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Old 27-09-2017, 07:31   #1
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ON SITE REPORT FROM ST MAARTEN

First time I have been able to get internet access since Irma hit down here. Irma gave us a 268 mph enema, and this was followed up by Maria which had winds here in excess of 100 mph.
St Maarten has been knocked back to the stone age. I have been all around the island now and the devastation is unbelievable. All the marinas except mine at Poto Cupecoy have been destroyed. 90% of all the boats on the island were sunk or destroyed. Fortunately my 44' Cheoy Lee survived with almost no damage. The winds here were recorded with gusts to 268 mph. One of the big marinas had a huge number of their docks collapse, another all the cleats let go, and the yards look like they were carpet bombed. There are boats sunk everywhere ranging in size from 10' - 152'. I can not believe how many people did a poor job of preparation in tying down their vessels.
A large portion of the island still has no power, water, cell service, and there is no internet service anywhere. Food and water are scarce and the Goombahs here have looted and stolen everything that was not nailed down. Every store, business, and even the containers in the port were broken into. The looting is still going on although the military is cracking down
Friends from the BVI contacted me and 80% - 90% of all the boats there are destroyed. The charter fleets are gone at Moorings and all the other charter bases. The logistics of turning this around are mind blowing, and the government is stumbling around shell shocked and ineffectual. If the Dutch government does not step in and take over to run the restoration this will take a decade to fix if at all.
I will be checking my email sporadically and if anyone needs help or information on site here with the disposition of a boat I will try to help.
PM me on this site.
Cheers, Rourke
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Old 27-09-2017, 11:20   #2
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Re: ON SITE REPORT FROM ST MAARTEN

Very sorry to hear about all the damage and my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in the Caribbean who were affected. And I'm glad your boat made it because of it's location.

I do question you're comment about boats not being properly tied down. How do you properly tie down a boat for 250mph winds? I would suspect that no boat could have been tied down in such a way that it would have survived in any of the hurricane holes or marinas that were completely destroyed.
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Old 27-09-2017, 11:55   #3
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Re: ON SITE REPORT FROM ST MAARTEN

Thank you for posting your observations.

Good luck. Keep us informed.

Best wishes for speedy recovery of the Islands.
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Old 27-09-2017, 12:48   #4
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Re: ON SITE REPORT FROM ST MAARTEN

Hello, rourkeh,

That must have been a pretty wrenching trip around the island. Congratulations on you and your boat making it through unscathed.

Thank you for your offer of help.

Ann
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Old 27-09-2017, 13:01   #5
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Re: ON SITE REPORT FROM ST MAARTEN

Thanks for the update, glad you and boat are ok, that's a tough hit. I hope we do a better job in Puerto Rico and the V.I.'s





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Old 27-09-2017, 13:28   #6
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Re: ON SITE REPORT FROM ST MAARTEN

It sounds like it is going to be very bad for the locals to me. With a 50% or more job rate dependent on tourism, and nothing left... not good.
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Old 28-09-2017, 09:26   #7
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Re: ON SITE REPORT FROM ST MAARTEN

Glad you made it through that horrible situation. Hopefully, the various gov't and organizations will get their collective acts together and really start cleaning up and rebuilding. If they don't, the fragile island economies will not recover for many years, sinking the islands into an unwelcome situation.

I couldn't help do a double take on the wind speed you stated -- must be a typo? According to the official reports, 185 mph was the highest speed recorded, making it the second most powerful hurricane in history.

From the report: "While its power has now lessened, Hurricane Irma's highest recorded wind speed was 185mph. This makes it the second most powerful Atlantic hurricane on record behind Hurricane Allen's 190mph winds in 1980."

Stay safe.
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Old 28-09-2017, 10:42   #8
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Re: ON SITE REPORT FROM ST MAARTEN

268 kph rather than mph ???
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Old 28-09-2017, 10:48   #9
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Re: ON SITE REPORT FROM ST MAARTEN

Yes, that’s probably it — Kilometers/hour which is about 166 MPH. Still catastrophic and scarier than crap.
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Old 28-09-2017, 10:52   #10
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Re: ON SITE REPORT FROM ST MAARTEN

Horrible; but such extremes bring out not only the worst of humanity, but also its best. St. Maarten will rebuild. Keep the faith.
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Old 28-09-2017, 10:55   #11
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Re: ON SITE REPORT FROM ST MAARTEN

Thanks for that positive reminder, Daniel.
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Old 28-09-2017, 11:03   #12
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Re: ON SITE REPORT FROM ST MAARTEN

At the rate things get done in the islands it sounds like it will be a long time,,even if they ever recover ....I was coming down the Gulf Coast to the keys & then the Bahamas but I think I will put it off
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Old 28-09-2017, 11:19   #13
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Re: ON SITE REPORT FROM ST MAARTEN

Actually, the 185mph was SUSTAINED Winds.

I saw at least one report of "gust above 215mph"
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Old 28-09-2017, 11:26   #14
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Re: ON SITE REPORT FROM ST MAARTEN

Quote:
Originally Posted by rourkeh View Post
Food and water are scarce and the Goombahs here have looted and stolen everything that was not nailed down. Every store, business, and even the containers in the port were broken into. The looting is still going on although the military is cracking down
What are Goombahs? I read Italians, really? Why - with a population of only 33 thousand - one cannot prevent this? where there such problems before already? -

Terrible this destruction, will be hard to rebuild.
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Old 28-09-2017, 11:33   #15
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Re: ON SITE REPORT FROM ST MAARTEN

Quote:
Originally Posted by Var Korall View Post
268 kph rather than mph ???
I cannot speak to St. Maarten, but on Tortola, the Department of Disaster Management recorded 220 mph winds before their equipment became disabled. I have heard three credible reports where gusts hit 300, probably in tornadoes, which apparently agrees with NOAA and the Hurricane Hunters. One source for the discrepancy may be with the "sustained" wind and the " gusts". Gusts can routinely reach 30% more than sustained, and that correlates. But it most definitely was MPH and not KPH. I could write a long list of unfathomable occurrences and things getting moved from one place to the other. Cats more than 50 feet in the air. Cats landing on rooftops and staying there. A large catamaran ferry (Speedy's) being tossed up onto the shore in one eyewall and being tossed back into the water, upright, by the other. Concrete pillars being thrown onto roofs. That sort of thing. Irma set the record for the longest continuous period of being a cat 5.

Here in the BVI, great care is taken with tying up boats, but even that was not enough. My Jet Stream was secured with 35 lines and her anchor chain, and got away with moderate damage, but upright and afloat. She was very blessed and lucky. The mast is there, too, but when you look at it closely, it's been totalled. Something must have hit it very hard. One fuel tank, very securely mounted, shifted more than a foot, probably during the impact that the transoms took with the dock. It is almost impossible to understand, unless you were here, that is all I can say, and this is not the first time I have been through the eye of a hurricane.

All that said, the damage was catastrophic but not quite as bad as reported. I think that more than 20% of the vessels will be rehabilitated. One charter company has announced it will have 120 boats ready for November. Another small one, has announced it is opened for business.

The private sector, the BVI Government, and the UK have been working tirelessly in cleanup and the results are very evident. Not many are crying the blues, rather, they are working hard to get things back in shape for some sort of charter season. It won't be like before, but it won't be dead, either.

My heart goes out to fellow sufferers in Puerto Rico, the USVI, St. Maarten and Dominica. I have a feeling that the road to recovery may be much longer in some of those places, if for no other reason than that they are larger and more unwieldy and maybe more reliant on government. Private citizens can do an awful lot, if they each do their part, and one is seeing that here.

Cheers, from a recovering war zone,
Tim
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