Hurricane Ivan

Grand Cayman
September 11, 12 & 13, 2004

One of the biggest storms ever recorded devastated the island on Saturday night September 11th and did not let up until Monday morning September 13th. Some reports noted sustained winds of 160mph (260km/h) with tornadic gusts of up to 225mph (360km/h). There was widespread flooding with reports that most of the island disappeared from radar and became part of the sea during the storm. Vegetation was overwhelmed by the wind and flooding, vehicles destroyed, and entire residential complexes completely wiped from the face of the island. Water supply and power was cut and is expected to take up to 3 months to repair. Tourists are being denied entry until accommodations are repaired.

My friends and I were lucky enough to have a hurricane rated building to hold-up in while the storm passed. We watched the carnage through thick glass…trees being ripped out of the ground, roofs being blown off, and flood waters rising. Upon returning to our homes after the storm, we found that our property was not badly damaged except for my car, which was flooded too much to repair. (my insurance did not cover hurricane damage!) We were lucky compared to others who lost everything they had except what they brought to the shelters.

From the window of our shelter, a lawyers office in a hurricane rated building.

On the way home from the shelter...we had to drive around someones roof that was blown into the street.

View from my front door.

Nothing left of Mariners Cove residential development. How strong do wind and waves need to be to bend these fence posts?

Debris from Mariners Cove swept inland.

Windsor Village condos across the street from my place on South Sound Road were heavilly damaged.

The man who stayed in this house survived the storm in the entryway.

Morritt's Tortuga Club ground floor seaside units took a hit.

South Sound Road completely washed away.

Crews are hard at work repairing and replacing roofs.

A few days after the storm pasted we were told to evacuate. This is the Cayman Airport with probably close to 1,000 people waiting for free flights to Miami. This was a first come first served basis as there were no reservation computers running. We waited 12 hours in the sun and 33°C heat for the first flight. There was absolutely no organization by the authorities. It was chaos!