Sunday, August 21, 2011

TS Irene Update

At 9:30am, we were in a calm spot and the radar actually looked like we might have some clearing by afternoon.  And then the power went out.  For exactly an hour.  Hmm, I see a pattern here. So we decided to head out and see what there was to see.   I figured you might want some pictures other than radar snippets too. I know I have a lot of readers who have 2nd homes here. I can't speak for the homes in the mountains, but everything east of Basseterre looked ok.

The road right outside our place was flowing quite nicely.

The Marriott turnabout was flooded as usual, but nothing out of the ordinary.

What was fun though was that we were in the Rover and were able to Baja through it.

We took a quick turn down S Frigate Bay/The Strip to see how it was faring and found a little flooding there and a surprising amount of wind. I doubt it was over 35 knots, but it was definitely the windiest place we encountered during our island reconnaissance. There were actually a few asphalt shingles coming off the Shiggidy Shack office roof as well as some from the roof of the bar behind it. Nothing major, but a few small flaps flapping in the wind. All awnings were up and unharmed.

The sea was very choppy but the waves were nothing like during the past couple of storms.

Then we headed up Timothy Hill. These waterfalls were plentiful all the way down the Peninsula. Pretty.

A look toward the Marriott showed lots of whitecapping over reef. What was more amazing was the amount of seaweed washing ashore (on N Frigate Bay). This will become the theme of the blog post as seaweed was in bountiful supply as we continued our tour.

Looking toward the Peninsula, the weather was still crummy.

N Friar's Bay had incredible waves coming in...and seaweed.

We drove to the beach and were just mesmerized by the breaking waves. They were probably about 10 feet here.

Then we cut across to S Friar's beach and took a quick look at Shipwreck. It wasn't even half as windy as The Strip had been, but there were a few branches down. I'm guessing the palm fronds were removed from the beach shade trees on purpose.

As we continued on we were surprised at how low the clouds were. These are pretty puny hills.

A look back toward Basseterre showed continued ugliness.

Unfortunately, Michael noticed a few downed newly planted palms he's going to have to deal with.

Sandy Bank was surprisingly calm for being on the ocean, particularly after we saw what had been going on at N Friar's. No real wind either, although there had to have been gusts at one point because some new plants were toppled over.

We did a quick exploration of the surrounding hills for some contractors and got a bird's eye view of Sandy Bank as well. The water was tinted orange from all guessed it...seaweed.

The road toward Turtle Beach was flooded, but passable.

Turtle Beach was rougher and a bit windier than most of our other stops, but still nothing major.

I know you're sick of hearing about seaweed, but this slop was so thick that it extended several feet into the sea.

Nothing major happening at Major's Bay either (Hey! What's missing from this photo? -The shore here was clean!). Nevis under a cloud.

We decided to skip Cockleshell Beach figuring it would look similar to what we'd already seen. On our way back, we noticed that one of the ferries had taken refuge in Ballast Bay. Told you it wasn't all that rough.

Michael checked the range gauge at his compound and it had captured 2.1" of water since yesterday afternoon. I'm sure it's safe to say that the mountains got a lot more than that. When heading back up Timothy, we notice a few more rocks in the road than were there on our first pass.

I really hate this fissure...

Curious about the ocean beaches northwest of the island, we drove to Keys Beach and were not disappointed. Wow. The waves were at least 12' here.

We even took a short video for you so you could get the feel for it. It was windy here, but probably more like 20-25 knots.

A peak further down the coast showed it was no better.

So that's it. We turned around and I've been trying to get this info posted ever since. We took the pictures between 11am and noon and the rain has stopped on our end of the island for now. We haven't heard of any mudslides or anything in the country but can update later if we find out anything. The radar still shows moisture out and about, but the worst of it should be gone. Let's hope so. If it stops  now we got lucky once again. Wahoo!  If not, I'll post again...