Dangerous Hurricane Dean hurtled through
the eastern Caribbean on Friday, unleashing its 100-mph-plus winds
on islands in its path that included Dominica, St. Lucia and
Martinique before skirting Jamaica as a Category 4 storm on Sunday.
It's projected path takes it just south of the Cayman Islands and
toward the Gulf of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.
that path, including the Cayman Islands, Belize and Cancun and
Cozumel, Mexico, intensified preparations for Dean's projected
arrival Monday and Tuesday as atleast a Category 4 storm packing
winds of near 150 mph.
could threaten the U.S. by next Wednesday, according to forecasters
from the National Hurricane Center.
The eye of the
storm, the first hurricane of the 2007 Atlantic season, passed
between St. Lucia and Martinique as a Category 2 storm on Friday
morning. The winds ripped off corrugated tin roofs, knocking out
power and toppling trees in its wake.
Three deaths were
attributed to the storm, one each on Dominica, St. Lucia and
strengthened to a Category 3 storm, crossing the 111-mph threshold
on Friday afternoon and has since further strengthened to a
Category 4 storm, with sustained winds of near 150 mph.
As a strong
Category 4 hurricane, Dean skirted the islands of Jamaica and
Hispaniola on Sunday. No damage reports or reported injuries have
been released as of yet.
ferocity of the storm, initial assessments from St. Lucia several
hours after the storm had passed over the island were guardedly
St. Lucia's minister of tourism and chairman of the Caribbean
Tourism Organization, said that an initial inspection of several
hotels as well as telephone reports from some hoteliers indicated
that "there are a lot of downed trees, blocked roads and debris but
not significant damage to hotels as far as I know. The island got a
lot of wind but not a lot of rain, which helped minimize
St. Lucia's power
was out in most places, and the majority of hotels were operating
on auxiliary generators. "We hope to get most of the power restored
this weekend," Chastanet said. "The airports plan to reopen on
Saturday and all flights should resume."
Coco Resorts' Coco
Palm and Coco Creole in Rodney Bay reported minor property damage
and a roof missing from an administration building. Guests were not
evacuated before the storm; many staff members remained at the
properties during the storm.
Resorts' Morgan Bay property reported tree damage, but guest rooms
and most of the restaurants were intact, although the Morgan Pier
restaurant at the resort did have damage and will be closed for a
week, according to Wendy Cole, director of marketing.
Cove property had intermittent power after the storm and minor
damage to one of its pools that overlooked the beach.
St. Lucia did
experience two landslides at Barre D'ile and at Anse La Raye, which
suspended access between the north and the south of the island for
a time, according to Maria Fowell, director of tourism.
Club Med on
Martinique, which had 100% occupancy at the time of the storm, had
some landscaping damage due to the high winds, but "all our guests
were okay and remained in their rooms while the storm passed over
the island," according to spokesperson Kate Mueller.
were delivered to guests the evening prior to the storm's arrival,
Hotels in both
Dominica and Martinique moved guests from seaside rooms to interior
At the Jungle Bay
Resort & Spa on Dominica's Atlantic coast, 18 guests spent
Thursday night in a steel-and-concrete shelter, according to Laura
Ell, hotel spokesperson.
Banana crops on
Dominica were badly battered by Dean's winds.
passed approximately 100 miles north of Barbados on Thursday night,
dumping just a few inches of rain on the island.
Grantley Adams Airport was closed for 12 hours as a precaution but
reopened Friday morning, and flights resumed shortly
No damage was
experienced in the hotel sector, according to the Barbados Tourism
Storm Erin made landfall on Thursday near Lamar, north of Corpus
Christi, Texas, and dumped heavy bands of rain as far north as
Houston and as far west as Austin and San Antonio, areas already
waterlogged from the state's rainiest summer on record.
contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].
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