As I write this, Florence, a massive hurricane, is approaching the US mainland, taking dead aim at North Carolina, and it sends me back to my experience with such storms. When I lived in Canada I had only heard about these things and back then, frankly, I had a somewhat benign view of them; little did I know. I had moved to Grand Cayman in 1980 and had built a house in the eastern part of the island, and I found that most folks in Cayman were as casual about hurricanes as I – the island is in the hurricane belt but no major storm had hit them for some 40 years, nobody built a house with hurricane straps, and many homes and even some businesses were in place only a few yards from the sea. My first hurricane experience came with Gilbert in 1988 which had caused massive damage in Jamaica, but it had weakened by the time it reached Grand Cayman, and while the winds were formidable it left the island virtually unscathed. It had come over us in the night, but no major trauma for me. I lost a 12-foot piece of rain guttering on the eastern side of the house, but no trees down, no flooding, just a piece of aluminum gutter gone. Cool breeze…..
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