Provo Holds Firm After Rare Cat 4 Hurricane
Posted on 09/10/08
Updated on 09/12/08
Our shores have not witnessed a major storm for almost 50 years when Hurricane Donna pounded the Turks & Caicos Islands in the 1960's. However, September 2008 the islands luck appeared to have run out, being subject to not one, but two powerful hurricanes both making landfall across our tiny idyllic islands.
Early September sets the scene in Provo as Tropical storm Hanna approaches the Turks and Caicos Islands from the north/north east. Storm force winds battered the usually tranquil and serene coastline of Providenciales for many hours before a number of quite bizarre episodes took place.
Hanna seemed as smitten with our shores as the many thousands of tourists and Turks and Caicos real estate investors have been for many years. Not content with one visit she made a turn to the south heading right back for us, only this time intensifying to a category one hurricane. After tracking to the south towards the Dominican Republic/Haiti, Hanna once again made a turn to the North passing right over the Turks and Caicos for the third time in 24 hours. Needless to say, flooding was widespread across the islands and many trees and power lines were felled from Hanna's brutal winds.
Given September is historically the most active period in the Atlantic Basin for storm activity, we all had our eyes focused on countless websites tracking the formation of another two potential threats to the TCI. Tropical storms Ike and Josephine. From the very outset as a tropical storm Ike appeared to be intensifying at a rapid pace and was soon becoming a force to be reckoned with. Almost overnight Ike transformed into a dangerous category 4 hurricane and was westerly bound on a collision course with the Turks and Caicos. As a race against time thousands of residents began making preparations for the arrival of the islands biggest storm in over half a century. Business's closed their doors and homeowners boarded their properties in anticipation of the approaching monster packing destructive winds of over 140mph. Extra planes were laid on in an effort to evacuate many tourists and residents alike seeking refuge on foreign shores, fleeing Ike's wrath.
The storm eventually made landfall in the early hours of Sunday (7th September) morning as a category 4 storm, causing widespread damage to our nation's capital Grand Turk and South Caicos.
Providenciales' many luxury resorts seemed to have been spared for the most part and have held up to both storms extremely well with very little damage reported. A number are built to Florida code and are therefore constructed to a high standard capable of withstanding hurricane force winds. This should be of significant reassurance to both existing and potential investors.
During Hanna's impact power was unavailable for only 6-8 hrs in the Grace Bay area, and quite unbelievably during Ike's onslaught, power was available through the entire storm in Grace Bay. Our local power company PPC should be commended for their efforts.
At RE/MAX ELITE we believe despite recent events, that Turks and Caicos property still remains a sound investment for potential purchasers. With its pristine beaches, many tax free benefits and luxury resorts capable of withstanding the awesome force of nature's power, the Turks and Caicos islands are still likely to be among the fastest growing tourist destinations in the Caribbean.
If you would like to make a donation to the British Red Cross Hurricane appeal please visit http://www.redcross.org.uk/standard.asp?id=84157.
Our thoughts and best wishes go out to all those affected by the recent storms.
To view some photos that were taken within 24 hours after hurricane Ike passed please visit blog.tropicalimaging.com.