Archive for August 30th, 2008

Power restored to Sisters

Power restored to Sisters

| 30/08/2008 | 6 Comments

(CNS): Updated Sunday with Little Cayman pictures – Electricity has now been restored to most of the Sister Islands and Cayman Brac Power and Light (P&L) crews were working hard Sunday to get power to almost all residents and businesses by the end of the day. The All Clear for the Sister Islands was issued Sunday morning, and all medical services at Faith Hospital are fully functional following evacuation for Gustav. (Photo courtesy LCRC)

(CNS): By the end of Sunday, Cayman Brac Power and Light (P&L) will have restored electricity to 99% of Cayman Brac and 80% of Little Cayman. On Little Cayman, residents from the power plant to the Rock House — past Kingston Bight — now have electricity, including all resorts and condos except for Neptune’s Berth.

P&L General Manager Jonathan Tibbetts said Sunday afternoon that on Cayman Brac, the Brac Reef Beach Resort, Brac Caribbean, Carib Sands and the Captain’s Table Restaurant all had electricity, and the crew was concentrating Sunday afternoon on restoring electricity to the rest of the south side of the island, the only section of the island still without power, but almost everyone should have electricity by Sunday evening.

He said line crews were working from 4:00 in the morning to 9:00 at night to restore power across both islands, and he gave them great credit for the rapid response following Gustav, which far exceeded residents’ expections. He also thanked CUC, which sent seven men to help out the crew on the Brac. The two P&L staff members on Little Cayman, Waide Moore and Philburn Ayton, who had restored power to much of the island by themselves, hadbeen joined by two CUC staff members around noon Sunday to get the rest of the island hooked up.

On the Brac, P&L started to reconnect power at 11:00 am Saturday after turning off the power throughout the island around 5:00 pm Friday as hurricane strength winds smacked into the island.

At least five poles were blown down on Cayman Brac, mostly on the south side, and at least five poles snapped off. Power came back initially to residents and businesses from the Stake Bay power plant to the West End down to the airport and as far as the Water Authority, where a pole was down, according to Tibbetts.

The All Clear for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman was issued Sunday morning. However, authorities advised residents to exercise restraint in their trips, obey all temporary signage, and exercise extra caution and patience when they do have to move about.

While roadways are now passable on Cayman Brac, drivers are advised that crews will be working in the roadways over the next several days to restore utilities and remove debris. Drivers on Little Cayman should note that the main road around the perimeter of the island was breached and eroded in a number of places on the south side of the island. Crews will be working in the roadways over the next several days to repair roads, restore utilities and remove debris. (Right: Brac Reef pier)

Cayman Brac and Little Cayman received a heavy beating from Hurricane Gustav, which blew across as a category 1 hurricane, and residents and officials spent Saturday, 30 August, assessing the damage and making repairs, despite the fierce intermittent squalls that continued to strike throughout the day.

Due to extended power outages and downed utility poles Cable & Wireless customers in Spot Bay and South Side of Cayman Brac and the West End of Little Cayman may experience diminished service, the company reports. (Left: Crossroad Cayman Brac)

On Little Cayman, only 13 of the 164 people on island went to the shelter, though it turned out to be the worst affected of the three Cayman Islands, with minor to extensive roof damage to most buildings.

Jon Clamp, Manager of the Little Cayman Research Centre (LCRC), estimated that 25% of light poles had been blown down and wires were broken and they didn’t expect power to return for a while. There had been little flooding when he spoke Saturday afternoon, but said that if it continued to rain overnight there was a real concern that cistern tanks would be compromised. (Right: Southern Cross boat)

One area that is flooded was the airport, and since most of the boats on the island were blown ashore by Gustav, there are limited opportunities for people to get off or food supplies to get in. 

Clamp said that at the LCRC they had a generator with fuel to last a week to ten days and could therefore continue to pump water. “Our compost toilets are fully operational and anyone is welcome to use them,” he added. However, sanitation, food and fresh water could become a real issue across the island over the next 24 to 36 hours. Meals would be “a fairly rudimentary deal” with mostly canned food for awhile, he said.

Hardest hit on Little Cayman were the resorts inside the South Sound, with significant damage to Head O’ Bay and the Southern Cross Club main building. Both docks for these resorts have been washed away, Clamp reported, though he wasn’t sure about the docks at the other resorts (Left: HOB dock).

Both Little Cayman and Cayman Brac will also be receiving help from RFA Wave Ruler, and a helicopter from that ship earlier today picked up District Commissioner Ernie Scott for a flight to assess damage on both islands. The Wave Ruler recently participated in hurricane preparedness exercises with HMCI and the Sister Islands Hurricane Committee.

Shelters on the Brac were nowhere near full Friday night – at the Aston Rutty Civic Centre there were 252, the Brac Day Care Centre held 75, West End Primary School there were also 75, and in the Seamen and Veterans’ Centre, an unofficial shelter, there were 70 people. In addition, many people who now have homes on the Bluff took in friends and relatives from lowlands. (Left: 99-year-old Ina Watler at the ARCC)

Minor roof damage on a number of houses and commercial buildings on Cayman Brac included part of the roof of the Market Place and the shingles on the Coral Isle Bar (right). The roads on Cayman Brac were strewn with debris Saturday morning, especially on the south side in areas that have been cleared of natural vegetation, where the storm threw rocks and fill across the road. At Public Beach, the white exterior of the public toilet looked as if they had been spray painted with sand.

The top deck of the pier dock at the Brac Reef Beach Resort appears to have collapsed on top of  the bottom deck, while the Tiara dock (left), still damaged from the previous storm, was smashed into pieces and washed onto the beach. Brac Caribbean pier (below) was also damaged.

All Health Services Authority facilities including the Cayman Islands Hospital, the District Health Centers, Faith Hospital and Little Cayman Clinic will resume normal operations on Monday, 1 September. Emergency services at the Faith Hospital are now fully restored.

C&W recoverycrews have assessed damages and will provide additional assistance to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman to aid with the recovery and restoration process, the company says. This process is dependent on the restoration of utility poles and power to the affected areas and Cable & Wireless crews are working closely with the utility company to ensure the speedy recovery of service. (Below: Indepth Watersports vessel at Divi)

Cable & Wireless offers the following suggestions to its customers in areas affected by power outages: landline customers are encouraged to connect a phone that does not plug into an electrical outlet; Broadband customers can connect to the internet by powering up their ADSL modem using a UPS or generator supply.

Residents are asked to not touch or cut downed telephone cables but rather report to Cable & Wireless 24 hour Customer Care centre at 611. Customers who experience any issues with their service from Cable & Wireless are also encouraged to contact 611and are assured that all faults will be dealt with as a matter of priority.

Little Cayman photos courtesy of the Little Cayman Research Centre



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All Cayman Islands go clear

All Cayman Islands go clear

| 30/08/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS) Updated Sunday 11:00 am –– As Hurricane Gustav ploughed into the Gulf on Sunday  morning,  fluctuating betwenn a category 3/4 hurricane the Hazard Management Joint Information Services has announced the all clear for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Grand Cayman was cleared Saturday at noon. However, residents are urged to excercise caution as crews continue to work on road and utilityrepairs.

 While roads are now passable on the Brac crews will be workingover the next few days to restore utilities and remove debris. Drivers therefore should exercise restraint in their trips, and exercise extra caution and patience when they do have to move about. Meanwhile on Little Cayman the main road around the perimeter of the island was breached and eroded in a number of places on the south side of the island. Crews will be working in the roadways to both repair roads, restore utilities and remove debris. Drivers again are asked to exercise caution as the work is underway.

Grand Cayman residents are being asked to avoid the Queen’s Highway as CUC currently has several crews working on downed poles and lines in that area. The power firm said it is repairing the damage to its distribution system but power has been restored to the majority of customers who experienced an outage.  Rum Point up to but not including Royal Reef Resort and Frank Sound Road as well as a portion of North Sound Estates and the Birch Tree Hill and Boatswain Bay area of West Bay are still without power. CUC said these areas are receiving priority attention.CUC asked the public to contact the Outage Reporting Hotline at 945-1CUC (1282) to report other outages and advised the public to stay well clear of downed lines and report those to the 911 operator as a safety hazard. It said periodic updates would be provided through the media as the restoration proceeds and asked drivers to extend their courtesy to line crews and service vehicles as they work to reach and repair damage to the system.

“We are fortunate on Grand Cayman to have been spared the full intensity of the storm and were able to maintain power throughout the night for most of our customers,” said Richard Hew, President and Chief Executive Officer of CUC. “Our sister islands took a more direct hit, and we understand have sustained greater physical damage to their distribution systems.  We have been in contact with Johnathan Tibbetts of Cayman Brac Power and Light and the Honourable Arden McLean, Minister of Infrastructure, Communication and Works and we are making arrangements to provide assistance in their rebuilding effort.”

Meanwhile the Water Authority said there was a broken water main on Hospital Rd. Repairs are underway and are estimated to take approximately 3 hours for completion. The authority asked for co-operation from the general public in avoiding this area while repairs take place will help to speed restoration. All customers should continue to listen to the radio for updates from the Water Authority as well as visit our website at

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Iron Duke coming to assist

Iron Duke coming to assist

| 30/08/2008 | 0 Comments

Following the passage of Hurricane Gustav the British naval vessels, the Iron Duke and Wave Ruler will becoming into Cayman waters to assist with the clean up according to Hazard Management and Joint Communication Services.  Both ships were shadowing the storm so as to arrive as promptly as possible.


Current plans call for Iron Duke to offload a helicopter onto Wave Ruler, which will then continue to Cayman Brac, where the helicopter will pickup District Commissioner Ernie Scott for a flight to assess damage on both Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Wave Ruler recently participated in hurricane preparedness exercises with HMCI and the Sister Islands Hurricane Committee. Crew from the ship will assist with assessing the Islands’ needs.

 JIS said that plans then call for Wave Ruler to continue to Grand Cayman.

Police also asked resident to keep away from the George Town Harbour where the road is now closed. “There is still a safety concern,” said the police “We strongly advise people to stay away from the waterfront for their own safety at this time.


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Sistersand east worst hit

Sistersand east worst hit

| 30/08/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands woke on Saturday morning to mixed fortunes as Gustav rumbled by as a category two hurricane. The Sister Islands and eastern districts had sustained the most damage as the hurricane had passed as close as 25 miles to Little Cayman. Crews began assesing damage and clearing roads as soon as it was safe. (left Gustav rolls in)

A number of light poles are down on Little Cayman and some have described as “cracked in half.” Trees were also toppled and several docks are reported destroyed. Boats have also been washed ashore, debris clutters the roads making them difficult to pass and damage to the Southern Cross Club has been reported. According to government reports as the storm was approaching, a couple was treated by the local nurse after being washed into the sea. They had been on a dock taking photographs however, according to government sources there are no reported injuries at this time.

On Cayman Brac a number of poles are down and power is out across the entire island. There is extensive debris on the roads and some are completely blocked. There is also some general damage to homes and vehicles across the island.  For their own safety, residents of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are asked to stay indoors. Power lines are down and some roads are blocked with debris and authorities say they will be able to work on repairs and debris clearance more effectively if the public remains indoors.  Winds over the Sister Islands were decreasing during Saturday morning but wave heights and rain bands were still affecting the islands. Residents were also being advised to stay in shelters or their homes until the official all clear has been given.   

On Grand Cayman the impact of Gustav was felt mostly on the north eastern side of island. In East End one shelter lost generator power and a great deal of debris was washed ashore near The Edge in North Side. Sand is also said to be blocking the road around the Moritts Resort. The NEOC said it was receiving numerous reports of downed trees, including one that fell on a shelter warden’s car. Fallen trees blocking main roads will have priority for cleanup.

In George Town the police are asking owners to move vehicles parked on Bobby Thompson Way as CUC need these vehicles to be moved ASAP in order for them to carry out their duties. Bodden Town Police Station has also returned to its home bas and can be contacted at 947 2220.

Tropical storm force winds will linger over Grand Cayman until about 1:00 pm.  For the next 24 hours, wave heights of 14 to 16 feet can be expected, particularly along the west and south coasts of Grand Cayman. Rain-bands associated with Gustav will continue to affect the Cayman Islands for the next 24 hours with rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches likely. The storm will continue to affect Grand Cayman for at least five hours. Grand Cayman is still experiencing heavy winds, with strong gusts, and waves with heights of 14 to 16 feet.




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CUC assessing power outages

CUC assessing power outages

| 30/08/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Throughout Gustav’s passage over Grand Cayman power was lost in various places though there was no island wide shut down. Caribbean Utilities Company said it was effective in maintaining power throughout most of the island. “However, high wind and severe weather conditions prevented us from safely assessing and responding to the damage in some areas,” the power firm said.


During the night CUC responded to a number of outages related to high wind and flying debris and there are still some ongoing service outages which crews will be working on when it is safe and there was no damage to the North Sound Road generating facility.

Power is still out from the Frank Sound substation, East End and North Side through to Rum Point. In the George Town area a portion of North Sound Estates and the South end of Seven Mile beach including a portion of Eastern Avenue, as well as Walker’s Road, Anthony Drive, Passadora Place, Outpost Street, Fairbanks Road, Eden Center are without power.

In West Bay Birch Tree Hill and Boatswain Bay are also out.

CUC asked the public to contact the Outage Reporting Hotline at 945-1CUC(1282) to report other outages

“We advise the public to stay well clear of downed lines and report downed lines to the 911 operator,” said CUC. “CUC has begun the formal assessment and restoration process and will begin work once the wind has abated enough to safely put line crews on the road. We will provide periodic updates through the media as the restoration proceeds. Please extend your courtesy to our line crews and service vehicles as we work to reach and repair damage to the system. CUC would like to thank our operations and line staff who worked throughout the night in difficult conditions to maintain and restore power to our customers,” the firm added.

Although no details have yet bee received from Brac Power and Light Company power remains out across the Sister Islands.


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