Doing It Right! The Good News

January 29, 2016

For the news, “If it bleeds, it leads.” That’s why you seldom hear the good news. Here’s some good news: Bermuda was hit by two, (yes two!) hurricanes.

Huh? The hurricanes hit in a single week and Bermuda came out of it with no deaths, little damage and very little blood. The tiny tropical paradise is amazingly tough.

October has been a rough month for Bermuda. On October 12, Tropical Storm Fay slammed the island with 61 – 82 mph winds. It ripped up trees, roofs and telephone poles, destroyed some boats and left 36,000 customers in the dark. As it sailed away, the island learned that another hurricane was coming. The nation raced to clean up, so that the next storm wouldn’t hurl debris like missiles.

On October 17, Hurricane Gonzalo arrived. Once a massive Category 4, it had simmered down to a Category 2 before ripping the island with 113 mph winds. Power went out again and roofs and trees were damaged. Almost all the roads were left impassable due to fallen branches.

The result: About a million dollars damage, a few injuries, no deaths, not even in the zoo, where a roof went missing. By the next day, two thirds of the power was up, roads were clear and everyone was busy with repairs. It takes more than two hurricanes to disrupt a determined paradise.

The Atlantic was busy in mid-October. Source: NASA

The secret of success is that Bermuda is covered with pretty candy-colored concrete bunkers. The homes may look like English cottages but the island government has been very strict with building codes that ensure homes can withstand sustained winds of at least 110 mph. Everyone was prepared. The preparations paid off in lives and property protection. (As someone who was on the island when a Category 1 storm hit, I can testify that the island does an amazing job of keeping tourists safe and happy during the hurricanes.)

The island is wealthy and has used its wealth to keep its people protected. This doesn’t make headlines.

Pink beaches and practical people Source: Wikimedia

But it should. Congratulations Bermuda.

Do you have any stories to share about your area’s storm preparation or recovery? Is anyone else in an area that does it right?

About This Blog

Are you a weather watcher? Welcome to “Weather Whispers” by James Garriss and until recently, Evelyn Browning Garriss. With expertise and humor, this column covers everything weather—from weather forecasts to WHY extreme weather happens to ways that weather affects your life from farming to your grocery bill. Enjoy weather facts, folklore, and fun!

With heavy hearts, we share the news that historical climatologist and immensely entertaining Almanac contributor Evelyn Browning Garriss passed away in late June 2017. Evelyn shared her lifetime of weather knowledge with Almanac editors and readers, explaining weather phenomena in conversation and expounding on topics in articles for the print edition of The Old Farmer’s Almanac as well as in these articles. We were honored to know and work with her as her time allowed, which is to say when she was not giving lectures to, writing articles for, and consulting with scientists, academia, investors, and government agencies around the world. She will be greatly missed by the Almanac staff and readers.