Thoughts and pryaers for those on Grand Cayman

Old Sep 13th, 2004, 04:49 AM
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Thoughts and pryaers for those on Grand Cayman

Very sad to read the following news updatebr />
Thoughts and prayers with all on Grand Cayman.

By Gretchen Allen

Associated Press Correspondent

HOUSTON (AP) ? Reports out of Grand Cayman, which has been furiously pummeled by category 4 Hurricane Ivan overnight and throughout Sunday morning, via internet and telephone, reveal a picture of grim devastation.

So far, Ivan has caused the deaths of some 56 people in the Caribbean on its deadly rampage from the Lesser Antilles, across Grenada, on to Jamaica and now Cayman.

Yesterday the Governor of the Cayman Islands, Mr. Bruce Dinwiddy, declared a State of Emergency.

At 2 p.m. Sunday, the Weather Channel reported that the island had been lashed by winds in excess of 200 mph.

Ivan was 60 miles west of Grand Cayman, traveling to the west at 10 mph, according to a National Hurricane Center Advisory.

There are unconfirmed reports that part of the capital, George Town, is ?gone?, that roofs are blowing around in the streets of George Town, and that the hospital has been badly damaged, or is possibly also ?gone?.

Two British ships are reported to be 250 miles behind Ivan, waiting to come into port to come to Cayman?s aid. The Cayman Islands are a British Overseas Territory (colony).

Vehicles in flood-prone areas have are said to have ?just disappeared?.

There is two feet of water at Owen Roberts International Airport.

Hurricane shelters on island are full to capacity.

An estimated 80 percent of the roof of Queensgate House, a waterfront commercial office building on the south side of the capital overlooking the harbour, has been blown off.

?It?s as bad as it can possibly get,? Justin Uzzell, 35, told the Associated Press by telephone about noon Houston time on Sunday, also noon Cayman time (Houston is on Daylight Savings Time, Cayman is not) from his fifth-floor refuge in the Citrus Grove Building downtown. ?It?s a horizontal blizzard,? he described, saying he could see no further than the parking lot of the adjacent building. ?The air is just foam. It?s a white wall. We?re being buffeted badly?.

At the Marriott Resort on Cayman?s famed Seven Mile Beach, its prime tourism product, windows were blown out of the 300+ room facility, and the cars in the parking lot had water up to their rooftops. Children of guests were said to be ?going bonkers? from being ?cooped up?.

?A catastrophe?, was how one landlord described the residential area of Crewe Road in George Town.

The island has been without electricity since Saturday evening and phone service is often impossible. Cell phone batteries are wearing down or are spent.

Canal-front developments, such as Governor?s Harbour and Snug Harbour, are flooded.

The Hyatt Britannia Resort?s canal which flows into the North Sound has overflowed due to the storm surge, and the Britannia Villas are flooded inside, as is the golf course. Cars there are under water.

At 12:50 p.m. ?winds are fiercer than ever?, reported one Cayman resident on the website, which featured many posting from people seeking information on their loved ones.

Here in Houston, some 125 evacuees who arrived from Grand Cayman Friday afternoon on a special charter flight hired by Cayman-based Dart Management Ltd. to bring its employee resources to safety, were worried and frustrated at not being able to get through by cell phone, hearing ?all circuits are currently busy?. They continue to try to reach friends and relatives in their storm-tossed country.

Although the eye of the storm is now 60 miles southwest of the coast of Grand Cayman, Ivan?s hurricane-force winds (155 mph, with gusts to 190 mph) extend out 90 miles from the storm?s center, and it is presently moving west-northwest at 10 mph. Tropical storm-force winds extend out 120 miles. That means Grand Cayman is in for hours more of continued bashing.

The three Cayman Islands ? Cayman Brac, Little Cayman, and Grand Cayman, 90 miles to the southeast of the Sister Islands ? are home to about 45,000 people with well over 90 percent of them residing in Grand Cayman.

Flood waters were threatening the integrity of the Allista Towers Building in George Town.

There were unconfirmed reports that the roof had blown off the Kirk Servistar Home Center on Eastern Avenue.

Cars in the area of Cayman?s airport are said to have ?floated off down the road?.

There were reports of 135-mile-an-hour winds out of the northeast over the last two hours.

Winds were so strong around noon on Saturday that ?trees were bending down to the ground? along the West Bay Road, the island?s main road and tourist strip which runs parallel to Seven Mile Beach.

There is no radio service, leaving residents in the dark as to when and where the storm is going.

At midday people who sought shelter in the Walkers Building in the center of town were said to be okay.

Communiques from the Citrus Grove Building also said people seeking shelter there were safe.

The Huntlaw Building in the same area had its roof torn off around 8 a.m.

If Hurricane Ivan, which is reported to be developing a concentric (second) eye wall, winds increase by just one mile an hour, it will again be classed as a category 5 storm.

It is kicking up waves 15 ? 25 feet, or two stories high. Cayman is experiencing 8 ? 12-inches of rain.

According to the Weather Channel, Hurricane Ivan is the sixth strongest hurricane in the Atlantic basin in recorded history.

It is taking a track similar to that of Hurricanes Charley and Gilbert, which visited Cayman in 1988, and has been called the ?son of Gilbert?.

At noon Cayman time, Ivan?s coordinates were 19 N., 81.5 W., with wind gusts to 190mph.

?The wind is howling and there are no leaves left on any of the trees,? Perry Garrison told his wife, Shruty, in Houston by phone from Cayman
pastyp is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2004, 06:32 AM
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I'm very sorry to hear this. My thoughts and prayers are with all those on Grand Cayman, as well as Granada, Jamaica, Cuba and the US areas that this storm may affect.

My hope is that Ivan dies down before causing any more destruction or loss of life.
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Old Sep 13th, 2004, 06:52 AM
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Also very sorry to hear of this. My prayers will be with all those afflicted.
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Old Sep 13th, 2004, 07:37 AM
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I have been getting second hand reports at the moment so am not going to post too much as it is not confirmed.

But what I am hearing is heart breaking. I have many close friends on the island and visit annually. I can not contact anyone. From what is getting through the island has been literaly flattened, with very little natural habitation still standing. Storm surges have reached up to 2-3 miles inland. George town is under water and the Seven Mile beach area has taken huge hits from the surge. The reports from other areas - Jamaica talked of huge impacts, but anyone who has visited Cayman will realise how low lying it is. The storm surges have seemed to have just washed inland with nothing to stop their path.

I am living in hope until I hear from those on the Island. Keep them in your prayers.

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Old Sep 14th, 2004, 10:27 AM
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Yes, it is sad indeed. The loss of familiar landmarks and resulting confusion and disorientation is terrible... not to mention all the losses of life, the sense of security and things in life that truly matter. For those on Grand Cayman, please know that your Fordorite friends are keeping you in our prayers.

- Sharon
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