How lucky can one get; a major oil leak but no hurricane to make it a galactical disaster. Who is celebrating Hurricane Thanksgiving?
How easy is it to forget storms and the hot days of summer when hurricanes and tropical storms stay far away from us. The 2010 Hurricane Season came to an end as the third most active season in history, yet for us it came and went almost unnoticed.
The active 2010 Atlantic hurricane season ended Tuesday, and although the U.S. was spared any direct hits of destruction, other destinations didn’t fare as well, including St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Barbados.
Remarkable as this season produced 19 named storms (tied for third with 1995 and 1887), 12 of which became hurricanes. Only 1933 (21 storms) and 2005 (a record 28 storms) were more active seasons.
And it actually took until the last hurricane of the season, Hurricane Tomas in late October, that we took notice as it killed 41 in the Caribbean and Central America and caused more than $500 million in damage. St. Lucia Prime Minister Stephenson King described Tomas as the island’s “worst natural disaster.” Floods and landslides closed roads leading to the airports, bringing tourism to a standstill for a week. St. Vincent and Barbados also were hit hard by Tomas. But bringing tourism to a standstill for a full week, is almost a riot for people like me who faced, Gilbert 1988, Hugo 1989, Luis 1995, Mitch 1998, Lenny and company in 1999 and half a dozen other ones in that crazy year, when names ran out twice (2005). Each of those mentioned forced tourism on its knees for the better art of a year if not longer.
In 2010 Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic got hit with heavy rains several times during the six-month season, wiping out roads and bridges. Nicaragua and Honduras got pummeled…again. Hurricanes Karl and Paula caused damage in Mexico.
Guess what … even Canada took a hit. Newfoundland reported about $100 million in damage and one death from Hurricane Igor in September.
In the U.S. Virgin Islands, Gov. John de Jongh requested disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency three times due to flood damage from named tropical storms. FEMA has become reluctant to give in to financial requests from the US Virgins, considering the many fraudulent activities in the past hurricane hits.
Hurricanes caused $1.6 billion in damage and killed hundreds, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The 2010 season started with Alex, the first Atlantic hurricane to form in June since 1966, and ended with Tomas on Halloween weekend.
Before the season began, forecasters predicted an active season, and they turned out to be right. In May, the National Hurricane Center predicted 14 to 23 named storms and 8 to 14 hurricanes.
Imagine the level of destruction if only one category 3 hurricane would have gotten hold of the Oil Leak in the Gulf!!
Florida got spared and up here on Amelia Island, we are wondering why insurance premiums for us still include the excessive wind damage rates. As a former Caribbean Islander I celebrated Hurricane Thanksgiving quietly.