleared recently.

    If they did it in the morning, low tide was at .11 metres.

    High tide at 2pm has partially isolated the channel from the sea.

    Lowtide will be at 7.44 pm will be at 0.26 metres.

    The tide for the moment is falling.

    No problems with the manholes, level still too low I reckon.

    Somebody has their head on …. I suspect the backhoe is on standby.

    Hightide tonight is at 1:48am (tomorrow!!) and is at 0.79 metres.

    So after low tide tonight at 7:44pm, if the channel is not blocked, it will start to become blocked as its level rises.

    Rain tonight might be a problem, depending on the quantity.

    I suspect that even in the absence of rain the tide could cause the level in the channel to rise and depending on how high, the manholes will perform!!

    We will know in the morning.

  31. It is now a hurricane, speeds at 65

    Eye looks as though it will pass north

    Means North of the island will probably bear the brunt

    If you are in the Scotland District beware ….. probably wise to get out

  32. It is big enough that the whole island will feel its wrath

    Hope it does not decide to stop and strengthen but just keeps going.

    Not good for the islands in its path.

    Looks like an Irma repeat, just starting closer to us.

    Guadeloupe is in the way.

    • These systems are known to ‘wobble’ if we use the jargon of the meteorologist. Let us hope it does not wobble South.

  33. Wind speeds up to 85

    Still NE and the eye is distinct

    Latitude is 14.2 Longitude 58.4

    Would like to see the Longitude past 59.

    Latitude is encouraging, we are at 13 07 …. at least Bridgetown is.

    Twenty miles north is St. Lucy.

    The eye is about 1.2 degrees north, about 70 odd miles north ….. and to the east.

    Good thing is the Latitude keeps increasing.

    St. Lucy is 50 miles South of the eye.

    Hurricane force winds extend outward 15 miles, lucky for St. Lucy

    … but storm force winds are out to 105 miles.

    We will get a touch, doesn’t look avoidable

    But the islands to the North West …. they will in all likelihood get hammered as the hurricane strengthens.

  34. Moving west at 13 mph

    To get from 58.4 degreed to 59 it has to travel 0.6 degree

    A degree is 60 miles plus a bit

    So it is going to take 3 hours approximately to get north of us.

    We will know soon what’s what.

    Problem is it is strengthening too so in 3 hours it may be more than the 105 miles that storm force winds extend out.

    We should know by 4 am what is what.

    Good luck

  35. Rain falling constantly

    Wind not bad.

    Looks like guage stuck at 65 parts.

    Was a lot more

    So the Swamp should be filling.

    Hope the folks in the North of the island ok.

    Last advisory has it 14.4 North, 59 West

    Dead North of us

    It went up 0.2 degrees so about 12 miles

    It is about 82 miles or so north of us with storm winds out 105 miles, so we are on storm watch not hurricane watch.

    It is expected to strengthen and become a major hurricane before it reaches the leewards.

    Not nice.

  36. Batteries dead

    Went and got some … Christ Church does not seem to be affected apart from the rain

    No Thunder and lightning

    Electricity on

    A couple of cars driving.

    But I worry about the North

  37. … and the manholes are flowing!!

    Figured they would after that last big rain.

    The adjacent properties are flooded with water coming into the road but I think it is more from the level of the Swamp rising with the rain.

    The water goes into the drain by FCIP and down towards Peronne Gap.

    Out there should be flooded by tomorrow, rain constantly drizzling.

    …. did not see any floaters!!

  38. Gone past our longitude according to 5 am advisory

    14.6 N and 59.5 West

    We getting out of the woods by degrees!!

    Any news from the north?

  39. John,
    I am in Atlanta at the moment, and I found your discrete reports on the passage of Maria to be quite helpful. I have friends and family in the North of the island, so like you, I am very interested in finding out how they fared.

    I want to take this opportunity to thank you very much for the value you added to the readership of BU through your selfless efforts overnight.

  40. You are welcome.

    The rain is still falling but not hard, just constant.

    77 parts since I changed the batteries.

    I am guessing we had over 3 inches so far.

    The sluice gate can’t be opened by the backhoe till low tide.

    We are coming off a high tide which was at 0.79 metres.

    Looks like Dominica and other will be getting the chop this afternoon and tonight.

    The same islands that Irma devastated look like they will get hit again before she turns into the Atlantic.

  41. Thanks mitchlans

    Believe or not TLSN, the hurricane is now affecting my area adversely … even though it is far away!!

    Telephone was knocked out, then electricity all back now.

    It you look at Guadeloupe Radar you will see why.

    The “tail” is hitting us now.

    The winds were more severe (nothing extreme) and from the south, south west whereas they were from the North, Northwest last night.

    Again if you watch the motion of the “tail” you will understand the change in direction.

    Most people, including me up to a while ago, thinks it is only if the eye goes over that you see a change in direction and a calm in between.

    Rain fell again for a time, so far since I changed the batteries an inch and 60 parts, so 77 parts in the morning then 83 in the afternoon.

    Watch its motion as it makes its way through the Leewards.

    Hopefully it won’t knock out Guadeloupe Radar because there ain’t no backup in Barbados.

    … awaiting critical parts …. expected sometime in September 2017 …. except September is almost over.

    I wonder if we will see it before the most active four weeks of the season passes.

    Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible as CBC used to put up!!

  42. I got to give credit to somebody who ensured the sluice gate was opened .. I think sometime around midday, before the heavy rain.

    I figure I know who the body are, we met by chance during an inspection by the body.

    Tell the backhoe operator I will shake his hand .. again .. next time I see him!!

    Here is why I am thanking the body.

    Graeme Hall Swamp was full to overflowing this morning around 4 am.

    Any more rain would have caused flooding.

    We had more rain, it is still set.

    By lowering the swamp level between rainfalls inconvenience was prevented for many who don’t have a clue it was you.


    If you read the engineering reports published on line, here too, you will see recommendations for long term solutions are made.

    Build a berm to contain overflow, fix the gate to control the level.

    It was offered for free!!

    It is a pity that a few small minded, greedy individuals lost Barbados that opportunity.

    You and the backhoe operator would not have to be running your blood to water trying to contain what could be a really bad situation from developing.

    The tide will probably close off the channel tonight so I guess the process will repeat itself in the morning.

    Meantime you got to be watching the rain.

    Put wireless rain gauges in the catchment area linked by the internet to a central location if you have not done that already.

    One on Ministry of Agriculture to start, that one might do the trick.

    The top of the LOB building or Gymnasium are other places too.

    Probably don’t need many.

    The catchment area is outlined in the engineering report.

    You can probably get a wireless level guage that will communicate by the internet to a central location so the level in the channel can be monitored.

    The press will hopefully start directing their attention to the people who have the power to do something instead of wasting its time on imaginary sewage leaks by Big B.

  43. Cat 4 now …. see how it works.

    It is our location that gives us the real edge over the other islands and Hurricanes are just one aspect of the benefits of that location.

    We no longer have the size of advantage we had in days of sail.

    It never was about the oodles of $$$ made by some imaginary white racist planters.

    We are tiny.

  44. @ John September 18, 2017 at 6:02 PM
    I got to give credit to somebody who ensured the sluice gate was opened .. I think sometime around midday, before the heavy rain.
    I figure I know who the body are, we met by chance during an inspection by the body.
    Tell the backhoe operator I will shake his hand .. again .. next time I see him!!
    Here is why I am thanking the body.
    Graeme Hall Swamp was full to overflowing this morning around 4 am.
    Any more rain would have caused flooding.
    We had more rain, it is still set.
    By lowering the swamp level between rainfalls inconvenience was prevented for many who don’t have a clue it was you.”

    So you see how easy it is for a reformed white supremacist in the body of John the modern-day Quaker to offer basic instructional advice to a group of overly ‘mis-educated’ niggers with not even a modicum of commonsense in solving a rather straightforward matter.

    Congratulations, Sir John, you and your ilk have done a tremendous job on the psyche of the Bajan blacks.

    What would they do without the ownership, control, guidance and downright direct supervision of their white masters and role models? What an absolutely necessary retro event to the good ole plantation days with only the whip of physical brutality missing.

    When are you and the other whites going to make your presence felt once again in making sure your former field hands and house slaves clean up the exceedingly filthy place called blackened blighted Barbados before Mother Nature takes revenge in the most Irma-like fashion?

    If only Sir Cow and his people can drag the likes of the dirty down Lowe and the ossified blackened ugly beast of the lowest of real class at the top to look around them and see the awful state of the formerly well-kept and pristinely-manicured Barbados once likened by National Geographic to a quaint tropical village in the English country side, maybe, just maybe, the unfortunate fallout from the damage caused by Hurricane Irma on the country’s northerly competitors in the tourism business can be put to good use to the benefit of the once gem of the Caribbean to save its sorry ass from pending forex starvation.

    Here is a bit of advice Sir John. Make sure the field hands start with a good clearing and cleaning of the drains and suck wells.

    Then make sure the house slaves understand the necessity of removing the growing mounds of garbage, plastics cups, Styrofoam containers aka mosquito breeding bedrooms, and the abandoned and derelict vehicles.

    Then you might just be getting some where in your Sisyphean task of making Bajan niggers in your own quirky Quaker image.



    We were on flood watch till this evening.

    This hurricane looks worse than Irma.

    Lowest pressure I saw in Irma was 917 mbars.

    This one was at 925 last I looked this evening.

    The lower the pressure the more powerful the hurricane.

  47. MTA

    In both instances I just happened to be there when they appeared!!

    I did not go to give any instruction.

    de body and I know one anudda from before!!

  48. @ John September 18, 2017 at 9:49 PM

    You mean like how your white supremacist ideology and love of Trump identifies you?

    PLT rightly identified you as one brilliant HC boy turned into as a raging apologist for slavery using your schizophrenic association with some missionary view of Quakerism to justify your deep love of what Trump stands for.

    Now what can be more sickly confusing than that?

    All I was saying to you, Sir John, is that the same way you can point out the obvious commonsense solution to the overflow problem with the Graeme Hall swamp thereby proffering a concomitant solution to the sewage overflow in that area, why not offer a similar solution to the inevitable flooding across Barbados because of the growing nasty habits of mainly black Bajans?

    What are you waiting for? A category 1 hurricane to show Bajans the error of their nasty ways?

    Can’t you people see that Mother Nature is warning you guys by returning your filth from the Ocean as recently showcased on the Wharf road?

    Just a foretaste of what’s in store for you guys. Just imagine the spectacle of those derelict and carelessly abandoned vehicles being strip of their metallic parts and used as deadly missiles like galvanize as they are easily propelled through the air fuelled by 130 mph hurricane winds?

    You might just be ‘expectantly’ surprised how black Bajan officials would listen to your warnings of potential despair and desolation and act proactively the same way they listened to Herbert, Cow & Bizzy when that black idiot the Jester ‘Physical-deficit’ Inch put his parasitic foot in his rotten mouth and was forced to climb down from politically-shaky Mount Olympus currently occupied by a Fumbling fool and his gang of incompetent and corrupt goons.

  49. @ David,

    Hurricane Maria poses even more questions. Now a Cat. 5 on top of Dominica.

    Maybe Caribbean leaders will get serious about creating and enforcing Building Codes.

  50. I did not go to give any instruction.

    I lie … I met the backhoe operator because I went like a few others to protect a life …. actually many.

    I came and found them there.

    All of us, different colours all shouted instructions to him because he could not see from his cab what the hoe at the end of the articulated arm was doing in the discoloured water.

    We were hard pressed to see ourselves.

    I was probably the least vocal in shouting instructions but somehow all of us, the operator included managed to do no harm!!

    I did not have to!!

    Pandemonium …. bare women making bare noise to ensure he could see what they themselves could barely see in the discoloured water at night even with the full moon.

    Then the turtle emerged under the gate unscathed and disappeared into the sea with the wash of discoloured water!!

    None of us knew what we were doing, including the backhoe driver who had never done anything like that before.

    … but he had the vital knowledge of how to “open” the gate!

  51. MTA

    I don’t know how I get myself into these situations.

    I was just minding my own business looking to understand how the gate worked and how the tides and levels interacted.

  52. A series of Facebook posts by Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit captured the fury of the storm as it made landfall on the mountainous island.

    “The winds are merciless! We shall survive by the grace of God,” Skerrit wrote at the start of a series of increasingly harrowing posts.

    Stop, …. close your eyes ….. try to imagine Froon or OSA or any other PM of Barbados saying these words as a first response when faced with catastrophe!!

    You might get a reference to God in a prepared speech but if you were to hear these words come out of their mouths you would have to wonder what happened.

  53. Maybe they will see the benefits of concrete roofs for houses in the Caribbean, more durable and a whole lot better than flying galvanize….now that hurricanes are becoming more dangerous, better organized and have staying power to spare, this is the 2nd week Jose is holding his own, looping around the coastline and battering the coast.

  54. There is more rain, thunder and lightning between last night and this morning than the day before. So much so that schools have been ordered closed! Let us remember Dominica.

  55. @ David,

    This is a good time for Grenville Phillips to contribute to the discussion.

    Barbadians cannot expect to be “lucky” every hurricane season.

  56. A simple question: With the storm on the horizon shouldn’t Skerrit have been at some secure location ready to direct efforts in the aftermath? Instead he on fb telling the world he lost his roof. Methinks the roof is not the only thing missing.

  57. @ Sargeant,

    How do you know a secure location exists in Dominica to protect from a cat. 5 hurricane ?

    At least Barbados has a few including Dodds.

  58. At least Barbados has a few including Dodds.

    Who built Dodds .. name of contractor?

    Specs are one thing, the finished product is another!!

  59. David September 19, 2017 at 6:29 AM #
    There is more rain, thunder and lightning between last night and this morning than the day before. So much so that schools have been ordered closed! Let us remember Dominica.


    … and wind like I never experienced.

    Again, the band being sucked into Maria all those miles away was being sucked to a place of really low pressure so it was travelling and angry when it passed over Barbados.

  60. Good to see Bajans stepping up.

    “The Barbados Defence Force is preparing to deploy personnel to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to the Commonwealth of Dominica in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

    We are appealing to the general public to donate items such as bottled water, medical/first aid supplies, canned foods, baby items (to include formula) and personal hygiene items.

  61. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger. September 19, 2017 at 5:33 AM #
    Maybe they will see the benefits of concrete roofs for houses in the Caribbean,

    I don’t know. Maybe Grenville can weight in here.

    But my experience with concrete roofs both here and in the great white north–even those parts of the great white north with excellent building codes—is that they leak, especially when exposed to monster rain or snowfalls.

  62. Our old time high pitch roofs were all that are required…..the stronger the wind the more the roof is kept in place.

    Concrete roofs with the rain,heat and cooling will crack even with fiber mesh type being added.

  63. In addition a galvanized roof–assuming that the wooden substructure remains in place–for a basic three bedroom, one bathroom house can be replaced for less than $2,000 USD, and two carpenters without using highly specialized equipment can do the job in one day. I know because I had one done a couple of years ago.

    Grenville can correct me but I don’t believe that a concrete roof can be replaced at that speed and at that cost. And we must remember that we are speaking of communities where people are poor. In this case some of the work and money goes directly to the carpenters in the villages instead of to the large, sometimes foreign companies who own the concrete companies

  64. Simple Simon you forgot to add in the wicked 10% NSRL that will add another 30-40% unto the final cost of supplies. More cement board and drywall houses will replace the wooden chattel houses. If a man can kick those houses down then it is fodder for any tropical storm.

    This NSRL will prevent people from building proper houses . Is this what this government want for its people?

  65. Here is an example of building a wooden house.

    Here is the second failure mode of a roof in a hurricane/storm.

    The roof lifts due to a reduction of pressure, roof behaves like a airplane wing.

    So two failure modes for roofs, one easy to imagine the other not so easy.

    Building needs to be tied together.

    Talk with a builder/contractor first and depending on complexity and budget, structural engineer.

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