Well, the worst of it all has basically just started to batter us, with more still to come (it's 5am). I do wake up this early (not that I really slept), but I also thought I'd update you while we still had internet & electricity.
The rains started in earnest at 8pm and then turned into outright deluges by 11/11:30pm. There's been a lot of lightning flashing, but not a lot of thunder (the last lightning storm was much, much worse from that standpoint). This seems to be changing though...The winds started picking up around 3:30/4am. We've still got a few windows open where the wind isn't forcing itself in (air finally!). I have no idea what the winds actually are (I'll have to get a wind reader what-cha-ma-jiggy at some point), and although gusty, they're not really too bad on our side (no trees/limbs down or anything). Of course, we're pretty tucked in, so can't speak for what's going on over the hill.
The storms maximum sustained winds are up to 105mph, which means it's now a Cat2. You can see from the pictures that the worst of the storm has yet to reach us and it looks like Antigua (in the middle of the gray area) is getting hit head-on right now. A resident there doesn't make it sound too bad, so hopefully it won't be a disaster here either.
Supposedly, St. Barths, St. Martin, and Anguilla are in the eye's path next (what there is of it), so we'll get an off-center rendition of what it has to offer. The Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico will be next. Looks like the U.S. mainland will get a taste of this one as well; so wouldn't it be ironic if we got hit and so did my Mom (in VA)? And then we get to go through all this again with the storm moving in right on Earl's heels.
Well, it's raining now with gusty winds with a few more hours of the same coming. At some point, "correspondents" will be updating StormCarib with what's happening on their islands, so if you know someone in Earl's path, you can see how their island is faring. As we start hearing of any problems here, I'll try to update this later (it's too dark to take a picture of anything right now). There's no doubt flooding, but possible wind damage is still in play. Again, can I just say: I am soooo glad to be in a concrete house in a mountain nook.
Oops - lightning and thunder. Time to disconnect!