Widespread ‘mess’ emerges in wake of Grace

| 19/08/2021 | 104 Comments
Government and opposition members meet after TS Grace

(CNS): Businesses and homeowners all over Grand Cayman have been assessing the damage to their property caused by the recent storm, which for some has been significant. Grace arrived as a tropical storm but according to the US National Hurricane Center, it became a hurricane just west of the island, and there remains a great deal of damage to homes, cars, boats, docks, businesses as well as a significant loss of trees and CUC poles.

The government has not yet revealed the extent of the damage to public buildings and the official cost of the damage is yet to be calculated, but the clean-up and repair is already well underway.

Following a meeting today which included the opposition members, Premier Wayne Panton said that phase one was cleaning up and phase two was helping people repair damaged homes.

“She left us a mess, but messes can certainly be cleaned up,” he said. Urging people to save plant life if possible, he said,”I know of many mango, pear and neem trees that looked like a total loss after Hurricane Ivan but were pruned and re-established and became lush and bore much fruit. It is much easier to build upon that which we have than to start from scratch.”

Click to enlarge

He asked every home and business owner to do their part in helping to clean up, including taking waste vegetation to specialist areas that have been set aside in all the districts. Those who cannot remove the vegetation should leave it by the side of the road, being careful not to block the road, and it will be picked by the Department of Environmental Health next week.

People can contact the DEH by calling 949-6696 or 925-6593 or emailing dehcustomerservice@gov.ky.

The premier thanked everyone who worked hard through the night to get Cayman back up and running by today, especially CUC workers. Although some 3,300 people were still without power Thursday afternoon, everyone is expected to be reconnected by 8pm tonight.

With the recovery underway, Panton asked people to continue checking on neighbours and to work in collaboration, “just as your elected members are doing”. He said, “We cannot fix the issues left to us by Grace without working together. I thank God that lives were spared and that we are able to face a new day in the spirit of love and brotherhood.”

Officials also urged people cleaning up to be careful and take sensible precautions.

The Cayman Islands Fire Service said one of the first things for people to consider is having the electrical service to their homes inspected properly for damage in order to prevent the possibility of an electrical fire.

They urged people to protect themselves when cleaning up with the correct gear, such as heavy duty gloves, sturdy boots, goggles, masks and hard hats, and warned people not to overdo the heavy work, take rest breaks and not to work alone. The firefighters also warned people to be careful with any equipment being used, such as chainsaws when clearing debris .

“When using a chainsaw, always follow manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure to wear appropriate protective gear, and be sure that bystanders are a safe distance away. Avoid contact with power lines, and take extra care in cutting trees or branches that are bent or caught under something else. Use extreme caution to avoid electrical shock when using an electric chain saw.”

The NRA asked road users to remain cautious and to watch out for clean-up operations along the roads, and not to start a car if it has a wet engine. They urged motorists to drive around floodwater, because even if it does not appear to be deep, it can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle.

Drivers are warned to watch for downed power lines and drive around them, too, and not to drive under fallen trees. The NRA said that if traffic lights are not working, drivers should be careful and not to assume that other drivers will automatically proceed as usual at intersections.

The Water Authority asked customers to inspect their homes for any damaged pipes or leaking faucets, especially if there are any uprooted trees. “Even small leaks can consume large quantities of water,” officials warned. The public is asked to report any broken or damaged water mains to the Water Authority by leaving a message on the emergency helpline number 946-HELP (4357).

Most government offices are expected to open tomorrow and normal service will be resumed, though some government buildings have sustained damage. WORC has cancelled the planned jobs drive for Friday, which will now take place next week

Cayman Airways has released its revised schedule after resuming repatriation flights Thursday afternoon. The details of flights tomorrow are available here.

See the premier’s message below:

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Comments (104)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why is the regiment at the botanic park while there are still trees on homes in Newlands

  2. Anonymous says:

    So did she take away what was left of 7 mile? What a disaster the beach (or what is left of it) has become? So sad. your money grubbing politicians should pay so heavily for the structure of that beach….Going backwards a few administrations too. Disgrace

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why are we still calling it a tropical storm ?
    It’s was a hurricane cat 1 passing us according to the national hurricane centre in Florida.
    Are insurance company’s not required to cover storm damage and only hurricane damage per say on certain policies ?

    CNS: I’ve actually been grappling with this and am open to being corrected. The Wednesday 8am (7am our time) NHC advisory called it a tropical storm with winds of 65mph. The Cayman Islands were under a hurricane watch and “Wind gusts to hurricane force have been reported on Grand Cayman”. The next one at 11am (10am our time) said “AIR FORCE RESERVE AND NOAA HURRICANE HUNTERS FIND THAT GRACE BECOMES A HURRICANE JUST WEST OF GRAND CAYMAN”. I haven’t seen any local official statements indicating that it was a hurricane while it was here, so we’ve continued to refer to it as a TS. See NHC Grace archives here.

    • Anonymous says:

      it was only a tropical storm…lets not start the ivan type caymanian exaggeration (ivan was cat 4 not 5)
      insurance deductible is for windstorm (hurricane, storm or any type of weather event)

      • Anonymous says:

        The back end of whatever whipped us after a brief calm of approximately 40 minutes (the eye of the event) was definitely stronger than a tropical storm. Again we are reliant on information from the USA. Did a hurricane hunter flight take place when this event passed over Cayman. I don’t think so, so again we are relying on extrapolated data from overseas. What data did the new fangled sensor tower across from Jose’s Esso collect or was it even working? I guess like the traffic cameras at major intersections, the public will never be privy to information that probably, allegedly never exists🙃

      • Anonymous says:

        You obviously were not here for Ivan…twat

    • Anonymous says:

      Facts: The Hurricane Hunters flying through the storm when it was just south of Grand Cayman found hurricane force winds on top of Grand Cayman. Winds of 90 MPH were recorded at the airport weather station. In it’s 11am EDT advisory, when the NHC upgraded the storm to a hurricane, it specifically referenced the above two findings for their reasoning in upgrading it to a hurricane. Images of the wind field from the Hurricane Hunter recon actually show hurricane force winds well east of Grand Cayman between 8am and 8:30am. The fact that at the time of the 11a.m. EDT update that the storm was 65 miles west of Grand Cayman is immaterial. It was a Cat 1 hurricane when it passed here. In addition, many of the strongest winds were in the northeast wind field, which was north and east of the centre. These winds passed Grand Cayman after the centre had already passed to the west. Regardless, sustained hurricane winds were recorded here on the ground and the damage is consistent with a Cat 1 hurricane.

    • Angus says:

      Poof!! Just like that all of the critics of the Regiment shut up!

    • anon against ignorance says:

      11.11am “per say”?.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why isn’t the Government Weather Radar at High Rock, East End up and running when we needed it most? It’s been ‘down for maintenance since 14:39/06-Aug 2021’ which was 17 days ago today. We could have built a whole new weather radar station in that time. I’m betting that it will be up and running December 1st just in time for the end of hurricane season.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Keep on digging out them mangroves. We got nothing to protect us anymore. Good work. We are on our way

  5. Anonymous says:

    BELCO, Bermuda, maintains a list of customers on life support equipment that requires electricity and priority is given to restoring power to these customers.

    Bermuda Offers Lesson In Hurricane Preparedness

    • Anonymous says:

      10:18 please stop the Bermuda comparison. If it was better you would go back there and drive your moped while praying that you don’t get mistaken as a gang member.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Never saw this level of damage under a Progressives administration.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I would just like to give praise to god for saving me from the dangerous storm he sent to attack me

  8. Anonymous says:

    BT is a large geographical area. Could we have another drop-off other than the one listed in Lookout Gardens for debris closer to Sav and surrounding areas.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Not sure why Mac is at the table, except that he’s bullied the Premier into feeling that he’s relevant. As WBW rep he does not need to be at Government table, he needs to be out and about in his constituency to get the roads cleared. Logwood trees are still blocking my road.

    Oh that’s right, he remembers that the person who ran against him in WBW lives in my neighbourhood, so we shouldn’t expect any community assistance. That’s how it works in his puerile mind!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Where are the government workers? They should be driving around each district collecting all the debris. We can put it out front for collection like they do at Christmas cleanup. Why the hell do you need a meeting about this. Just do your damn jobs. You should have had a plan together before hurricane season so when it happens you can act. Clowns in CIG.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are government workers not human too? I guess they were wearing badges to tell Grace they are exempt from suffering any damage. Yes it’s their job but come on man…be a human first and think of what they could have possibly lost during the storm. The time you took to write this you could’ve clearly take your own debris out!

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you. I thank God that he protected us once again.
      In “my opinion” we were not prepared physically nor mentally for Grace.
      What a shame with all the funds that we have given away to these “covid” hang on’s and the “regiment joke” could have gone a long way in supporting the relevant departments.
      How bad were our preparations: drains were not even cleared! Where are our brains????
      And at the beginning of the hurricane season – time, efforts and I dare say lots of our funds were spent on the gay pride parade. Instead of constraining on preparations. Just don’t make sense to me.
      And oh the sun wasn’t hot that day!
      Now after Grace: we see the regiment driving around with the Governor et al., accessing the damage! Well in my opinion again! If “they” wanted to make a difference and had Cayman at heart – they should have been on the ground helping clean up! What a mentality! He looked so stupid in the vehicle! White man! Always too little too late.

  11. Anonymous says:

    cig is the mess…. a bunch of unqualified nobodys with zero experience.
    imagine if evac flights were required???…no plan.
    is there enoough basic building materials in cayman in the case of major repair works require?..no…no plan.

    cayman got very lucky.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. Compared to Bermuda, HMCI are “bunch of unqualified nobodys with zero experience”.

      Copy and paste from another comment:

      “Bermuda has a fully robust infrastructure that caters to the modern needs of international business. We’re strong, united and very different to other offshore centres. I’m proud to see this community get up and running within hours of such a direct hurricane hit.”https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2016/10/14/879741/29208/en/Bermuda-back-in-business-after-Hurricane-Nicole-strike.html

      ✅Bermuda has opened for business, just one day after Hurricane Paulette, a Category 2 storm, passed directly over the island.
      ✅Nicole was a Category 3, going on a Category 4 hurricane, October 13,2016 (Thursday). An estimated 27,000 homes, or 90 percent of the island’s population, lost power…It’s remarkable that one day after a major hurricane strike, Bermuda is open for business
      ✅Over four centuries, Bermuda has built a unique infrastructure to protect islanders and businesses from severe weather. Homes, hotels and other buildings are made of Bermuda limestone or cement block, with roofs of slate strong enough to withstand extreme winds.

      How Bermuda Electric Light Company Limited (BELCO)prepares for hurricanes:
      •The company’s fleet of trucks is fully fuelled and stocked.
      • Line crews are mobilised, and crews and equipment are positioned at safe, strategic locations across the Island.
      • Essential staff, such as Customer Care Representatives, are put on alert to come into work as soon as it is safe to do so, after the storm eases.
      • Throughout the storm, engineers in the Operations Centre monitor the entire system.
      • BELCO’s power generation plant is staffed and continues to operate during storms.
      • • BELCO maintains a list of customers on life support equipment that requires electricity and priority is given to restoring power to these customers;

      • Anonymous says:

        Why don’t you go to Bermuda if it is so great.

      • Anonymous says:

        Bermuda is a racist shithole.

        • Anonymous says:

          But they have a great airport built by Canadians with excellent jet ways.

          Their airport puts ours to shame.

          • Anonymous says:

            Their great airport was well over 400 million! If you are willing to pay significantly increased taxes we can have as nice an airport as your little heart desires!

      • Anonymous says:

        One question then: if Bermuda is so great to you, why don’t you move there?

        Unless you are a part of the brave and courageous groups physically out on the road doing the hard work in the hot sun to fix things in the aftermath, you are in no position to complain, period.

        Bermuda is 1/5 the size in area of Cayman. Recovery times will always be shorter, period.

        All mouth and no action. Get off your lazy backside and go help somebody who needs it please.

        Nobody needs this ridiculous foolishness in the aftermath of any kind of hurricane. You have life and presumably good health. Be grateful.

        Could things be done better? Yes
        Can we make mistakes? Of course.
        Can we learn from them to make it easier in future similar circumstances? Of course we will.

        But we cannot complain if we are not willing to go get some skin in the game!

        If we continue to point fingers and be divisive after something like this, what will it take for people to put differences aside to work together? Cayman was very lucky! May God forbid we have anything else that makes this look like a healthy trial run!

        Be a part of the solution, not the problem folks.

        • Big Bobo In West Bay says:

          There is so much we could learn from Bermuda if we were not so damn closed minded.

          • Anonymous says:

            1.15pm Yes like how to put a puppet in charge of their Cayman bank branch and lay off all Caymanians. Bring in staff from Bermuda who getting rolled over because they can get P/R and Ststus in Cayman.Then up all fees for worse service.

      • Right ya so says:

        @ 20/08/2021 at 10:10 am Jeez. Why are you still here then?! And if you’re not in Cayman stop stirring it up! WTH!

        • Anonymous says:

          He just fraid he catch covid if he goes to Bermuda..

          Grass is always greener on the other side but I would rather stay here and water mine so itgets greener.

          I’ll chime in with the other..FFS stop your crap about Bermuda and if Bermuda was any better than Cayman someone like you would be there already..What’s your reasoning for being here? Money I would guess..

          • Anonymous says:

            Not everyone that comments on this lives in cayman you know. I for one am glad to see cayman being compared to an island in a similar position. Good opportunity to see how cayman is progressing and what it needs to focus on…instead of comparing with other countries with population size in the millions and not the same level of backing or support from mother

    • Anonymous says:

      Just glad I’m not paying for a really unnecessary port and making last CIG rich.

  12. Anonymous says:

    No ladies sitting next to McBeater in the photo

    • Anonymous says:

      Why is McBeater even in the room?

      He isn’t meant to be Government or Opposition.

      • Anonymous says:

        He is an elected MP as well as Speaker.

        • Anonymous says:

          The Speaker of the House is best known for keeping order in the Legislative Assembly and
          calling Members of the Legislative Assembly to speak during Legislative Assembly debates. The
          Speaker has authority to ensure that Members of the Legislative Assembly follow the rules of the
          House (Standing Orders) during debates, and must remain politically neutral at all times.

          That is from the Concise Guide to the Constitution of the Cayman Islands.

          McBeater does not need to be in any rooms other than Parliament to “maintain” order. Wayne should keep him in a ceremonial role and let him collect a little extra for it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Three of them conspired to put him in that position however.

    • Right ya so says:

      “McBeater” – good one! Hope it sticks.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I will say this much in regard to clean up as an aged citizen, that after natural disasters the majority of people just want to get back to normal and willingly contribute to clean up. I hope the younger generation will continue to do so. Tropical Storm Grace was nothing compared to Ivan, we can clean up in days not months.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Composting in you own yard should also be on the list of recommendations.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Why did I call my insurance company to help with a few broken things to find they don’t actually cover hurricane damage?

    • Anonymous says:

      They should cover hurricane damage (unless you’ve excluded it) but what is more likely is that your “few broken things” fall below the amount of your deductible.

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s the problem. The deductible is only for catastrophic events. Isn’t that why you have insurance mainly???

        • Anonymous says:

          Fire, theft, lightning (and some other stuff I can’t think of off the top of my head) are all things that my policy covers as well as the CAT perils.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Alden seems to be missing a lot lately….has he quit working and taking his salary as severance…not really complaining as at least he isn’t continuing damage to our futures like when he was in power.

    • Anonymous says:

      His park in prospect fell apart. Not like it was even close to being finished from the 2019 ground breaking party.

      • Anonymous says:

        Did those structures have a building inspection? Seems those massive roofs were just supported by some skinny wood columns. How much did that disgrace of a park cost us taxpayers? Alden is a dam joke!

        • Anonymous says:

          was that work carried out by a licensed/qualified contractor or just some cheap illegal cowboy contractors? Was retention money for shoddy workmanship held? Who gets to pay for this mess now? True leadership.

      • Anonymous says:

        The Park is in Alden’s district of Red Bay not Prospect although it was that blowhard of Austin that started it.. Just another ploy to get votes and never had any intention of doing anything with it.

        • Anonymous says:

          Prospect dr?

        • Anonymous says:

          Seems though those two structures that are laying on the ground were really a serious safety hazard. Who was the engineer who signed off on them? Who was the qualified contractor? Why were are tax dollars spent on something like this and apparently no over-site? This park is in the former Premier of the Cayman Islands and he allowed something like this to take place? Imagine what that dock would have been like.

  17. Anonymous says:

    We have to be grateful to Lord. We r blessed. We have an excellent Hazard management network for all services. I was deeply involved in prep and post hurricane resoration activities and it was great team of public and pvt sector. We will get back with God’s grace.we r fortunate. Let us work together live together and share difficulties and happyness together and enjoy life.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dream on and take the Kool Aid

    • Anonymous says:

      In Ivan

    • just wondering why CIG & Co continue to prove unnecessarily useless in an emergency says:

      This is the same HMCI who seemed utterly incapable of keeping their website updated with real-time advisory updates from the NHC? On Wednesday afternoon, HMCI’s website’s homepage showed Tuesday 7pm as the most recent storm update. That’s the best we can do? Never mind the Cayman weather service website homepage with the small banner explaining the radar was down for maintenance, and no information whatsoever about the storm – just the usual 5 day forecast indicating some rain, some cloud, some lightning, some sun … covering all the possible weather scenarios without actually forecasting the weather. Or mentioning the imminent threat from TS Grace. Oh, and the NRA who started pumping drains on Monday and ran out of time, but blamed that issue on their trucks. I mean – WTactualF?! Is this NRA staffed with humans who have never heard of a hurricane? Those drains flood easily enough outside of hurricane season – would a small bit of planning ahead and routine clearing drains throughout the year really be unhelpful to the community? For all the spam crap that gets texted to my phone from various businesses on island – still impossible for any emergency notifications and updates of hurricanes to be sent to all phones in Cayman. If one’s life depended on emergency information from local Cayman sources during hurricane season (and quite possibly any other genuine hazard situation) – good luck!
      And is anyone going to deal with the many businesses who reopened *before* the all-clear was given, or all the selfish stupid and unprepared idiots who ‘felt like’ eating hot food and lined up in their cars on the stormy roads for hours to get it? Before the all-clear? While emergency/government services etc were trying to get out, assess and start to restore power and generally get going on clearing roads and making things safe?? It’s like a Wild West shitshow out there

  18. Anonymous says:

    We managed outcome of Ivan and rebuilt Cayman in 6 to 12 months. Insurance companies helped customers genuinely. CUC and water authority did excellent job. Some of us didnt have power 3 months. Every one was nice to each other.helped each other.shared food and water. Let us do it again although smaller scale by Grace of God.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not all insurance companies. Have a look at the Hyatt 16 years on, talk to the former Indies Suites owners, or the 80% of Cayman residents that had to eat 25% or more of their insured losses at the whim of adjusters.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well I also didnt get full loss due to what they call under insured and deductables. But we got help.insurance cos r to make money but

    • Anonymous says:

      Just A much smaller scale, by Grace.

    • Anonymous says:

      Haven’t had insurance for 11 years now have 33G saved !! Insurance here is just a scam

  19. Anonymous says:

    Thank you to all the dedicated workers and good hand neighbors who are helping get things back to normal. May God Bless these Cayman Islands!

  20. Anonymous says:

    This is an emergency Cayman needs to prepare for not some Chinese flu.

    • Anonymous says:

      Aye boy the Trump idiots are out in full force again..

      Again i will remind the Trump and DeSantis followers that both Trump and DeSantis are vaccinated. They are with you on not being vaccinated because it is their way of controlling you.

      Those two are the biggest stain on American Society right now and I say this without fear but I am a registered Republican but not the “party of Trump.”

  21. Anonymous says:

    Open pensions please

  22. Anonymous says:

    Ok, so perhaps many of us are “hardened” after Hurricane Ivan 17 years ago. Quite likely also, many who experienced Grace did not experience Ivan here (or anywhere it struck) or any other major storm/hurricane. So, perhaps there’s a little bit of “anti-climax” (relatively speaking) – not much catastrophic building damage, most vegetation is intact, if bruised…..kind of ho hum? Then there’s “Cayman time”……

    Having said that, I was shocked that the only clean-up “crews” I saw along the roadways between WB, South Sound and Newlands and return today (Thursday), were private landscapers and general clean-up hustlers. NO Government vehicles anywhere to be seen – oops sorry, there was the one NRA Hilux with a rake and a broom sticking out.

    Now, from this article I see that Government were planning actions. Fair enough, for the politicos – and give the greenhorns a little flexibility for their first “trial-by-fire” experience – but I would bet an expensive property that meetings were being held at every single management level in every single Government department and SAGC – most likely ALL DAY today!

    Meanwhile the repair and clean-up crews were waiting on instructions! So nothing was done today!

    I held a senior management post in an SAGC when Ivan occurred. The Monday when the all clear was given, I contacted and in many cases, personally went to collect as many staff under my responsibility as were available (under the circumstances) and we all went and started getting the critical public facilities (buildings, equipment & systems, grounds, vehicles) for which we were responsible ready for operation (the “meetings” were done after physical activities were underway, mostly as updates – in 2 days we were ready for business, running on emergency generators). No one had to wait on orders or instructions from “on-high” because we knew our jobs, our respective responsibilities and our mission. Haul ass and get as close to normal as possible, asap!

    As I said, I’d bet Mac’s condo at the Ritz if the scenario I speculated on above did not happen in general throughout CIG today!

    Wha’ we paying for some civil servants for??

    • Anonymous says:

      @ 10.01 Mac actually has 2 condos at the Ritz. There is roughly $2 million KYD a year sitting at that table and what did we get out of that?

      1. Save the trees
      2. Buy workwear (from ALT presumably) and do the DOE/NRAs job for them
      3. Don’t drive like a clown
      4.God done us a favour

      Worth every dollar then eh?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Tropical storm my ass!

    • Anonymous says:

      I see Mac in the photo..scary.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nope. That was a tropical storm. A good indicator is the storm surge. About 3 feet in North Sound. Cat 1 would have it at 5 feet. Sure, there were hurricane force gusts – but no consistent stable winds above hurricane force. That was a dry run for the uninitiated. Nothing more. Take nothing for granted and be prepared. We were fortunate.

      • blowhard says:

        had the paint peel off of my gate in east end! no tropical storm for us living on the coast

        • Anonymous says:

          I am afraid it was. Anything more and you would be unlikely to have a gate.

          The below may be a useful guide for those living on the coast in East End. Keep safe and do not underestimate the danger. The season is far from over.

          Cat 1 No Gate
          Cat 2 No Car
          Cat 3 No Roof
          Cat 4 No House
          Cat 5 No Chance.

          East End experienced Cat 3 (possibly Cat 4) conditions in Ivan.

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