Hurricane Irma, remembering 1 year on.

Part 2 of Captain Matt's account of Hurricane Irma. He reflects on the emotions swirling in his house as Irma finally arrived........(Read part 1 here)

Fear is a feeling induced by perceived danger or threat that occurs in certain types of organisms, which causes a change in metabolic and organ functions and ultimately a change in behavior, such as fleeing, hiding, or freezing from perceived traumatic events. Fear in human beings may occur in response to a specific stimulus occurring in the present, or in anticipation or expectation of a future threat perceived as a risk to body or life. Source Wikipedia Sept 2018.

 British Virgin Islands in the eye of the storm

British Virgin Islands in the eye of the storm

It's the morning that we had been dreading. Watching Irma inch ever closer to us on NOAA website, we now knew it was inevitable.

09.00. The winds starting to pick up and by 11.00 they were at hurricane force strength. For the next two hours the winds steadily increased to the point where our concrete house was shaking and the noise was terrifying. Just like most people, I’ve seen plenty of disaster movies but this was something that not even Steven Spielberg could accurately put onto the big screen. The noise of the wind can only be described as satanic, it was haunting, menacing and terrifying all at the same time and then there was the sound of heavy debris hitting the house leaving us wondering if the house will remain standing.

13.15. The noise and the wind just kept getting stronger and louder, Abi and I both found ourselves huddled on the floor in the spare bedroom next to the bed in absolute fear of our lives and then suddenly our ears starting popping like crazy and the winds stopped abruptly. We were in the eye of the hurricane.

We rushed around the house checking that everything was secured, making sure the animals were ok and bracing ourselves for the second half of the storm.

14.00. Without warning we were back into hurricane strength winds again although this time not quite so strong. Because the way hurricanes rotate counter clockwise it meant that the winds were now coming from the opposite direction so that all the debris that was slung one way now came back and we could hear small and large items hitting our house. This time the winds didn’t feel as strong where we live, we found out over the following days that it was the second half of the storm that did all of the damage to the Road Town side of the island.

18.00.  As the strength of the storm started to slowly wain we both laid in bed in silence listening to the constant rattle of the window shutters and of debris hitting the house. It was some time then that we both fell asleep, exhausted by the sheer emotion and fear that we had both been through.

 Safe Goats! ....Who knew we could build a Hurricane proof goat house

Safe Goats! ....Who knew we could build a Hurricane proof goat house

06.00. We woke up the next day and opened the doors and shutters and whilst Abi rushed down to check on the goats I just stood there in utter shock at the devastation around our house. It really did look like a nuclear bomb has gone off. The goats were fine and it was confirmed that we had built a Category 5 proof emergency goat pen! Out of some miracle we had survived as well as the cats and dogs and as I looked down and watched Abi release the goats I could even see the famous BVI chickens scurrying around looking quite shell shocked but somehow in all the chaos they had found a safe spot to hide.

 

08.00  After checking on our neighbours we then started the task of clearing trees off our cars and driveway. The great clean up begins!.....

Part 3tomorrow....understanding the real devastation Irma left behind