Hurricane Georges - 1998
This page provided the latest information from Dominica regarding the situation as Hurricane Georges passed over our island on the morning of Monday, 21st Sept. 1998. Thanks for Abigail for providing a number of reports to us.
NDC PRESS RELEASE
DOMINICA SPARED BY HURRICANE GEORGES
Roseau, Dominica: September 21, 1998
Dominica today is breathing a sigh of relief after having been spared by the fury of Hurricane Georges which passed through the North Eastern Caribbean in the early hours of this morning.
Residents woke up today to find that the Category Four (4) Hurricane which was packing winds of more than 135 miles per hour from Saturday, had little impact on Dominica. Apart from some heavy winds in the north-east of the island and heavy surges from the seas, Dominica escaped the heavy impact of a hurricane that was classified by weather experts as extremely dangerous. In the final analysis, the island experienced hardly any damage and residents are today thanking God for sparing the island from another dangerous weather system.
The tourism sector which has emerged as one of the leading sectors of the island’s economy is reporting no damage with none of the tourist facilities being affected by the passage of Georges. The island’s major tourist sites have also been spared by the storm. The sector is assuring visitors that the Nature Island is ready as always to receive them and offer them its usual hospitality and the best of its services.
Over the past forty-eight (48) hours Dominicans were in a high state of readiness and preparedness as they awaited the first major weather system of the 1998 Hurricane Season. Residents packed supermarkets and shops throughout Saturday purchasing all necessary items in the event that the storm would hit the island. On the evening of Saturday and all of Sunday, there was a high sense of readiness as residents boarded up their houses and listened to the radio stations for information and followed the progress of the storm on television. The Office of Disaster Preparedness and the various committees all across the country worked tirelessly throughout the period to ensure that everything was in place and that minimum damage would affect lives and property.
In the aftermath of the passage of the storm, Dominicans are breathing a deep sigh of relief and have today gone back to work and conducting their normal businesses as the island realized that it was not affected by the storm.
Mon, 21st Sep, 5pm
Dominica today is breathing a big sigh of relief today, as we came through with barely a scratch!! Winds last night stayed fairly low with some intermittent heavy rains. The sea is still quite high, but is now subsiding. It appears that most coastal roads are still intact (I won’t say all, as I’m not too sure about certain roads up on the other side of the island!) Even the banana trees still seem to be standing, which is truly a miracle, as normally one only has to breathe at a banana tree and down it will fall!!
People today have been mainly getting their homes back to normal, unboarding windows and moving furniture back outside!! Many shops have been open, but with minimal custom, as would be expected!! Many people seem to be tired however today, what with all the bone-chilling suspense and the sleepless night, while we waited for something to happen!! Yet we are all so grateful and relieved that Dominica didn’t sustain more damage.
Concern for the other islands is very strong here, and we send our best wishes and prayers to both those islands that have been through Georges, and those that might yet “see him”.
That’s all from me, until the next one!!!:)
Abigail N. Cooles
The North of Dominica seems to be already affected by Georges. According to the radio they are already having high winds, causing trees to fall, heavy rains, and the seas (one caller said that there were 12 ft waves) are already damaging roads. However, down here in Roseau, the conditions are the same as they have been all day, overcast, very still, humid and hot.
Most of the shelters are now open, but there was some confusion in some villages and areas, as to where exactly the shelters were!! It seems that we will not be experiencing the eye of Georges, but Dominicans are preparing for hurricane force winds; and are taking all precautions!!
Hopefully, there will not be too much damage, and all villages have a disaster committee which will co’ordinate rescue efforts if the worst should come to the worst.
This morning there was a sort of festive atmosphere around, as people were just waiting for something to happen; now however, as the storm gets closer, and is already affecting North-Easterly parts of Dominica, everyone is sort of battening down the hatches.. Some schools have been cancelled for tomorrow, and it’s expected that the rest will follow suit..
I’m going to go and put some more nails in the shutters now in anticipation of the winds which should be affecting us within about an hour, give or take..
Good luck to everyone wherever you are!!
Abigail N. Cooles
11 AM Saturday 19th.
The latest advisory shows Georges strengthening and maintaining its course towards our island.
In the capital, business in the supermarkets is brisk and the roads are busy.
The national Disaster Preparedness Committee met yesterday and started the process of moving essential equipment around the island which would be used in any post-hurricane clean-up) and meet this morning after the 11am advisory to discuss it’s implications.
The current weather conditions continue fine and sunny with few clouds!
With the 11am advisory showing Georges maintaining it’s westerly track towards Dominica, people are now beginning to take the threat seriously. The weather for now is exceptionally good with only a slight breeze.
8 AM Sunday.
The blue skies of the last few days have been replaced by ominous black clouds, esp. looking north and east. A few showers can be seen towards the north. Winds still light.
Driving through Roseau this morning, many shop windows are now boarded up and the city is quiet. The Caribbean sea is calm with very little swell.
8:40 AM Sunday.
Recent blue skies replaced with ominous black clouds esp. towards north and east. A few showers can be seen and thunder has just been heard but there is still only very little wind at the moment.
Rain has been coming down continuously since the last update. Low clouds in every direction. There is still nothing more than a light breeze.