Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Thursday, October 20, 2005

I slept in this morning for some reason. I woke up to smack the snooze button and saw that it was ten minutes to seven. UGH. Usually I leave by 6:30 to avoid TOO much traffic.. I resigned myself to an hour of traffic. I hit the door running and opened it... and heard this dull roar and could see white water. I walked up to the end of the driveway and I could see the tops of the waves crashing across the street, there was a smell of wet dog in the air and even though it was partially sunny, being sunrise and all, there was a misty haze hanging in the air and a white sheen covering my jeep, like first frost, but without all that annoying cold temperature. I snapped a couple pictures and then got into traffic... just north of the West Bay Public Dock.

A few spots had some sand and rubble spilling out onto the street, but nothing major. Traffic was at a stop. It took me 30 minutes just to get as far as Foster's West Bay Supermarket. I poked along and poked along until I got just past the Yacht Club. That's when I heard on the radio that Police had closed off the road at the Marriot Courtyard Hotel and was redirecting traffic around the back through Governor's Harbor. We drove through that area last night on the way home from Wendy's (which seems to have turned into a Hurricane Tradition for me) and it was flooded, there were big chunks of coral/rubble and some huge ruts & potholes that made me think that the road was damaged by the waves or partially washed out. The waves got worse overnight, as they started coming out of the west rather than the south, so that probably damaged the roads further, until the Police deemed it neccesary to close the road so they could clear it with heavy machinery and/or fill in the holes.

I made it to Cafe Del Sol around 0810 and grabbed a coffee to go this morning, but I was kinda hungry so I decided to stop at Kirk's Supermarket and get a package of muffins for me and the boys in my dept. North Church Street was blocked off at the Esso/Tree House intersection as well and all traffic was being diverted up Eastern Ave which normally is clear. Traffic going that was was backed up as far as Treasure Island Resort. I probably should have turned around and gone up the bypass, but I was hungry, so I persevered.

I got in to work at 0832 and then my boss called to tell me he was stuck on the other side of Savannah. The main road (and only road in that area) was underwater and it was so deep that people were trying to drive through it, flooding out and stalling and were stuck. Police closed the road to all but absolute emergency traffic. A report on the radio this morning said that the flooding in Bodden Town was so bad that people were being plucked from their homes by Police & Fire/Rescue. Whether that's true or not I don't know. Other closures are South Sound Road (that doesn't take a lot of imagination to figure out why). The NHC is advising that traffic from the eastern districts should be limited only to those who absolutely MUST be in George Town this morning and asked employers to make allowances for personnel who reside out that way.

So even though she passed about 150 miles away, Wilma the Brick Shithouse was able to send enough water here to do some damage. Mostly to docks and flooding of low-lying areas (I always thought that was a bit of a misnomer, as the whole friggin island is barely above sea level) but the odd bit of roof damage here and there.

We lost two corner beads from the windward edges of the roof. The piece that came off of our roof is right over my shower, so I could hear it groaning through the night before it finally flew off. It sounded strange. It sounded like being in a thin-walled hotel room next door to a honeymoon couple, if you get what I'm saying.

Today is back to normal for most businesses and some schools, but I don't think anyone's going to be out diving today.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 6:32:43 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane#
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