Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Ivan References on the Internet

Some Ivan references


Wednesday, September 08, 2004

This man called Ivan IV - Wednesday

The Weather Channel is reporting a direct hit and severe damage. But early Wednesday there is no footage of the destruction as yet. No one from inside Grenada has posted anything to the Spiceislander Talkshop as yet. Seems like a complete shut out. Efforts to call Grenada by phone get the same frustrating reply all the time .... We're sorry, all circuits are busy now... we nonetheless keep trying to call all the numbers we know in Grenada. Still, all circuits are busy now.

By Wednesday afternoon, I begin to get small snippets from various sources. Devastation seems to be the common theme, and looting. Finally, we get through to one of my sisters in Grenada. By some miracle, her landline telephone has remained in service right through to Ivan and the first good news for the day is received. My two sisters and other family are OK. They did not lose one sheet of galvanise. One house received a broken window but that was about it. No one injured either. They were planning to visit my place to see what happened but the roads were still pretty much in a mess and passage through many roads were still blocked.

The story coming out that day was grim, the place was 'mash up' according to my sister. There was widespread looting and even the police were unable to stop the looters and that they (the police) were looting too. There seemed to be no law and order. People were beginning to loot homes after they had emptied business houses all over St George's. Cars were being stolen and people going off on joy rides. I wondered how long it would take for somebody with ill will on their mind to realise that my house was empty - there was no one home. I was anxious now to hear how my place had weathered Ivan.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

This man called Ivan III - Tuesday

I awake today without realising that Grenadians will never ever forget the day that is today - September 7th, 2004. The entire household in New York is concerned. We look as Ivan slowly but surely makes its way for a direct hit on Grenada. The TV stays on the Weather Channel for the remainder of the day. After speaking to my niece who has experienced three hurricanes on Montserrat, I begin to worry less about the dog. She says animals usually find a way to take care of themselves. In her words "I've never seen a dead dog after a hurricane". That's good enough for me. My boy will take care of himself.

I phone the folks back home again. Nothing much is happening. No wind, no rain. Its around mid-morning and everyone is awaiting the arrival of the beast. There's a lot of chat going on at the Spiceislander Talkshop but few people there have experience of a hurricane and most can only repeat what they have heard about Janet in 1955. I switch to GBN Radio, Grenada's main radio station, on the Internet and I wonder who's dead?..... the music they are playing seems like a national day of mourning.... I wonder if this is a sign of things to come. Very little is being said. I thought just maybe they would be busy reminding people of where the hurricane shelters were, what to secure, what not to do etc etc. It seems eerie, and it is a bit depressing. Later on, George Grant comes on air and things gets a little better, but only a little.

Sometime after mid-day the first reports are in. People calling in from the east coast report that the wind is picking up and already someone has lost their roof. Then the calls to the radio station become more frequent and more alarming. Some people in a vehicle just escaped being hit by a fallen tree; they have to rescue an old woman whose house was just smashed to pieces; someone has just seen a roof leave a house on Cemetery Hill and fall into the sea (that's a far distance for a roof to travel); More and more people are calling to report that roofs are "flying" off the houses around them. Then it happens.... nothing ...... GBN radio is off the air. I find out later from George Grant that this is when the mast outside their studios crashed down onto the roof and everything turned Ole Mas.

I try to call home by phone and as would be the case for the next several hours, I cant get through. Its off to bed without any word as to how my family and friends had surived the passage of Ivan. My two sisters and their families, my brother, my neighbors, I wished that they all made it through OK. In general I hoped for the best - too many people did not have a clue of what the power of a hurricane could do.

Monday, September 06, 2004

This man called Ivan II - Monday

I awake today glued to the Weather Channel. Ivan the Terrible, as he is being dubbed by some after the Russian Czar, has not changed course and he's getting closer to the Spice Isle. From Barbados to Trinidad is on Hurricane Alert. Things are definitely looking bad. It's now impossible to get a flight back home so I resign myself to follow what's happening back home via the Weather Channel and the Internet, in particular, a Grenadian Talkshop on the Web

I make contact with the folks back home and learn that a number of work places are sending their staff home today, Monday, as they expect the Hurricane to hit later that night. Watching Ivan's progress on the Weather Channel, I calculate that Ivan wont affect Grenada till Tuesday so it could be that at least some folks back home are taking Ivan seriously.

Taking care of my house is my first concern. I phone my neighbor in Grenada and arrange for her to collect a key for the house from one of my friends back in Grenada, and I'm thinking it's a good thing to have a spare key for your place by someone you can trust. There's not much that I want to ask, because I know that everyone has to secure their property, so I ask that all the chairs out on the verandah be put inside and all the windows closed. Nothing is put away into plastic bags. I didnt even remember to ask to unplug all my electronic stuff from the electrical outlets. My car is parked in the carport - exposed on three sides to anything Ivan may throw at it.

I try to comfort myself by telling me that the house is well constructed, has reinforced concrete walls with a multi-hip roof and should be OK. Maybe, the verandah's roof might go. This portion is seperate from the main roof and the wind could easily get under the ply. And this... and that.... and the other.... and the next, and the dog. Although I claim not to be a worrier, I realise that I'm a worried man.... I should be home.... be there if anything should happen to my home.

But it's Labour Day in Brooklyn and its time to get distracted, so to the Eastern Parkway and Crown Heights I go.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

This man called Ivan I - Sunday

Sunday September 05, 2004.

I'm in New York City for the Labour Day Celebrations in the midst of the Hurricane Season and Ivan has been churning up in the Atlantic. We've just experienced Charley and Frances in the Southern USA and it seems like a busy Hurricane Season.

What is more disturbing is that Grenada, for years regarded as outside the Hurricane Belt, is this year, getting a whole lot more attention from Mother Nature. First there was the depression (on Carnival Monday that caused Carnival to be cancelled that day) that later went on to spawn Charley, then there was Tropical Storm Earl that fizzled out as it passed over Grenada in August and now the news was not looking good. Ivan was already a well developed Hurricane making a steadily western route accross the Atlantic. It's packing winds of over 120 miles per hour and is continuing on a westward path - headed straight for home - GRENADA.

Grenada has not seen a Hurricane for 49 years, the last one to hit being Hurricane Janet in 1955 when more than half the population was not even born as yet. Most Grenadians will only have a memory of Tropical Storm Arthur which hit Grenada in 1990 or 1991. It looks like Ivan may be a lot worse than Janet (much less Arthur) and I am, to be honest, worried.

I had cause to relax on Saturday when Ivan began what appeared to be change in direction to the North West which is the usual course of the majority of hurricanes. On this track it would pass to the North of the island and we may escape serious damage - but today, this man Ivan has decided to head for home - my home, and am beginning to think that I should have been home to take care of business.

I go to bed hoping that Ivan may yet change course and that my island would be spared. But I forgot to tell Ivan.