Power restored to Sisters

| 30/08/2008

(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, had been 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 a while, 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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  1. Quincy Brown says:

    Thanks Caymannewsservice for the up-to-date accurate news reporting.  During my time in Guyana I relied on CNS in staying abreast with Hurricane Gustav and the Cayman Islands.


    CNS continues to be the Cayman Islands’ foremost and best internet news service provider!


    Quincy Brown


    Radio News Reporter

  2. Im still up in California working on the other boat, but I was most pleased that no one was hurt. Its a bit sad to see Deja Vu parked on the beach like that, but i can replace her or fix her. Just happy to hear everyone is well and unharmed.
    Thanks Nicky and everyone for the updates, you know I wasnt hearing anything on the news here. too busy showing endless lines of people getting on busses..

     Best to everyone in the islands, I miss you all and will be home soon to get that boat off the beach.. I wouldnt want to make the timeshares look bad.. Oi..

     Craig Burhart

    Indepth Watersports

    • Anonymous says:

      Hope you had insurance. You can not make timeshares look any worse. I am sure Carl will have boat ready by the time you get home

  3. Danny Wood says:

    Great updates and made us feel confident that many friends in Grand Cayman were doing OK.

    Keep the news coming, your reports are better than any other news website, especially here in the UK as the media didnt seem to report much!


    Glad you are all OK and hope everything is sorted out for you all soon 

  4. Glynis Sullivan-Porteous says:

    Thanks for such an up to date site.  As a UK resident and anxious about friends in Cayman, I’m so pleased that you run such up to date stories.  It is so frustrating over here about the lack of information on Cayman.  Well done and a big thank you for keeping me posted.

  5. Ms Charlie says:

    Thanks, Jon, for the update. It’s the best report I’ve seen concerning Little Cayman. I hope we get images and a full report later, but I know for now clean-up and care for everyone on the island is a first priority. I know the tenacity of Little Cayman residents and still feel connected to everyone there, having lived and worked there for 7 years, and I am certain the island wil bounce back fully as it has in the past. Prayers to all who are working to that goal.

    Miss Charlie, former chef at Southern Cross Club