Monday, January 21, 2013

The Storm

This is the current view from our deck. We are in day four of a norther, the worst one anyone has seen in several years. We had gale-force winds Friday and Saturday. The winds were still gusting Sunday but have calmed down today (Monday). We've had lots of rain. We measured 4 inches of vertically falling rain in our rain gauge before it quit working. Most of the rain appeared to be horizontal the first two days of the storm, so we really don't know how much rain has fallen.

The airport was closed most of the weekend with only one flight making it in early Saturday. The other flights were diverted to Cancun and were not able to return here and land until Sunday evening. We had 5 flights land within one hour - unheard of! If you've been to our airport, you know how small it is. Imagine all the people from 5 cancelled flights spending the weekend there! We heard it was standing room only for most people. There aren't many food options either. There is a small coffee bar in the ticketing area and a snack bar at the gate.

Clearing immigration is always a slow process here when two flights come in back to back. I can't imagine how dreadful it was for the people on those 5 flights. There is not enough room to get even 2 flights of people inside the immigration area at the same time. We have no jetways here. We get off the plane and walk across the tarmac. I think there might be a bit of roof outside, but most folks were probably pretty wet by the time they got inside.

We did make it out to church yesterday morning and later made a much needed grocery run. I finally did one load of laundry today. My laundry room is out on the deck, under roof but with the way the wind has been blowing, our entire 20 foot deep deck has been soaked. This is Don standing beside the laundry doors on a dry day.

That laundry room is just to the left of the gate in the above photo. The rest of the washing will have to wait for a drier day.

We noticed many areas of flooding on our drive to church and the grocery yesterday making me wonder how our friends up in the colonia are faring. We will have a big cleanup job on our property which will keep Carlos busy. Many small trees, bushes and plants were broken off or beat down during the storm. So many leaves were blown off our large coral trees that we can see parts of our hillside that haven't been visible for a couple of years. We've lost a number of banana trees.

The temperatures have been in the mid - upper sixties for several days. I know that seems warm to all of you living up north, but to the islanders (including us) it seems cold. Many people were complaining of being cold at church, although Greicy said it was warmer there than at her house. Many of them don't have warmer clothing. Greicy and Julissa were wearing sleeveless blouses. Their houses are drafty affairs, no insulation, often leaking during heavy rains. They were grateful for the urn of hot coffee at church!

Hopefully this storm will soon be history.

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