Hurricane Earl Update
Hurricane Earl, at category 3, hit St Barth on August 29 and 30 with strong winds and rough seas. The strongest wind gusts were measured at 105m/h. The south side of the island was hit the worse (Gustavia, Corossol, Public, Colombier). Five planes that had been left at the airport were damaged, two almost completely. All of the commercial planes had been flown to Guadeloupe, Martinique or CuraĆ§ao. The airport was operational again by 9:00 am Tuesday morning, August 31. The electricity was restored for the most part by the end of Monday, with the remaining outages repaired by Wednesday. The project of putting the electrical lines underground certainly paid off for many residents and visitors. Hopefully, that will be completed island-wide before too long. Desalinated water from Gustavia was cut off Sunday afternoon but available again by Wednesday. Most of the damage was to trees and beaches. The sand on most of the beaches on that side of the island has been replaced with large boulders and rocks. Three months after hurricane Omar hit St Barth, the sand had returned to Colombier, so there is hope. The Collectivity had just completed adding sand to the beach at Corossol before Earl arrived and was preparing to start a project to add sand to Shell Beach. I guess the lesson learned is that nature is more powerful than man, and we should just let it take its natural course. Hopefully, the sand will find its way back to Colombier, Corossol, Shell Beach and Public with a little time. At right is a photo of the beach at Colombier after Earl. Still beautiful, just different.