After the hurricane we didn't have current or telephone at home, but we still had Internet service in The Valley. So I started answering people's e-mail questions by posting the answers to my "Luis" web page.
On Tuesday, September 5th, 1995, the island of Anguilla took a direct hit from Hurricane Luis. To understand how massive and powerful Luis was, you only have to look at the satellite image.
We personally evacuated Anguilla on Sep 4 and returned home on Sep 10 to assess the damage. We were lucky and suffered no losses. Some people lost their roofs and some lost their whole houses, but most homes suffered only water damage. This is probably because the Anguillans started building low concrete homes after Hurricane Donna in the 60's.
Although Anguilla was badly mauled, it was more fortunate than the neighboring islands. There were no injuries, no deaths, and no need for a curfew. The British sailors who arrived were able to help with re-stringing the power and telephone lines and repairing the high school, instead of guarding stores. They said they were impressed by how often Anguillans stopped at their work sites to pitch in and help.
There are also no leaves remaining on the trees, giving the landscape a much deeper shade of brown than usual.
Phone services and electric power were knocked out, of course, not to mention cable TV. People are busy setting up generators while the island is re-wired. It has been inspiring to see everyone cleaning up and repairing the damage. Johnno's Beach Bar at Sandy Ground was completely washed away, but Johnno was back in business with live music within two days after Luis. After the roof blew off the phone exchange and watered all the switches, Cable and Wireless set up a satellite phone in their yard, then flew in a PBX and hooked it to the international fiberoptic cable, then started rebuilding the phone switch.
Fortunately, Hurricane Marilyn missed Anguilla. It only brought a day of heavy rain that caused all the plants to burst out with new green shoots. This added much needed color back to the landscape.
Anguilla has few truly homeless people: no one was on the street or in tent or other community shelters. Those who lost everything were cared for and given shelter by family and friends, neighbours helping neighbours.
Ms Janice Leach American Red Cross 2025 East Street NW Washington DC, 20006
Checks should be marked:
For Anguillain their bottom left-hand corner.
BankAmerica Int, One World Trade Center
NY,NY 10048 ABA #026009593
National Bank of Anguilla A/C # 6550452011
For further credit to:
Anguilla Disaster Relief Fund
Account No. 2011898
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