Power and water have been restored here in Montego Bay,and much of northern Jamaica ,as luckily,We escaped the full wrath of Hurricane Dean and only experienced Tropical Storm Conditions.
In my neighbourhood, I have seen minor damage,a few tiles off roofs blown off,large branches blown down, and small trees like banana blown down.
All the hotels are now reopened and yesterday,the 3000+ seater Royal Caribbean Cruiseliner came and there are already tourists booking hotels ,so life in this section of Jamaica is life as usual, although we are still experiencing plenty rains.
South and Eastern Jamaica were not as luck as we were,they experienced Hurricane Conditions with gusts up to Category 3 strength.
The television station CVM TV in Kingston recorded sustained winds of 114 kp/h/71mph
Lionel Town,Clarendon reported 100mph gusts
The Norman Manley Airport offically reported 81mph gusts before they stopped reporting.
There was an unoffical report of sustained winds of 114mph with 138mph gusts,however this has not been verified.
I recorded 50 mph winds here on my handheld anemometer before it got too dangerous and I went inside.
The 17 fishermen who were stranded are okay,a JDF helipcopter went to rescue them .
Some areas totally devasted
Many areas of Eastern and Southern Jamaica are totally devasted.There are hundreds of reports of persons without roofs and even these persons are lucky as many person's homes have been levelled by storm-surge.
According to the damage assetment thus far, in Clarendon 56 per cent of houses were destroyed.
Housing in St. Catherine and Kingston and St. Andrew also sustained major damage of 30 and 14 per cent respectively. 100 schools sustained serious damage.
Three persons have died resulting from the passage of Hurricane Dean.
A lady was looking through her window during the Hurricane ,When a large piece of wood flew through her window ,piercing her in her chest.
A man's house was levelled by the strong winds and when residents removed the debris they found him dead.
A 15 year old girl was killed,Before the hurricane her neighbours put building block on their roofs to keep the Hurricane from taking the roofs,During the Hurricane, the winds blew the building blocks off the neighbours roofs onto theirs, the building blocks then fell through the roof hit the girl in the head she later died of a skull fracture.
The long road to recovery
It will likely be a long road to recovery,but we are a resilient people and just like Ivan and Gilbert we will pull together to pick up the pieces.
Already,there are reports of the true Jamaican Spirit emerging,person checking on their neighbours,people helping people,with most of the traffic lights out persons being courteous and allowing persons to go ahead.
The national power company, The Jamaica Public Service (JPS) says about 34 per cent or 190,000 of its customers have had their electricity restored.
The light and power company says only four parishes have not started to receive electricity.
Those parishes are St. Mary, Portland, St. Thomas and St. Elizabeth.
The company says this is due to the extent of the damage to its power delivery systems.
But the Company says water pumping facilities and hospitals in these parishes will receive priority attention today.
The national water company has been ,less successful and is still struggling to bring its water supply systems back on line, the National Water Commission (NWC) says it is trucking water to several communities across the island free of cost.
A cargo plane with relief supplies valuing US$398,000 (J$27.86 million) arrived in the island yesterday from the United States to assist persons affected by Hurricane Dean.
The relief supplies, which were donated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), include water containers, medicine, plastic sheeting, and disaster hygiene kits, among other items.
U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica, Brenda LaGrange Johnson, who received the supplies, which arrived in a white air cargo plane at the Norman Manley International Airport, said US$150,000 (J$10 million) of the goods would be allocated to non-governmental organisations (NGOs), $1.7 million (US$25,000) for the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management and another US$100,000 ($6.9 million) of the supplies would be sent to the Pan American Health Organisation.
"We are so happy to make this start and we hope that this is (only) the beginning," she said.
Ronald Jackson, director general of the ODPEM, who accepted the supplies, said they would be distributed to the worst affected areas, such as Portland Cottage and Rocky Point in Clarendon; Old Harbour Bay in St. Catherine and Caribbean Terrace, Kingston.
"These items will go a far way in addressing those priority needs that we have identified in these communities," he said.
Focusing on the priorities
Mr. Jackson also appealed to persons who have been affected to be patient. He said the agency would be focusing on the priorities, which he has identified as roofing. He said more than 1,500 roofs were affected in three parishes on the south coast.
Meanwhile, Mr. Jackson said that some 2,500 persons were still in shelters. He said the supplies would be distributed through the NGOs, such as Salvation Army and the Adventist Relief Agency.
Ambassador LaGrange Johnson said former ambassadors to Jamaica, Sue Cobb, Glen Holden and herself, would be donating $60,000 to begin a private fund with the Missionaries of the Poor and the American Friends of Jamaica to provide food and shelter to more than 1,000 families that lost their homes during the storm.
It was announced that $1 million ja(14,520 USD)has been allocated by the government to assist parishes hardest hit by the hurricane while $500,000 (7,260 usd) will go to other parishes.
credits various jamaicans newspaper and radio reports.