MIAMI -- Even as
Tropical Storm Jeanne strengthened over the northeastern Caribbean
(100 miles southeast of St. Croix on Tuesday afternoon), damage
assessments from Hurricane Ivan continued to flow in from the
The hurricane clipped
the western tip of Cuba Monday night with gusts up to 180 mph,
torrential rain and storm surges and headed for U.S. landfall by
early Thursday morning, somewhere between Louisiana and the Florida
Panhandle. In anticipation, Harrahs New Orleans Casino is closed
until Friday morning, weather permitting.
The following is a
roundup of damages on the islands, as far as they've been
According to an update
from the Dept. of Tourism on Tuesday, dozens of people remain
unaccounted for on Grand Cayman, a dusk-to-dawn curfew is in
effect, up to half of the 15,000 homes on Grand Cayman are
uninhabitable due to flooding and roof destruction, land phone
lines are down, cell phones work sporadically and there is a severe
shortage of drinking water.
The Dept. of Tourism
offices were severely damaged and remain closed; many roads are
obstructed with debris and sand; and Cayman Airways is operating
emergency flights only into Owen Roberts International Airport on
Grand Cayman from Houston, Miami and Tampa. There is no word yet on
the status of the cruise port.
The Sister Islands of
Cayman Brac and Little Cayman fared better than Grand Cayman and,
in fact, are helping coordinate relief efforts. Gerrard Smith
Airport on Cayman Brac is open for restricted flights only.
Electricity is back up on the northern part of Cayman
Hotel reports from
Grand Cayman are skimpy, but damage is high at many properties,
according to unconfirmed reports which cited heavy roof damage at
the Marriott, a side wall blown off at the Westin and flooding at
Treasure Island and Sovereign Condominiums.
However, the Hyatt
Regency Grand Cayman fared well, according to Victor Lopez,
divisional vice-president for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. We had a
lot of water damage but no structural or roof damage, and our beach
suites on Seven Mile Beach are housing 82 hotel guests who did not
want to evacuate, Lopez said. Until power is restored, the resort
Relief efforts are
underway and information on where supplies can be sent is posted at
www.caymanislands.ky. The Tortuga Rum Co.s Miami
warehouse is a staging area for relief agencies and air freight
companies. Supplies, including batteries; mosquito repellent and
netting; tarps; bottled water; rain gear; diapers; and tents, can
be shipped or dropped off at the warehouse at 14202 Southwest 142nd
Ave., Miami 33186. For details, call (877) 486-7884 or (305)
The 32-room Blue
Horizons Garden Resort will be closed for four to six months for
roof and water damage repairs, and the 66-room Spice Island Beach
Resort will close for a year for repairs. Deposits at both resorts
will be refunded when banking institutions are back on line. For
information on either resort, call (800) 223-9815.
Air Jamaica, Air
Caribes, LIAT and Caribbean Star have resumed limited commercial
flights during daylight hours until runway lights can be restored.
There is no public ground transportation, such as taxis or buses,
at the airport. Customs, immigration and air traffic control are in
operation. For information on relief efforts, contact [email protected] or call the Grenada Embassy
in Washington, DC at (202) 265-2561. Shipments of food, water and
supplies began arriving last weekend.
The cruise ports in
both Montego Bay and Ocho Rios reopened Tuesday. A Princess Cruises
ship will dock on Wednesday and a Royal Caribbean vessel also is
expected. The cruise schedule will be back to normal next week,
according to the Port Authority of Jamaica.
Initial damage reports
have begun to roll in from resorts. According to unconfirmed local
sources, Negrils Ricks Cafe, Tensing Pen, Mariners Inn and
Catch-a-Falling Star were damaged, as were the roof of the Treasure
Beach Hotel, and seaside units at Island Outposts property Jakes,
both on the South Coast.
spokesperson for Island Outpost said all four of the high-end
groups Jamaican properties survived Hurricane Ivan relatively
intact, although initial reports suggested that outdoor decks on
some seaside units at Jakes -- now closed -- were slightly damaged.
Jakes guests were re-accommodated at Island Outposts Goldeneye
resort, in Oracabessa on the north coast.
Meanwhile, the Caves
in Negril, already shuttered for renovations, should reopen as
planned come October. No damage was reported at Strawberry Hill,
Island Outposts inland property in Jamaicas Blue
Spared the worst of
the storm, resorts in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Port Antonio --
all on Jamaicas north coast -- apparently weathered it well. The
Jamaica Tourist Board reported that water, power and electricity
are being restored and most major hotels have reported limited or
no structural damage. For example, the Ritz-Carlton and Round Hill
hotels in Montego Bay -- as well as many Sandals, Beaches and
SuperClubs resorts -- have reopened for business, according to
SuperClubs said its
Grand Lido Braco and Hedonism II resorts will accept new arrivals
on Sept. 19, while Grand Lido Negril -- where the roof was
reportedly severely damaged -- will reopen on Oct. 1. All other
SuperClubs resorts in Jamaica remain open. Couples Resorts Negril
property will reopen Sept. 19.
The 419-room Half Moon
Montego Bay golf resort -- which turns 50 this year -- experienced
only minimal effects -- such as downed trees and flooded fairways
-- and some 150 guests remained on site, according to managing
director Richard Whitfield. Anniversary events set for Sept. 26 to
Oct. 3 at Half Moon will proceed as planned.
international airports in Montego Bay and Kingston are open and
operating normally, Air Jamaica extended its penalty-free
re-ticketing deadline to Sept. 30 for postponed
Details of Jamaicas
response to Ivan can be viewed at www.visitjamaica.com.
and the Grenadines
Raffles Resort Canouan
Island, which held its soft opening this summer, will reopen Nov. 1
and celebrate its grand opening Nov. 20.
Meanwhile, from Club
Med Columbus Isle on San Salvador, Bahamas, comes word that the
resort will reopen Dec. 18 when it completes storm repairs from
Hurricane Frances -- remember that one -- and Club Med Sandpiper in
Port St. Lucie, Fla., reopens Sept. 20.
Kiesnoski contributed to this report.
reporters Gay Nagle Myers or Kenneth Kiesnoski, send e-mail to[email protected]or[email protected].