Clear all


Posts: 2
New Member
Topic starter

I've read so much about hurricane kits.

How bad does it actually get. Do i need to fear for my life a what not or is it more of just a huge inconvenience?

Posted : June 9, 2006 4:59 pm
Posts: 312
Reputable Member

Hurricanes don't tend to kill that many people - mostly people who live on boats or surf during the storm. It is a huge inconvenience, actually much more than that - I'd call it a life changing experience. Not necessarily a negative thing in retrospect, but you do learn to live without and hurricanes to bring complete strangers together helping one another.

To answer your question, it's pretty bad, but not necessarily life threatening. When Hurricane Hugo (1989) hit, no one knew what to expect because the last hurricane to directly hit St. Croix was in 1928. For example, my mother just bought a couple of candles, and expected something minor. However, there was widespread devestation that no one expected. However, only 10 or so people died, which is few for a storm of that magnitude. The storm knocked out electricity for 3-4 months for some parts of St. Croix and there was widespread looting where they had to bring in the military. People would just walk the streets in awe at the devestation they saw. You couldn't even leave your house for the first few days because utility poles were all over the road. At least ninety percent of the houses on St. Croix had severe damage. Hurricane Marilyn (1995) was pretty much the same situation, but more so on St. Thomas than on St. Croix.

Hurricane Georges (1998) and Hurricane Lenny (1999) were major storms, but didn't hit us as bad as Hugo and Marilyn. So I guess we have been lucky in the past 10 years. The government updated all the building codes, and many of the utility cables are buried, so in theory we should be better prepared for the next one. I don't mean to scare you, but hurricanes are a reality here and your life is not necessarily in danger, but just be aware that we do have them.

Posted : June 9, 2006 5:55 pm
Posts: 184
Estimable Member

I was on St Thomas during "wrong way Lenny" and it was inconvenient, but not too scary. I saw the aftermath of Marilyn when many, many houses were covered by blue plastic covers. My first time in the Virgin Islands was a few months after Hugo on St Croix when I arrived in early 1990. The devastation was frightening. The vegatation was stripped from the land. Houses were blown away,huge water tanks were imploded. When I drive along the south shore now and cannot see the sea, I remember that then you could see the sea because no vegatation remained. DL says it well. In hurricanes with a huge loss of life the flooding (slides) or tidal surge is the major cause. That usually does not happen here. The improvement in building has made this a safer place,but not immune from damage. It will happen again, but we don't know when. If you prepare and use good judgment your life will probable not be at risk.

Posted : June 9, 2006 10:15 pm
Posts: 1428
Noble Member

There is already one storm near Panama that is playing havoc with military flight schedules today. A couple of C-17's have been re-routed to try to find a hole through the storm.

The Hurricane Hunters were here on STX last week doing more prep work on their facility to be ready for flying the storms from STX as a base of operations for any storms they research in the southern half of the Caribbean. They expect to be very busy this season.

Last year, even with all the named storms, the Hurricane Hunters only flew three storms from STX. All the others didn't form up until they were already past us to the north and/or west. The previous year they flew 7 or 8 storms from STX.

Keep in mind that they fly their aircraft INTO and THROUGH the storm itself. For up to 8 hours at a time! Then they come back and the next crew is ready to go so that there is very little time without at least one airplane in the sky testing the storm as it builds.

My husband owns the business at the airport that refuels their airplanes, so we get constant updates on what is happening with every storm they fly. I'll post updates to the message board through the storm season to share what they tell us whenever something is building that might affect our area.

For those who live on STX, you can often see military aircraft of all types on our airport parking ramp area. The Hurricane Hunter aircraft are the military equivalent of a Boeing 737 that the military calls a C-130 "J-model". You can recognize it by its unique 6-bladed propellers. They park them all in a row towards the east end of the airfield when they are not in flight. When their planes are here on STX to fly a storm, that storm isn't close enough to hit us and do damage. If the planes depart STX before the storm has passed the island, that means they think it may come within 200 miles of the island (and maybe right over the top of us) and they need to use another airport as their base of operations. This would also be a very good time to make sure your hurricane shutters are sealed up tight and you have supplies on hand in case we get hit by the storm. If the storm goes past before the aircraft depart, then we should already be safe from that one.

Posted : June 10, 2006 3:24 pm
Search this website Type then hit enter to search
Close Menu