The pictures and accounts of the damage, and effects of Irma, as she swept across the Leeward Island are breathtaking. In a bad way. For instance the airport in St. Maarten is gone. Destroyed. Princess Juliana airport was a classic old place. Basically a big old Quonset hut looking place. It had one of the best airport restaurants, and bars, in the Caribbean. Jimmy Buffett writes songs about places like it was. Been there many times.
I say “was” because the airport was rebuilt a few years ago. Modern looking, glass and aluminum, steel supported, state of the art. And built to withstand a direct strike from a hurricane.
This morning jet ways are strewn across the runway. Windows blown out. The inside no longer resembling the pristine transportation hub it was designed to be. Critical navigation, and communication systems no longer operating. Gone. And this was built to be “a survivor.” Until the strongest Atlantic hurricane in history hit it head on.
And then there are social media messages like this one forwarded to me from Bill Rehkopf a friend and anchor at CBS radio;
“Here is an update. St. Thomas is completely destroyed. We are in a state of emergency. If you all are working we really need as much media outreach as possible…. ”
This storm continues to move toward the United States and is not really losing any steam. Time to live it six hours at a time. Every update will give us more data that will either show a change in direction, or the same bad conclusion. Updates are four times a day but will increase as the storm gets within striking distance.
If you have friends, family, or property in South Florida it IS time to be very aware.
Locally we have the EXACT opposite forecast. Sunny, gentle breezes, low humidity, and temps in the low to mid 70’s. No tougher than that. Now through Monday morning. It is at that time we will see, hopefully, only the remnants of Irma. And that would be a pretty breezy, and rainy day.
It seems the word hopefully takes on added dimension here, and there.