Anguilla Local News

Hurricane Luis: September 1995

Summary: bad storm, lots of damage, no one killed, no one seriously hurt, fast recovery. Due to the incredible effort of everyone on the island, Anguilla was back to normal before Christmas.

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.

--Bob Green,

Hurricane Luis Scores A Direct Hit

Posted Sept 14, 1995

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.

Hurricane Marilyn

September 18th, 1995.

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 Relief Fund.

The Government of Anguilla has created the Anguilla Relief Fund to assist those devastated by hurricane. The fund has received 1 million EC$ (US$270,000) in initial donations. The money will be used to help the most needy people on the island to rebuild their homes, etc. The government has appointed a non-partisan committee to disburse the funds, headed by the Governer and including Osbourne Fleming, the leader of the opposition. Governer Shave reports that
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.

Relief Fund: 15 Homes to be Built

October 10th, 1995. The Disaster Relief Committee has recommended the first 18 awards to be made from the Disaster Relief Fund and they have been approved by the Executive Council of Government. The awards are to help those made homeless by recent Hurricane Luis. Fifteen awards are for new homes to replace those totally destroyed (9 for one-bedroom and 6 for two-bedroom) and 3 are for re-roofing and repairs. The new homes will be built on old sites and will be of cement construction with basic plumbing and electricity and will cost in excess of EC$ 30,000. First work will begin this week.

Relief Houses Under Construction

October 19th, 1995. My contact at West Indies Concrete reports that they have started pouring concrete for the replacement homes being built with the hurricane relief fund. The 15 homes are being built simultaneously -- the government called in all the contractors and gave each one a house to build.

Tax-Deductible Way to Donate to the Fund

US and Canadian residents can direct relief donations to Anguilla and get a tax-deduction by sending a donation through the Red Cross. Send cheques to the American Red Cross at:

    Ms Janice Leach
    American Red Cross
    2025 East Street NW
    Washington DC, 20006

Checks should be marked:

    For Anguilla
in their bottom left-hand corner.

How to Wire Transfer a Large Donation

If you want to make a big donation in a hurry and you don't need a tax-deductable receipt, the best method is to do a wire transfer as follows:

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

More on Hurricane Luis in Anguilla

 Revised: June 12, 1998

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