HURRICANE SANDY AFTERMATH: ABACO PICTURES, NEWS FROM DELPHI CLUB, BAHAMAS & MANATEE UPDATE


DAMAGE FROM HURRICANE SANDY AT THE DELPHI CLUB, ABACO

The storm has passed from the Bahamas and the clear-up is underway – but further north communities are bracing themselves for the onslaught. The news today  from contacts, from Facebook and the web generally, is of thankfully little lasting damage, with power and comms restored in many places. There’s been plenty of flooding – eg Sandy Point – and tree / plant mayhem.

The Delphi Club was again, as with Irene last year, almost directly beneath the eye of the storm. Then, a couple of leaves were lost from the pineapple crown (above), a few fittings were smashed, and the gardens were unceremoniously rearranged. Peter Mantle, Delphi Club supremo, has posted his record of the last few days at the club – the approach of Sandy, the storm, and the aftermath. I am posting extracts below, to be read (chronologically) from the bottom entry to the top of the page. For those who haven’t experienced a storm of this violence, Peter’s account gives a vivid picture of the before, the during and the after…

Apologies for having posted about Sandy in detail with maps etc, and at the crucial time tailing off  while I was away and had only an iPhone™  and a sporadic connection…

STOP PRESS: AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS – BRAVE OR FOOLISH? 29 October

Peter Mantle has just sent me a ‘Sandy’ photo from the Delphi Club beach, showing a group of oystercatchers on the rocks at one end of Rolling Harbour. Storm detritus already festoons the rocks. Have the birds seen what’s about to hit them? Are they waterproof? 

STOP PRESS: BMMRO MANATEE UPDATE 29 October

The BMMRO has posted news from Sandy Point and for those who have been asking after manatee Georgie’s welfare, an update:

“Hi Everyone, everything is ok here at the research center! We are working on getting information on Georgie’s whereabouts and we will happily update everyone as soon as we hear anything. There’s still a bit of damage here in Abaco that is preventing travel but hopefully we will be able to get up to Georgie soon”.

STOP PRESS: SOME ABACO IMAGES 28 October

(credits to Timothy Roberts & Cindy James Pinder and their facebook posts)

SANDY TAKES BONEFISH; DARK HUMOUR ON DARK DAYS

OCTOBER 27th Among the many bits of minor damage caused by Hurricane Sandy was the destruction of our bonefish weather vane. This had been hand-made by the other Sandy, our general manager, and stood atop his lodgings. Snapped off, the copper creation was found nearby, bruised and dented, rather like ourselves.

Yet again, we have been very fortunate – staff and guests are all well. And most of the damage caused by the 100mph winds was minor. The storm had its moments, but the worst bits were at nighttime when many people were huddled safe in bed. Lots of bumps and bangs provided a spooky soundtrack, but it was more of a B movie than a full-blown Hollywood epic. That said, I hate to think what a really big Category 3, 4 or 5 hurricane would be like.

We still have no mains electricity; thank God for the gennie. We have no phones or mobile connection, so we have little idea of what is going on elsewhere on the island. We hope for the best but fear not all will have escaped as lightly as we did. Some of the staff from Crossing Rocks are stranded here by flooding. But the wireless internet is back so all will soon be revealed.

Yet again, the gardens have been shredded. The banana trees have been snapped off mid-fruiting. My favorite banyan tree has broken in half again, having nearly bounced back from Irene. The big Bismark ferns are banjaxed, the bougainvillea is blasted leafless and the pool is a mess. But who cares. We are fine. Dunkirk spirit? Well, very black humour and spirits of a different kind have seen us through.

“I survived Sandy” T-shirts are now in preparation, but that’s a staff joke about their hyperactive and heroic boss…..

A BAD HAIR DAY…

OCTOBER 25th It is getting distinctly breezy here, with winds as bad as any Irish gale. But Hurricane Sandy, now upgraded to a Category 2 hurricane, is still some 18 hours away and currently features average winds of 105mph with higher gusts. It may get even worse, they say. So no fishing today. More guests have made it in. Bahamasair even ran a plane out of Nassau at first light this morning.

While we still have power and phones, the lines are buzzing and we are glued to the internet. It seems odd to see that Sandy is the lead news story on the BBC. Non-technical guests have adjourned to the library (where “A Perfect Storm” and “Winnie the Poo and the Blustery Day” are current favourites). The air of gloom is more attributable to the fact that Arsenal lost at home last night than to any fears for personal safety.

We may go quiet for a while.

NOTHING VERY FEMININE ABOUT THIS SANDY

OCTOBER 24th, noon Tropical storms are now given boys’ and girls’ names alternately; in the old days they were all girls. The one that currently threatens us is Sandy, a name that is more commonly applied to females in this part of the world. But there is nothing too feminine about this storm; as the forecast deteriorates and Sandy intensifies into a hurricane over Jamaica, we are becoming more and more concerned by its macho capabilities.

The National Hurricane Centre now predicts that Sandy will pass very close to Abaco – the predicted path having shifted overnight. As it now looks, the eye may pass just 25 miles from us, which would basically be a direct hit since damaging winds spread far out from the centre. We are going to have to keep a very close on on this little girl over the next 48 hours.

ALL EYES ON SANDY

OCTOBER 23rd No sooner has the Club reopened for the new season than a tropical storm appears on the horizon. And, in a twist of divine humour, it’s been christened after our general manager, Sandy.

Sandy (the mostly human version) is tracking Sandy (the swirling tempest) on an hourly basis. As it now stands, we are in the “cone” of the likely track of the storm over coming days. Currently south of Jamaica, TS Sandy is turning north and could yet morph into a hurricane. It’s expected to be over or near us by Friday night, with “average” winds of nearly 60mph and gusts of up to 90mph.

Hatches will therefore be battened, outdoor furniture put back indoors and supplies of grog reinforced. The lucky fishers in residence will have to take a breather, while the new chef, John, will receive a special form of baptism.

Tropical storms this late in the year are a great rarity. Somehow that is not very reassuring just now. But the forecast for the following week is rather better… 

Click image to visit the Delphi Club

A MAP OF HURRICANES WORLDWIDE SINCE 1851: THE PLANET’S HOT-SPOTS


HURRICANE PATHS ON PLANET EARTH

Hurricanes. Extreme weather events that can strike anywhere in the world’s vulnerable zones. But where are these to be found? And in those zones, is there any historical evidence demonstrating that particular areas of the world are more vulnerable than others? A recent post on the very informative ABACO SCIENTIST website includes a comprehensive map of all hurricanes recorded since 1851. This map gives a clear picture of the hot-spots and danger areas. 

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking south from the balcony

The source is NASA and the article may be found HERE. I reproduce the map and explanation, with acknowledgement to John Nelson and IDV Solutions. Each blue link in the explanation below will take you to a new source of hurricane information, so the article is a valuable resource as a gateway to further hurricane knowledge.

EXPLANATION AND WORLD MAP

“Should you be worried about hurricanes? To find out, it is useful to know where hurricanes have gone in the past. The Earth map shows the path of every hurricane reported since 1851, Although striking, a growing incompleteness exists in the data the further one looks back in time. The Earth map graphically indicates that hurricanes — sometimes called cyclones or typhoons depending on where they form — usually occur over water, which makes sense since evaporating warm water gives them energy. The map also shows that hurricanes never cross — or even occur very near — the Earth’s equator, since the Coriolis effect goes to zero there, and hurricanes need the Coriolis force to circulate. The Coriolis force also causes hurricane paths to arc away from the equator. Although incompleteness fogs long term trends and the prevalence of hurricanes remains a topic of research, evidence is accumulating that hurricanes are, on the average, more common and more powerful in the North Atlantic Ocean over the past 20 years.”

Image Credit & Copyright: John Nelson, IDV Solutions

The eye of Hurricane Irene passes directly over the Delphi Club, Abaco 26 August 2011

The image below was shared on Facebook, but I don’t have the inventor’s name. I’m sorry not to be able to identify the originator of this ingenious hurricane warning. Every home should have one… 

HURRICANE ISAAC LATEST UPDATES 30 AUGUST; IMAGES; TRACKING; MAPS; SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE


AUGUST 30

Noon GMT Some more pictures overnight – a selection of clips from a short HuffPo video

AUGUST 29

22.00 GMT Latest news: Hurricane Isaac has just been downgraded to a Tropical Storm (I realise that for those caught up in the heart of flooding, damage and widespread outages, this may be of little practical comfort – but it is perhaps some encouragement for those further north in the path of the storm).

18.00 GMT Some pictures are now coming out giving an idea of the ferocity of the storm. I’ve assembled a short gallery from Reuters, AP/Getty and similar news resources, which I will add to as and when…

DANGER SIGNWRECKED PIERHURRICANE CHANCERS… ARE THEY CRAZY?NEW ORLEANS POLICE ON PATROLUPROOTED TREEBUILDING DAMAGEROUGH SEASFALLEN TREEIS THIS WOMAN BEING SENSIBLE?

NOA SATELLITE IMAGE AUGUST 29th

Noon GMT The latest Wunderground tracker map for Hurricane Isaac shows the storm’s current position and its subsequent path, decreasing to tropical storm and then tropical depression as it sweeps northwards through Arkansas. The eastwards tendency, noted previously, is now pronounced with the storm predicted to turn towards Missouri and Kentucky.

09.00 GMT Having had many hundreds of hits for this storm post, including a great many from the southern coastal states of the US, I am posting some further information about Hurricane Isaac today, as the storm rages over New Orleans and more widely across the state. 

I have been wondering about the New Orleans flood defences that are constantly referred to in news reports, so firstly here is a clear map of the situation showing the reinforcement since Hurricane Katrina 

Here is a satellite video of Hurricane Isaac approaching the US coast, taken over two days. It vividly shows the development in the Gulf of Mexico from a “disorganised” tropical storm into a swirling, concentrated hurricane-force storm, with the eye becoming visible as it approaches the coast.

Finally (for now) this is the astonishing view from a space station, giving an idea of the storm’s extent

AUGUST 28

Posting suspended

AUGUST 27

TS ISAAC STORM TRACKING: LATEST UPDATE 23.00 GMT

GOES satellite image of TS Isaac 27 August Noon

TS ISAAC STORM TRACKING: LATEST UPDATE 09.00 GMT

Here is this morning’s (GMT) tracking map, with the storm in the Gulf of Mexico, still drifting westwards. Predicted landfall is now mainly on the Louisiana coast. The most significant change overnight is that the Cat 2 prediction has been downgraded, so that the max expected strength is Cat 1

The satellite picture shows Isaac thickly covering the Gulf of Mexico with dense cloud. The coloured markings to the right show the data recorded by the NOAA Hurricane Hunter flying on the eastern edge of the storm (where the winds are less)

Since this is a Bahamian-based blog (with close Florida connections) Isaac’s current position makes this a suitable moment to return to the main business of Rolling Harbour – the wildlife of Abaco. At exactly this time last year, Hurricane Irene was passing directly over Abaco, with the eye going right over HQ at the Delphi Club. The northward passage of Isaac has of course affected the weather there, but it has been spared the ferocity of 2011. We’ll be thinking of course about all those in the US in Isaac’s path when landfall is made shortly

AUGUST 26

I have concentrated for obvious reasons on the projected path of Isaac with special reference to its proximity to the Bahamas in general, and Abaco in particular. I may have given the impression that the continuing westward movement of the storm’s path has meant that Abaco would enjoy glorious dawns, wonderful sunny days and spectacular sunsets. Not so, of course – the side-effects of the storm continue laterally for large distances. It’s lunchtime on Abaco now, and a message from Brigitte Carey on Tilloo Cay says simply “Yes, its nasty here – lots of wind and rain!”

TS ISAAC STORM TRACKING: LATEST UPDATE 16.00 GMT

First, a recent satellite image of the developing Cat 1 hurricane, still expected to reach Cat 2 as it make landfall on the southern US coast, followed by a tracker map confirming the westward tendency of the predicted path Continue reading

ABACO & HURRICANE IRENE: A SCIENTIFIC RETROSPECTIVE


                    ABACO, BAHAMAS & HURRICANE IRENE                         A SCIENTIFIC RETROSPECTIVE

The contents of this post must be credited at the outset to the excellent website UNIVERSE TODAY and NASA where you can easily get Lost in Space for an eon or two. 

For 1o days at the end of August / in early September, the rh wildlife focus was supplanted by intensive weather blogging about Hurricane Irene from an Abaco perspective – the approach, direct journey north over the island, real-time reports and images of the storm and its aftermath, communication links and so forth. All from a safe distance of 4250 miles. On 26 August alone, this small blog – average daily hits 20 – had over 5000 hits…

3 months on, I have decided to revisit Hurricane Irene and the Bahamas because there is still a great deal of interest out there – I still get plenty of hits for the ‘storm posts’ – and much more available information. Some of these UNIVERSE TODAY / NASA images & videos are truly spectacular. The focus is on the 3 days August 24 – 26: before, during and after Abaco was struck by the storm

HURRICANE IRENE – ABACO / BAHAMAS SPACE PHOTOGRAPHS        (VIDEOS BELOW)

August 24, 2011 14.55 EDT Irene (taken by the GOES satellite) approaching the Bahamas. It now has a distinct eye and the clouds spiraling around the center are becoming more compact. The image also shows how large Irene has become, measuring several hundred kilometers across 

August 24, 2011 15:10 p.m. EDT View of Hurricane Irene from the International Space Station 230 miles above the Bahamas, moving northwest as a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 120 mph, expected to strengthen to a Category 4 storm imminently

August 25 2011  8.00 EDT Hurricane Irene 65 miles east-southeast of Nassau, Bahamas. Irene’s top sustained winds remain at 115 mph, moving to the northwest at 13 mph

August 25 2011 16.30 EDT Hurricane Irene from the International Space Station, clearing the Bahamas and heading north towards the US coast

HURRICANE IRENE VIDEOS – BAHAMAS REGION

1. HOW DOES A HURRICANE FORM? Insight into the process can be gleaned by watching a rapid time lapse movie of the formation of Hurricane Irene as it sweeps northwards across the Caribbean region

2. HURRICANE IRENE FROM CARIBBEAN TO CANADA This astounding NASA video tracks the path of Hurricane Irene from August 23 to August 29, showing the formation in the Caribbean region, the path over Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Bahamas and the US East Coast northwards to Canada 

3. HURRICANE IRENE IN 20 SECONDS (NOAA/ GOES) A psychedelic trip

CREDITS for images, videos and text (as adapted) go to the websites of UNIVERSE TODAY,  NASA and GOES PROJECT (NASA)

HURRICANE IRENE: ABACO NEWS UPDATE AUG 29… WILDLIFE EFFECTS?


HURRICANE IRENE: LATEST ABACO NEWS UPDATE

AUGUST 29

TO SEE YESTERDAY’S POST CLICK===>>> IRENE 28 AUG

22.00 GMT Here’s the link to 4 very short video clips from ‘Capt-Chris’ in Marsh Harbour CLICK===>>> MH CLIPS 

For those wondering what Rolling Harbour is all about, here is a view of it – a Google Maps image taken just before building started, over which I have superimposed a picture of the Delphi Club. Last Thursday, the sea covered all the visible sand and beyond into the scub, with waves smashing up against the cliff-face. The wooden steps to the beach (on the right of the photo), although robust, were expected to be smashed completely, but amazingly they have survived intact. Double-click to enlarge.

19.00 GMT I notice I have been getting a great many hits from searches with the format ‘Abaco…damage…[place]‘. Local10.com has been excellent in its reporting of Abaco and Irene, with first-class live open-air reports from Janine Stanwood while the storm raged around her, and informative, balanced studio coverage. Here is the link to the recent 39-images slideshow. Some are captioned with location  CLICK==>> LOCAL10 

Meanwhile, according to travel sites, Hotels & Resorts on Abaco have been confirming minimal damage  to buildings – nothing structural so far, anyway – and problems confined in various degrees to the “landscaping”. The overall picture is “open for business”

16.00 GMT a message (thanks, Susan) reads “…thanks for the info. We live if Fl and have dealt with more than a few hurricanes. I love Rolling Harbour and the Delphi [Club] is beautiful – the beach is stunning. Good luck with the clean up and thank you again for your site. I hope the parrots did well – they were finally coming back after the beating they took from Hurricanes Floyd and Frances“.

I am hoping to be able to post about the parrots once Caroline Stahala has had a chance to make an assessment of the situation. Having just finished the chick banding project (see ABACO PARROT CHICK BANDING with unique photos) they must be at the forefront of her mind: she has been engaged in their research and conservation for several years. As for other wildlife, wearing my more natural-fitting blog hat I am hoping to have some news from Ricky Johnson once he too has a chance to get out there and see the effects of the Irene on the birds.

At least we know the W I woodpecker family at Delphi are (probably) ok… here’s a picture (the subject of a caption competition) from a while back to add some cheer with their comic behaviour  (photo credit David Rainford)

14.00 GMT: Back home in London. I have at last had some news from Long Beach, about which there have been queries. Phone calls are now getting through and the damage news from there is “except for some downed trees everything is ok”. Thanks, Elizabeth. Perhaps that is optimistic for comms for most if not all of South Abaco today – and hopefully elsewhere.

Online, there hasn’t been much new activity – still very few storm images (apart from weather maps / satellite images from last week). The ones from this blog are all there now. And very few videos beyond those I have already given the links to. Press reports are, as you might expect, concentrate on what did – or didn’t – happen in NYC yesterday. I’ll check later for updates, but I have a feeling that as links are gradually restored, my storm-related usefulness is coming to an end. Soon I’ll be back to reporting on parrots, reef fish and cone shells… 

09.30 GMT: Post haste: I am travelling this morning. and will post anything of note later on. I’ll be interested to know how things are going, and whether communications are getting back to normal. Please feel free to leave any useful info in the comment box at the bottom, which others can then see. Here a a few items from yesterday’s post to be going on with

  CLICK LOGO ===>>> 

   CLICK LOGO===>>

09.00 GMT: NEWS FROM THE DELPHI CLUB, ROLLING HARBOUR SOUTH ABACO 

Caroline Stahala reports: “Now the clean up begins. We were very lucky but it will still be quite an extensive recovery process.  Even though the house seemed to have withstood the high winds and rain, many of the trees and other vegetation were not as fortunate. And as with most hurricanes, we are bound to see more loss of vegetation and defoliation over the next few weeks. But since you are running a natural history blog, I thought I would add a bird note to the story. So, I have mentioned the woodpeckers that have chicks in the house Sandy built. Well, these birds deserve to be recognized as parents of the year. During a Cat 3 hurricane, the parents were out looking for food for the chicks.  I am attaching a picture of the woodpecker dad waiting for an opportune time to fly out during the eye of the storm.  I am also attaching some hurricane pictures taken from a safe spot during the storm. I appreciate all of your thoughts and well wishes. Crazy experience to say the least.”

Here are her excellent photos (© Caroline Stahala – please credit her if you use them), followed by 3 of my own of them same views taken in March 2011

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking south from the balcony

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking south across the pool area

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking north to the end of the bay

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking south to the end of the bay

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Father woodpecker stands guard over the chicks

The Palm Tree in photo 3 above, in less adverse weather

Delphi Club: the beach looking north (storm photo 3)

Delphi Club: looking south over the pool area (see storm photos 1,2 & 4)

HEADLINEGRABBER Marsh Harbour feature 27 Aug  CLICK===>>> HERE

 (CLICK LOGO LINK) a useful resource for updates. I have put the link the Sidebar Twitter section for those that may want to Retweet the link.

HURRICANE IRENE: ABACO NEWS UPDATE and 5* IMAGES AUG 28 from Delphi Club, Rolling Harbour


HURRICANE IRENE: ABACO NEWS UPDATE        AUGUST 28 [for news update Aug 29 CLICK==>HERE]

22.30 GMT: No additional Abaco news. Time to sign off unless I get any further info by email… until tomorrow. Meanwhile, good luck with the clear-up…

20.00 GMT: There’s a new short report on the DELPHI CLUB website, for those keeping an eye on Rolling Harbour rolling news… It basically cross-refers to this Post (which can be reached direct from the Delphi website) and the vivid images, adding: “In essence, all is well. But there will be lots of clearing up to do”. 

19.00 GMT: Not much to report, except that my impression is that communications are gradually being re-established on Abaco. I notice the Rocky Bay webcam on Elbow Cay is still down, but I doubt it’s a priority right now…I have sent out a few inquiries, and am waiting responses which I will post as and when. Meanwhile there is a new post from Conch Salad TV – a site many Abaconians will be familiar with – that includes video clips of Irene from last week   CLICK LOGO ===>>> 

14.00 GMT: The media focus has pretty much left the Bahamas in its wake, much like Irene itself. Very little online material that adds anything. However, Firefly Sunset Resort in Hope Town is posting regular updates on its Facebook page, including images of the aftermath of Irene.The message boards below may also help those seeking Elbow Cay information                                                          CLICK LOGO===>>

09.00 GMT: STOP PRESS NEWS FROM THE DELPHI CLUB, ROLLING HARBOUR SOUTH ABACO I have just heard from Caroline Stahala at Delphi, where some comms have now been restored. She has been on guard throughout. Those familiar with the day-job of this blog – Abaco wildlife – will know that she is a research scientist heading the project dedicated to the conservation of the Abaco Parrot. Put her name in the search box – or ‘Abaco Parrots’ –  and the relevant POSTS will come up. 

Caroline reports: “Now the clean up begins. We were very lucky but it will still be quite an extensive recovery process.  Even though the house seemed to have withstood the high winds and rain, many of the trees and other vegetation were not as fortunate. And as with most hurricanes, we are bound to see more loss of vegetation and defoliation over the next few weeks. But since you are running a natural history blog, I thought I would add a bird note to the story. So, I have mentioned the woodpeckers that have chicks in the house Sandy built. Well, these birds deserve to be recognized as parents of the year. During a Cat 3 hurricane, the parents were out looking for food for the chicks.  I am attaching a picture of the woodpecker dad waiting for an opportune time to fly out during the eye of the storm.  I am also attaching some hurricane pictures taken from a safe spot during the storm. I appreciate all of your thoughts and well wishes. Crazy experience to say the least.”

And here are the graphic pictures. There are very few images from Abaco online yet – no doubt because comms are down – so it’s worth pointing out that these are from a place over which the eye of the storm passed directly. I should add that these images are © Caroline Stahala – please credit her if you use them

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking south from the balcony

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking south across the pool area

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking north to the end of the bay

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking south to the end of the bay

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Father woodpecker stands guard over the chicks

The Palm Tree in photo 3 above, in less adverse weather

Delphi Club: the beach looking north (storm photo 3)

Delphi Club: looking south over the pool area (see storm photos 1,2 & 4)

08.00 GMT: Hi on Sunday 25 Aug. I have had a quick look online to see what new information there may be… here are a couple of items to be going on with.

HEADLINEGRABBER has a Marsh Harbour-based feature posted yesterday 27 Aug at 12.18 pm LT CLICK===>>> HERE

 (CLICK LOGO LINK) looks a useful resource for updates from contributors, e.g. “At Marsh Harbour airport they had  minimal structural damage.” I have also put the link in a Tweet in the Sidebar Twitter section for those that may want to Retweet the link.

Finally for now, here is an image from the Australian Telegraph that vividly shows Irene’s track over the Bahamas 

HURRICANE IRENE: ABACO NEWS UPDATE AUG 28


HURRICANE IRENE: ABACO NEWS UPDATE AUG 28

PLEASE NOTE: HAVING JUST RECEIVED A REPORT AND PHOTOGRAPHS THIS MORNING FROM CAROLINE STAHALA AT THE DELPHI CLUB, I HAVE REVISED AND REPOSTED THIS WHOLE POST AS A NEW POST  CLICK===>>> ABACO NEWS UPDATE AUG 28

09.00 GMT: STOP PRESS NEWS FROM THE DELPHI CLUB, ROLLING HARBOUR SA