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Tropical Storm Dolly and memories of disasterous hurricanes 
20th-Jul-2008 02:41 pm

So, Tropical Storm Dolly is hitting us with all that she got. Apparently she gave Jamaica a hard time before coming here to us, and showering us with her plentiful water. We the Cayman Islands are a small trio of islands, and on Grand Cayman a lot of where we are is actually below sea-level, so we get flooded horribly. 

This is just a tropical storm and my grandmother had to flee her place and come to ours because the water was rising all around her and she was going to be trapped in the place with no way out. The water would soak through the door and make it swell, making it impossible to move so she couldn't escape if the water rose dangerously inside of the house.

So we're having a little camp with her here, and I'm glad that she's here safe with us, because so far our section hasn't really flooded. After Hurrican Ivan (who completely destroyed 99% of the islands) we've learnt to respect these forces of nature.

On September 11th, 2004, Hurricane Ivan, a category 5 hurricane hit the Cayman Islands head on, the eye passing right over Grand Cayman. 220 knot winds, we weren't ready for it. We'd grown used to normal little dangerless hurricanes, and were proud. Many people were caught without proper preparations. Houses collapsed (as did certain 'safe buildings' where people had gone to wait out the hurricane), houses flooded up (in mine we had to be constantly using buckets and containers to shovel up the rising water and throw it down the sink), and some of the large mansion-like houses on the beach front complete disappeared...the only thing left were some furniture tha'd been swept on the other side of the road thanks to the wave that covered the whole island.

When you're in a one story apartment, shovelling water desperately into the sinks, seeing the water inside continuing to rise up your calves, the water OUTSIDE rising above the window-levels, and cars and large, heavy containers outside just floating away, well, that really brings the fear of God into you. At least we didn't have it as bad as many people, who were stuck in the holes they'd had to make in their ceilings to get up from safety from the rising water inside of their houses---or those who'd had to brave the storm and swim away from their houses as they collapsed or were completely submerged in the rising water.

So...yeah...now we see hurricane's with more respect, and every time there's a chance of one developing and coming our we we only have one prayer on our lips: 

"Dear God, please don't make it be another Ivan."

20th-Jul-2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
Wow, I can honestly say I have no idea what you are going or have gone through. I live in Vancouver, Canada where we never get, I guess it would be typhoons as we are on the Pacific Ocean. We get lots and lots and lots of rain but that's pretty standard for around here, so flooding only happens occasionally when we get a huge storm. We do get hurricane force winds some times that cause problems.

Anyways, I hope you, your family and your house comes out of the storm ok.
20th-Jul-2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
Thankfully Dolly is only a tropical storm, so we're only getting some flooding, no wind damage or anything. We're just hoping that during this Hurricane Season we don't get a hurricane our way.
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