Total devastation. Hurricane Irma came, destroyed and left. But there by the Grace of God, Cayman was spared from its horrors.
As many of our Caribbean neighbours – and friends and family in Florida – are today counting the costs and cleaning up the mess, Cayman can breathe a sigh of relief – for now.
Aside from strong waves bashing the waterfront, a road-closure and some heavy winds, Cayman came out relatively unscathed.
But as many of us remember 13 years ago this week, when Hurricane Ivan wasn’t so kind, thoughts must be spared to those around us who weren’t so lucky.
Irma hit the Florida Keys on Sunday flooding streets and cutting power to more than three million people. Construction cranes high above the Miami skyline snapped like twigs.
At least 24 people died in Anguilla, Barbuda, the French-Dutch island of St. Martin, St. Barts, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.
One of those who perished was a 2-year-old boy, swept away when his home was filled with water.
Cuba too has been hit hard with seawater penetrating almost a mile inland. But there were no reported fatalities, as more than a million people were evacuated from flood-prone areas.
Here in Cayman, the RCIPS, 16 police officers were deployed to the British Virgin Islands to help provide law enforcement and humanitarian support.
The Caribbean Utilities Company have also chipped in – sending seven members of staff to Turks and Caicos to help restore power.
Elsewhere, many Caymanians have begun collecting items ready to send abroad to those in need – but Government have warned caution, as some countries hit by the hurricane are suffering from looters stealing much needed supplies.
Weather Director John Tibbetts says just because Irma has passed us by, doesn’t mean we should be complacent.
He said: “Season remains active so we should all stay on-guard. Hurricane Jose does not appear to be a threat to the Cayman Islands but others may form.”