My island happens to be very far south in the Caribbean and we are not generally affected by major storms/ hurricanes. However a system formed just off to the south of us a few days ago and last night we experienced a tropical storm, our first in decades.
During the day was fairly still without much breeze and the animals were all quiet. The sun was out but you could tell that there was something different about the day. When the rain started to fall in the evening, it was an onslaught.
Usually these types of storms veer away from us just in time if they even form at all so a lot of people tend not to take news reports seriously. Parties were still happening, bars and business places were open and there was not an overall concern by the public until much later in the evening when it was clear that this storm was definitely coming. This realization led to panic buying of fuel, bread and other items.
However the fearful nature of the storm did not stop people from creating twitter handles as if they were THE storm, galvanize roofing and even God all in online banter about the impending events of the night.
All throughout the night the rain intensified though luckily enough for my area we did not get exceptionally heavy wind. By midnight, electricity was gone and we waited just over eight hours before it came back. The rain lasted all night until morning and even throughout today we have been getting sporadic showers.
I was concerned about whether the dog house would withstand the rain and wind, whether the neighbour’s avocado tree would contribute to stand and about my roof / the roofs of the meighbours. Luckily all withstood the rains of the night.
My home/ area did not suffer flooding thankfully but southern parts of the island experienced major flooding. Many trees were uprooted from the wind and blocked roadways, pulled down poles and wiring and caused major damage to buildings.
All schools were closed to day, banks and many businesses as well. Clean up has begun in many of the flood prone areas. As an island you would think we would be prepared for major flooding but we are not. A 20 minute downpour of rain usually causes major flooding within the capital, so this type of extensive rainfall is disastrous. We suffer from improper drainage, a lack of cleaning/ dredging of water ways and a general malaise with regard to cutting down on polluting.
Things should be back to a closer sense of normalcy by tomorrow but many people will be suffering from the water damage to their homes and appliances. I hope that this experience guides both the government as well as civilians to be better prepared in the event of another such storm.