October 12 - South Florida - RELIEF SUPPLY SHIPMENTS:
Kelly Meister, Maureen Anstey and I (Barb Tierney) spent all day yesterday (11 October 99) at the shipping & receiving warehouse of G&G. The freighter is loaded.. and I mean LOADED... . Sharon Kossack did an incredible job of getting school supplies to the warehouse.. There are about 15 or 20 pallets that are nothing but "school".
Florida Yacht Brokers & Marine Industries of Florida purchased about $15,000 in building materials and paid for the freight charter.. Lot's of ply, 2x4's various lengths, nails, felt, shingles etc... a lot of donated goods, (some of the food & water we diverted to South Eleuthra). G&G has been taking our goods there free and we have a pick up person at the other end for distribution doing the same great job that Steve Russell is doing for us in Abaco. The ship is scheduled to arrive Abaco late tonight and again we'll send Forty Sawyer out to pilot them in & off load, probably Wed am. depending on tides.
Steve Russell will escort goods to the Cooperstown staging facility for proper distribution. And so it goes...... Best guess (I haven't seen the manifest yet) at least 500,000 lbs. of materials on this shipment.
Barb Tierney / Bradford Yacht Sales / Florida Yacht Brokers Association - South Florida
Tuesday September 28: The first major relief shipment (by G&G Shipping-Dania, FL) arrived in Treasure Cay (300,000 lbs. of much needed supplies, re-building materials and other donations). Under the supervision of Steve Russell (Earl's son), this material will be distributed throughout the Abacos to specific needs-targeted areas.
9/17/99 -- 6:15PM: Virtually ALL import duties and tarrifs on HURRICANE RELIEF MATERIALS were lifted, or temporarily excused at THREE Out Island airports by order of Prime Minister, Hubert Ingraham.
Visual inspection (during 9/16 private flight to Abaco) of northern Abaco (Fox town, Coopers Town, Crown Haven and nearby settlements) confirmed these tiny villages had indeed suffered catastrophic damage, with most, if not all, homes destroyed and virtually no housing for the homeless currently available. Additional Gulfstream International airlines relief flights were filled to maximum capacity, with relief supplies scheduled for delivery to the most needy areas currently accessable. Green Turtle Cay suffered significant damage in several areas, including the White Sound resorts. The majority of non-oceanfront, concrete-and-block homes in Bethell Estates/Green Turtle Estates (the area immediately "across the road" from Abaco Yacht Services) did not suffer significant structural damage. Bluff House, due to its elevation and unprotected position above the Sea of Abaco, was especially hard-hit. Parts of New Plymouth in the lower-lying end near Miss Emily's and The Wrecking Tree ... as well as the residential areas bordering the Sea of Abaco were also damaged by storm surge and wind-blown seas. New Plymouth's "perimeter road (including the newly completed stretch along Settlement Creek)" has ceased to exist in many places. Due to lack of manpower (personpower?) necessary to identify and arrange for shipping needs-targeted relief and reconstruction materials, the scheduled relief effort organizational meeting was rescheduled for AM 9/20/99.
9/16/99 -- 3:25PM: The support for the relief efforts has been substantial and almost immediate ... Gulfstream International Airlines has begun relief flights as well as numerous other pivate and charter flights. In addition to the support offered by local radio stations WIOD, WINZ AND WQAM, the local CBS affiliate (Channel 4 - WFOR) Neighbors-To-Neighbors program has volunteered huge amounts of very valuable assistance in the form of information distribution as well as manpower and logistical support. Additionally, generous South Florida corporate citizens have volunteered in whatever capacity appropriate. The 7:45AM "discovery flight" to Treasure and Green Turtle has not yet returned to Ft. Lauderdale.
9/16/99 -- 7:45AM: Robert Meister (Treasure Cay Resort) and Jim Nawn (Green Turtle Club) are flying to Abaco this AM and will provide first-hand reports, updates and progress on the relief effort as well as general conditions in the Abacos. We will post this information as soon as we get it.
9/16/99 -- 1:15AM: The number of supportive e-mails (about 15-20/hour) we have received regarding the Abacos is almost overwhelming. To the many, many concerned, caring and generous go-abacos site visitors over the past few days, thanks VERY much for your offers of assistance and your concern.
9-15-99 -- 8:22PM: The damage in the Abacos has been relatively massive but, surprisingly, not universal. Elbow Cay has been cut in half, many of the "large buildings" in Marsh Harbour have been completely destroyed and much of Marsh Harbour is still underwater. The damage is less extensive in Green Turtle, with reports that many of the island's homes are still intact. Sandy Point, Cherokee, Little Harbour as well as Coopers Town and points north suffered significant damage. Reports on the Abacos' two airports indicate they are still UNusable, but are expected to be open by Friday, 9/17/99.
Our friends in GREEN TURTLE CAY, MARSH HARBOUR, MAN-'O-WAR, TREASURE CAY, ELBOW CAY, GUANA CAY (The Abaco Islands) and ELEUTHERA need help now!
Please donate: canned goods, baby food and diapers, bottled water, can openers, personal hygiene supplies, insect repellant, hats, candles, blankets-bedding, flash lights, batteries, roofing materials, clothing, camping supplies AND TENTS, ... anything you can think of to make these peoples' lives more bearable. A bank account has been set-up specifically for money donations.
9-15-99 - 8:01PM:
Gulfstream has relief-dedicated
equipment (Beechcraft 1900 - 6000 lbs. capacity) standing by,
and is flying much needed relief supplies. The Bahamian government
has been cooperating fully with this Florida-based relief effort
and more than a half-dozen Florida radio stations and WFOR-TV
(CBS - South Florida) have agreed to help support the effort.
In the Abacos (via HAM and satellite phone reports): Elbow Cay has literally been cut in half by the storm driven seas -- Chris Pruitt, BASRA (Bahamas Air-Sea Rescue) coordinator on Elbow Cay (Hopetown) reported via radio that Hopetown was "utter devastation."
Additionally, many marinas have suffered extensive damage and many, many boats have simply ceased to exist; as of early AM 9/15, Marsh Harbour (third largest settlement in Bahamas) was still under substantial levels of water; major buildings (banks and supermarkets) have experienced very significant damage; both airports (Treasure and Marsh) are closed due to debris, damage and associated destruction; the connecting road between Marsh Harbour (south - central Abaco) and Treasure Cay (central - north Abaco) is impassable; very limited water is available due to salt pollution of cisterns and the failure of the mainland's primary pumping station; medical supplies are in extremely limited quantity; rebuilding/repair supplies are very limited or non-existent.
WEBMASTER NOTE:The misery and dislocation caused by Floyd is huge and it will get worse. The sense of community, of bonding together for a common cause among normally competitive hotel and business owners and many, many faceless (internet/website) people, is just astounding. The visitor traffic to thi s website has increased by more than 100% over the past two days, with 99% of all storm-related e-mail expressing prayers, support and volunteering of whatever the e-writer is able to volunteer. I personally thank each and every go-abacos visitor for their honest expressions of caring and true, compassionate concern for the kind and gentle people of the Abacos.
September 14, 1999 -- Hurricane Floyd
Abacos/Green Turtle Cay [Earl Russell - HAM], with additional reports courtesy of Lynn Russell (Green Turtle Club), Jim Nawn (Green Turtle Club) and several other dedicated Abaconians and long-term visitors.
|| 7:14AM: all electricity to the Abacos out ... winds sustained at 55mph ... Floyd moving WNW at 14mph - 155mph winds ... expected to pass slightly to the South of the Abacos/Green Turtle by mid-afternoon
|| 12:15pm - ALL communication [including HAM] with Eleuthera is out - gusts to 125mph reported south of Marsh Harbour
|| 2:25pm - Green Turtle - 140-160mph gusts in Green Turtle - 8 foot storm surge experienced - 5 feet of water in downtown - barometer at 28.40 [central NOAA pressure was 27.43 at this time]
|| 4:12pm - Marsh Harbour - eye of Floyd believed to be passing over Little Harbour [25 miles south of Marsh] - storm maintaining 150mph winds - Little Harbour and Pete Johnston's Foundry and Pub believed to be totally destroyed
|| 4:22pm - Little Abaco reported 23 foot storm surge from the West - radio communication with Green Turtle out since 3pm - the Earl Russell family was forced by rising water to move to the second floor of their Black Sound-Green Turtle home
|| 4:59pm - North Abaco experiencing 140mph sustained winds with the eye of the storm believed to be passing directly over Green Turtle Cay
|| 5:44pm - The eye of Floyd took 1.5 HOURS to cross Little Harbour, thereby accounting for the damage mentioned above. As of this time, no loss of life reported in Green Turtle
|| 9:00pm - The eye of the storm finally departed the Abacos, but not before delivering a "final swipe" at these delicate and fragile islands ... the storm's backside winds (to the south of the eye) delivered a least one gust up to 190mph and unroofed many more homes in the Green Turtle-Treasure Cay areas. Lynn Russell's VHF survey of Green Turtle determined at approximately 9:15pm that no fatalities were recorded on Green Turtle and that the storm winds were finally begining to subside.
Additional damage reports will be posted here as they become available.
WEBMASTER NOTE [8-31-99]: Based on more than a dozen "e-reports" and 3 telephone conversations with local government representatives and hotel-resort owners, it appears that the northern settlements received more damage than those to the south (Marsh, Elbow and further south). Due to the fact that the strongest winds were from the Northwest (according to reliable sources in Green Turtle, up to 130 mph!), oceanfront properties fared better than properties located the easten side of the Sea of Abaco. Many Sea of Abaco docks on the off-lying cays were totally destroyed, and many boats without secure storm moorings were washed onto the western shores of the cays. Significant flooding occured in the lower offshore areas, with significant tree and foliage loss observed throughout the north-central Abacos.
NEAR-TERM VACATION PLANS: Abaconians are used to dealing effectively with hurricanes and, as such, 99% of all tourism-related facilities are already back to "normal". As storms go, 7 MPH (across island movement), Category 1 Dennis was not major. A few "postcard" beaches were slightly re-arranged, a couple of landmark trees are missing, and a few poorly moored boats are now providing marine habitats, but that appears to be just about it. Phones and electricity are almost restored to "normal", and the Great Abaco Triathelon went as scheduled this weekend (Labor Day Weekend).
Regards - firstname.lastname@example.org
From Dave Ralph
- Publisher - The Abaconian
Storm damage to the Marsh Harbour area appears to be minimal. There is damage but it is confined to isolated incidents and not widespread damage. A quick tour indicated more damage to Marsh Harbour than Murphy Town and Dundas Town. They suffered tree branches, a few downed wires and a few homes with damaged shingles.
Marsh Harbour suffered most of its damage along the waterfront which is more developed and more liable for water and wind damage. A unoccupied houseboat broke loose at Admiral,s Yacht Haven and smashed to pieces on the nearby shoreline. Waves broke over the waterfront in many places but no roads or property was lost due to this. Several marinas had sail and power boats break lines but it is believed they were all "captured" and none sank. A large outboard boat was observed sunk at Triple J Marina. Some sailboats were noted with damaged wind-blown jibs. Many boats suffered canvass damage, jibs, Bimini tops, etc. Many boats suffered rub-rash at marinas from lines stretching or breaking allowing stern or bow contact with the dock. No sail or power boats sank.
The Jib Room on the Pelican Shore side of the harbour lost a good portion of their canvas roof awning . Their roof was a huge awning, not a conventional roof. Tiki Hut, a floating restaurant, lost quite a bit of their flotation drums which piled up in a corner by Mangoes restaurant. Tiki Hut has structural damage to the porch area which will have to be repaired.
The telephone system did not go off. BEC has had power outages. A large fig tree toppled and pulled down power lines causing a main transmission pole to snap beside Royal Bank in Marsh Harbour. BEC was replacing the pole Saturday afternoon. Power is now on in most of Marsh Harbour, Dundas Town and Murphy Town.
All in all, I would consider the damage in the Marsh Harbour area to be (surprisingly) minimal.
We have not heard from the Cays, Hope Town, Man-O-War, Guana and Green Turtle. They are more exposed and may have more damage. We did hear off-hand reports that one boats dragged their anchor in Hope Town Harbour but we do not know the outcome.
We understand that portions (maybe all) of Guana Cay have been without power and telephone for four days. Whatever this problem is, it would precede the storm. Certainly the storm would delay the repairs. We have heard but cannot confirm that there was flooding in several of the communities on Little Abaco as well as dock and boat damage in Cooper,s Town.
Radio Abaco reported on Monday a.m. morning news: Several communities in Little Abaco had water two feet deep in homes. Boats were washed ashore along the North Abaco coast in Little Abaco. A forty foot fishing boat is in the road on the causeway separating Little Abaco from Abaco. Fire Station at Treasure Cay airport lost its roof. Single engine airplane at Treasure Cay airport flipped over on its back. Seventy five percent of the banana crop at Big Bird farms is destroyed.
Green Turtle and Treasure Cay area: as of 4:06PM August 28, Go-Abacos has received two calls from the Abacos. Most phones are out ... and will be out for an indeterminant time (minimum of 3-7 days). Electric is also out accross the entire island group. No widespread structural damage, many trees down, all boats visually intact at Abaco Yacht Services (Green Turtle). Wind gusts recorded at 115-130 mpg on Green Turtle ... significant beach erosion throughout the Abacos. Many poorly secured boats have been lost-run ashore or onto iron shore. Tidal surge estimated at 6-7 feet at maximum. Swells at government dock estimated at 15-20 feet. The "rage" following Dennis' passage did additional damage to the Atlantic beaches. However, despite the rage, Bita and Gillam Bay apparently suffered little damage.
[Danny Holcomb - Abaco Dive Center] Marsh Harbour, Abaco: 3:38PM on August 28, Abaco Beach Resort Dive Center survived the storm with very minor damage. Our Dive flag has a few rips and the scrubbery looks like hell, but no water damage to the shop at all. The boat needed a bath anyway. It runs fine and now needs waxing.
The (Great Abaco Beach) resort sustained a lot of wind damage and many of the light poles and palm trees are now for sale at a good price. Several of the shops in town show damage to awnings, roofs and boardwalks. Tiki Hut is pretty bad. Several boats in Marsh Harbour harbour are now dive sites, but will most likely be removed before we can visit. Damage along the Government dock area is severe also. Docks missing or cluttered with small boats ON TOP of them.
Power and phones are mostly non-functional at this point. The waters are starting to calm down, but the visibility is still below our usual standards. email@example.com