Originally Posted by Var Korall
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,