Hurricanes and weather
Relocating to STT in May. I live in Tornado Alley right now, so severe weather is something we're used to hearing about. Never dealt with a hurricane before. What's it like? What's the season predicted to be like this year?
The difference between a hurricane and a tornado is the matter of preparation- hurricanes usually give you a little bit more time. My favorite source of information is the Hurricane app by Kitty Code. Tons of information in the palm of your hand..
2014 Hurricane Season Predictions...
Didn't they predict that last year was going to be an above average hurricane season?
They can't even predict next weeks weather accurately. Much less hurricanes or global climate change.
Meteorology is NOT science, it is more like astrology.
Almost every newspaper in the country has both an astrology column and a weather forecast. They are equally useful for predicting the future.
There hasn't been a major hurricane here since 1995 (Marilyn) and a big one prior to that was in 1989 (Hugo).
St. Croix had a major hurricane in 2008 - Omar. It was a cat 3 in STX - not sure what it was in STT.
And don't forget Lenny. I thought it felt like a hurricane. Sure did a lot of damage on STX.
No basements. Hurricane shutters for the Windows and hunker down during the worst of the storm. Then clean up. Most people also have an alternate source of power - usually a diesel or gas generator. Wales will shut off power just before the hurricane hits, and it will probably by off for a while afterwards while lines are prepared.
I would not have even considered Lenny a serious storm here in STT/STJ.
More like a tropical wave. I was out walking the dogs during it as had gone over to stay with my Mom in STJ.
People prepare for hurricane season in advance so you're not caught out at last minute trying to shop, fill gas in cars or containers for generators. It pays to lay in your supplies in advance as you'll be busy boarding up, battening down and hauling all you outdoor furniture, inside.
We've been lucky enough to have a couple days warning but these systems can change direction at the last minute so it pays to be prepared. Hugo and Marilyn were the worst. Omar was more of a rain event and took out lots of trees/foliage but no real damage to island infractructure and power was on within a couple of days here in STT as opposed to Hugo and Marilyn which created massive damage with power being out for months, phone systems down for month, cable for years and a disruption to life for year(s) until everything was back to what could be considered "normal."
Just pray we never see storms like those 2 ever again!
This goes to show how very different the effects can be from one island to another even only being 40 miles apart.
Omar being a "rain event" on STT but caused significant damage on STX and many people were without power for weeks. I also know several people who lost their roofs during Omar. Lenny being barely remembered on STT but also caused a lot of damage on STX (I was not here for that one).
While homes in the VI do not have basements, many do have apartments under the main home. This is where we personally "ride out" the storms. Ours is built into a hill and like a concrete bunker. Unfortunately during OMAR it was being renovated so we were upstairs for that storm and I was not a fan of that (just ask my husband!).
C_Ray6 - Hurricane prep is a way of life in the islands. There are many resources/lists online that give great advice. When a storm is on it's way the grocery stores do get hit hard and run out of items. It pays to be prepared in advance. We start our storm prep around Memorial day each year. Set up our hurricane kits and take stock of the pantry - don't forget to prepare for pets too. Put together our lists and determine what we can do "now" and what needs to be done if/when a storm is predicted to make a visit. The one thing I always say is that I'd rather be over-prepared for the storm that passes us by than under-prepared for the one that makes a direct hit.
I know my wife's relatives just hunker down in their houses. I have not been through a hurricane on the Islands, but I have in Florida. My wife's family who have been on St. Thomas for generations was scared to death after Marilyn. Some of them lost their homes while others did not. A few even left the Islands and moved to the states not wanting to go through that again. Hugo was a rough one too, a few lost their houses after that storm, but for some reason Marilyn is the most talked about hurricane for them. I guess it's because it's the most current. Anyway, if hurricanes freak you out, Island living may not be for you.