We were lucky: Earl passed by a couple of hundred kms north of us, smashing other islands and sparing St Kitts from the worst. WAlthough we got through relatively unscathed, there is plenty of clean-up work to do.
Some trees were uprooted, and the ground is strewn with leaves, coconuts and other debris – like signs and shingles off rooves. I don’t think any rooves came off.
During the storm, which lasted nearly 24 hours and saw the departure of my TV and wireless internet signals, there was a lot of bashing around on my roof and around my room as shingles came off and blew around. I stuck my face out of the door a couple of times, to be greeted by a face full of wind and rain. By around 2.30pm, the wind was still high but hotel management was phoning each guest to check on our survival, and offering complimentary lunch and dinner, which was a rather nice touch. Suffice it to say most staff didn’t make it in.
Of course, once the worst had passed, the sightseers came out in force (even though they were meant to stay home). The numero uno attraction seemed to be right in my front yard: the Coast Guard had to respond to a distress call nearby my hotel and, on the way there, got overtaken by the waves and ran aground.
The clean-up has started, and everyone is grateful that it wasn’t worse. The US is watching Earl, which is now a Category 4 Hurricane, although it looks like it will swing past Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands without much impact. Its path is now to glide up and around the US East coast.
Right now we are watching for another storm front, called Tropical Storm Fiona, and we have a Tropical Storm watch in place. Fiona doesn’t seem to have as much momentum, though, and we might see her some time on Wednesday.
I guess I’m now learning what it is to monitor the weather, a fact of life if you live in the Caribbean during Hurricane Season. Although I find storms a little thrilling, Earl was quite enough for me, and I hate to think of something so much stronger passing over my adopted home of St Kitts if we are unlucky enough to be straight in the path of the next one.