Monday, December 26, 2011

Hurricane Ivan


The face of Grenada was forever changed when Hurricane Ivan slammed into the island with winds that reached up to 120 mph on September 7, 2004.  Obviously we were not here at that time, but if you ask a local about it - they'll recount it with a sorry shake of their head like it was yesterday.  It absolutely devastated the island - demolishing 90% of homes and leaving most of the population homeless.  It ripped away trees, land, and the livelihoods of even more.  The damage was not only physical, Grenada suffered terrible economic effects as a direct result of Hurricane Ivan as well and still to this day the country, particularly the agricultural sector, is trying to regain it's footing.


Being from the midwest where we don't typically deal with or pay much attention to hurricanes (or tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes or landslides), it is hard to imagine this kind of destruction.  While, on the surface, Grenada has bounced back very well - there are still plenty of reminders of nature's wrath on every street.  Piles of cinderblock rubble where a house once stood, a roofless abandoned store front with blown out windows, the outline of structures that once stood proud now overgrown with foliage. The church pictured here is one of my favorites, proving that there can still be beauty in mayhem and destruction.  Buildings like this are everywhere in downtown St. Georges.  While many think Grenada is far enough south to be considered "safe" from the hurricane belt, Ivan is a solemn reminder that nature doesn't always follow the rules.

The "Hurricane Belt" compliments of The Advanced Aquarist
"Nature understands no jesting. She is always true, always serious, always severe. She is always right, and the errors are always those of man." 
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Love,
Brittany & Scott

2 comments:

Carolyn Shearlock said...

Yep, we were in El Salvador when the first named storm in over 70 years hit -- Hurricane Adrian in 2005. Didn't pack much punch -- winds were lower than what was officially reported and we actually had worse conditions in some evening thunderstorms.

But yes, a solemn reminder that forecasts and rules of thumb are just that . . . not guarantees.

Christy said...

In following your adventures I'd wondered how Grenada was recovering from Ivan. Thanks for the update.

I was working on a Cruise Ship in the Caribbean that was due to make port in Grenada the day Hurricane Ivan hit there. We re-routed, of course, but it was really heartbreaking to see my fellow crew members from Grenada tell their stories about trying to contact their friends and family on the island afterward. "It's gone. Everyting is gone." I'll never forget them.

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