I seriously dislike having to use Hurricane Irma as a bench mark in my life, but there it is. Will it ever go away? Of course it will. Right now it’s not far enough away in the rear view mirror, but one day it will be.
For the last 25 years, September 6th has always been a special day for me, it’s my best friends birthday and we used to have a lot of fun partying! Now, September 6th also brings tears to my eyes for what our Island and our friends have had to endure whilst earnestly trying to get back up on our feet. September 6th 2019 is now the day Hurricane Dorian made landfall in my other life, on the Outer Banks, NC. Our captain Jeff moved back to Kill Devil Hills, NC after Irma and is now going through this storm on the anniversary of Irma. The news and photos already coming through are showing vast flooding on Ocracoke and Hatteras Islands.
Our Island has made a remarkable comeback in the last 24 months. BVI Traveller have just reported over 500 businesses are back up and running.
- Hotels, Resorts & Villas open have increased from 45 to 225
- Charter Companies, Marinas & Watersports Companies open have increased from 40 to 93
- Restaurants & Bars open have increased from 75 to 154
The number are remarkable. The only sector lagging behind is the five star resorts with only 50% reopened so far.
These summer months have been quite stressful, watching the weather systems. As I type, there are 6 different systems in the Atlantic and then last week TS Dorian turned into a hurricane on top of us. I am sure we will haul the boat next year and close down for several months or maybe my family will enjoy some Island hopping on the way to safety. Did I mention it is stressful?
The devastation to the Bahamas is surreal. It is very hard to look at the photos coming through, the devastation and the stories of helplessness. The one great advantage we had in our favour are the mountains. They helped weaken her, helped protect us and also helped with the lack of flooding. Even after being here through Irma and the very testing aftermath for another 8 weeks, I am having a hard time acknowledging exactly what our Bahamian neighbors are enduring. Living in the aftermath of such destruction can be so much harder than the actual storm itself, no matter how scared we were at the time. Irma took 8 hours to pass over us, Dorian took 30+ hours for them. I just can’t imagine it.
Wishing the Bahamas a very speedy recovery.