Live Blogging: The Aftermath of Igor

September 20, 2010

7:30am: Official confirmation coming that there were no deaths or major injuries reported from Igor. For our overseas readers, this would be greatly credited to our style of building heavy, hard homes of concrete.

7:45am: EMO officials say “At first light we will get an assessment. We would like to stress for persons to PLEASE STAY off ROADS so first responders can carry out their jobs quickly and efficiently.”

8:00am: BELCO reports as of 5:30am this morning, approximately 28,700 customers are out of power. Total of 65 mainline circuits out across the island, as well as many branch lines and single calls. BELCO is working now to bring us back up.

8:05am: BWS report their highest recorded wind gust as 106kts at their St David’s station and say that Igor is elongating and will provide tropical storm force winds longer than expected. So Monday will stay windy and overcast. We are still under a Tropical Storm Warning.

8:17am: Unofficial reports we have on damage say “this is no Fabian”, we will have more later, but initially it appears we didn’t sustain the level of damage we saw in Fabian. No word on causeway or airport damage yet.

8:22am: BELCO says “We also have many reports of broken poles, wires down and transformers down, affecting both high voltage and low voltage lines. At first look, there appears to be considerable damage to the electricity distribution system Island-wide.”

8:43am: The Bermuda Regiment sprung to action early this morning, after being embodied yesterday. They are beginning cleanup, EMO support and other duties. [photo]

9:13am: As we reported last night, some boats had a rough ride last night in the seas. This one must have decided to hop out, as it was in the water earlier and now is the in the road in Devonshire Bay area on the South Shore. [photo]

9:23am: On the subject of the all important Causeway officials say “The Causeway remains closed; it is being assessed and when it is ready to be re-opened, the public will be informed via the media and the Emergency Broadcast Radio Station 100.1FM”. [For our overseas readers, the Causeway connects two islands and is essential for us. It sustained severe damage in the 2003 hurricane, and sadly 4 people lost their lives on it]

9:24am: Flatts doesn’t look too bad, one boat partially sunk.[photo]

9:33am: One side of the Causeway [Hamilton side] looks not too bad, no severe damage, however we are far from engineers and we all must await the official word from the experts. The lack of visible severe damage on one side is a good sign however. [photo]

9:41am: Officials stress to stay off the roads so that responders can operate with maximum efficiency. Government’s Emergency Assistance Organisation is ready to assist once the storm has passed. They say “Please call the EAO at 292-6325 or 292-6339, should you require emergency help after the storm. Should you need to report non-critical information, please call The Department of Communication and Information lines at Police Headquarters and they will ensure notification is passed to 100.1 FM for dissemination to the public. The numbers are:299-4399, 299-4400, 299-4401″Bermuda is still under a tropical storm warning.

9:50am: Unofficially it really does appear “this was no Fabian”. Apart from the excellent news there was no loss of life, the damage we are getting photos in off is not comparable. There is defintely damage, but appears not to be on the level of the devastating strike by Hurricane Fabian in 2003.

10:02am: Not sure how our marine life fared, but there are a few dead fish visible on land [photo] To stress, we only saw a few fish on land [not tons] so hopefully it won’t be too bad.

10:30am: Over 60 people took advantage of the shelter at Cedarbridge Academy, where in addition to secure shelter they have facilities including  free cooked food, shower facilities, television etc.[photo]

10:46am: Not really seeing much damage to homes. Also, locals are reporting the dreaded after-storm scourge – ants. The ants seem to be out in full force in some areas.

11:02am: The US National Hurricane Center said that Igor is now over 200 miles away from us now, and is moving at 21mph. We are still under a Tropical Storm Watch.

11:11am: We really haven’t seen much roof damage as of yet, however Hamilton Ferry Terminal has sustained roof damage, which most anticipated due to the style of roofing [photo]. Photo by Cleun Gaiton.

11:46am: The Beach on Front Street is now open, and will be serving food to midnight tonight.

11:57am: For those who worried about Hurricane Julia who was behind Igor, it has weakened into Tropical Storm Julia

12:00pm: The Weather Channel is reporting that Igor was a direct hit, gusts of 93mph, reports damage at Pink Beach Club [view photos of Pink Beach getting lashed the day before Igor here]

12:06pm: The Boaz Island Condos, which flooded badly yesterday, are reported to be clear, with a resident telling us “It started to go down late last night, so it is all gone now”. [photo and photo]

12:09pm: As of 11:00 am, BELCO has made some progress with approximately 21,500 customers now without power, after starting with 28,700 customers out this morning. Current distribution of outages is Central – approx 8100, East – approx 7100 and West – approx 6300. A total of 45 mainline circuits are out across the island with many branchlines out and many single customer calls.

12:36pm: Unofficial reports from St George’s say that the airport “seems okay”, and that is a far cry from the battering it took during Fabian, which cost millions to repair.

12:41pm: Premier Dr Ewart Brown and Public Safety Minister Colonel David Burch are out assessing the island, they have stopped at the shelter at Cedarbridge.

12:52pm: We have unofficial reports of some smallish visible damage to the St George’s side of the Causeway, nothing excessive visibly. Officials are assessing the Causeway and will notify the public once a decision has been made. [Our 9:33am update covers the other side]

12:55pm: Fire Service and BELCO are presently on Cut Road in St George’s where an electrical pole is reported to be swaying. [photo]

12:58pm: The Fairmont Southampton and Fairmont Hamilton Princess say they sustained no significant damage as a result of Hurricane Igor, just have “some modest wind damage and debris” and, clean up is underway. They also say to assist local residents, both hotels are offering reduced rates for those who wish to move into the hotels until power is restored

1:00pm: For updates on whats open today, see our Facebook page where people are posting.

1:10pm: BTC say as of lunchtime today approximately 900 BTC residential customers were still without telephone service. Crews have been steadily working to restore service- using generators where possible. Logic Communications says they are “pleased to report that they were able to maintain 100% uptime for both residential and business customers, although power outages would have impacted connectivity. Customers are encouraged to keep all network deices unplugged until electric service has been fully restored to avoid damage to equipment.”

1:12pm: M3 Wireless reports a few cell sites are without power saying “We have dispatched crews with generators to those sites whilst we await the resumption of electricity supply.We thank you for your patience and we at M3 Wireless hope that you and your family stayed safe throughout the storm.”

1:24pm: CableVision is coming back on through the island, still reported out in some areas however

1:33pm: We visited the Cedarbridge shelter, where over 60 people sought refuge from the storm, and they spoke highly of the staff. Full story here.

1:56pm: Update from Digicel who say “Digicel says “We are happy to report that the majority of our customer base was able to stay connected right throughout the storm, with very little interruption to their service. Digicel is aware that a small number of residents around the Island might still be experiencing difficulties in their telecommunications services, and every effort is being made to restore these areas to fully operational levels in the quickest possible time. Digicel also wishes to advise that their Court Street store will be open today from 2:30pm until 4:30pm for customers wishing to purchase prepaid credit or wanting to conduct other transactions.”

2:17pm: Unofficial reports indicate that the Causeway is now open to emergency vehicles only. This is not confirmed by official sources.

3:16pm: Causeway is now open. Government says “After a thorough structural examination by Works and Engineering teams, the Minister of Labour, Home Affairs, Sen. The Hon. Lt. Col. David Burch, deemed the Causeway safe enough to resume service. Temporary traffic lights have also been installed to help manage the flow of traffic over the Causeway.”

3:47pm: BELCO continues to push hard to bring Bermuda back up; they report there are 16,000 without power – down from 28,700 this morning. So far today they have restored power to over 12,000 people. They say “The largest concentrations of outages are Harrington Sound, Lighthouse Hill/St Annes Road, Harbour Road, Ess Hill/Ord Road, and Flatts. While this is good progress, BELCO cautions that restoration of power to mainline circuits does result in bringing on large numbers of customers. The time-consuming work is still to come. Restoring power to branch lines, small groups of customers and individual customers takes time and crews have to travel to multiple sites. We cannot yet provide a timetable, but will continue to provide regular updates.”

3:51pm: For any home/car/boat owners who may have sustained damages and wishes to speak with their insurance provider, Freisenbruch-Meyer Group, BF&M and Colonial Insurance are open for business today.

4:07pm: Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa reports they never lost power, and had mostly landscape damages which the gardeners have nearly cleared. Of interest to anyone left without power, they are offering special post-Igor overnight rates on guest rooms for locals.

4:28pm: Official Notice: “Please be Advised Bermuda Institute of Seventh-day Adventist will be open for school tomorrow”.

4:36pm: Premier Dr Ewart Brown said via social media “I have just completed a partial tour of the island and came away saying “Thank You”. There has been no loss of life and no serious injuries, even though we were battered for more than a day by Igor. We are now in the recovery phase and I expect that Bermuda will be up and running in a couple of days! Thanks to all who have helped to bring us through!”

4:47pm: Somersfield Academy is closed tomorrow, students are return to school on Wednesday, September 22nd. Bermuda Commercial Bank and In Motion School of Dance will also be open tomorrow…

4:53pm: CableVision update just in, Terry Roberson, General Manager, Bermuda CableVision said “Following the passing of Hurricane Igor overnight, Bermuda CableVision is currently working to restore widespread outages to its customers as quickly as possible. The recovery operation will start in cooperation with Belco, as we restore our main lines first and then we focus on individual lines to customer homes second. Customers can contact us to report outages on 292-5544. Once your power has been restored and has been stabilised, you can reconnect your cable equipment and the display on the converter box should come back up with the current time. If it does not, please make sure that the cables have been properly reconnected. If the clock comes on and you are still unable to obtain a picture, please ensure that your television is tuned to channel 3. Cablevision will be rescheduling service appointments which were to take place this week – as we focus our resources on restoring service to all our subscribers. We want to thank our customers in advance for their understanding and patience during this situation.”

5:13pm: More photos and reports of dead fish on land are coming in…Paget, Devonshire, Warwick. Beaches have experienced a fair amount of erosion.

5:32pm: The City of Hamilton said due to Igor traffic lights in the City are not operational, and asked us to use extreme caution while driving in Hamilton over the next few days.

6:00pm: Airport will open tomorrow, buses to start tomorrow at 6am, ferries to start as of noon tomorrow.

7:15pm: The Regiment is standing-down, Government says there has been little apparent structural damage. The Premier observed that post-Fabian, we seemed to have learned most lessons well and Minister Burch said that it was reassuring to see that the repaired section of the South Shore road near Watch Hill Park, that had been severely damaged in Fabian, had stood up well to Igor’s battering.

7:30pm: All schools are closed tomorrow, except for Bermuda Institute.

8:54pm: A Royal Navy helicopter, stationed on a warship on standby in local waters, flew over Bermuda to assess damage from an aerial standpoint. Story/photos here.

10:00pm: BELCO says crews will continue working until approximately midnight tonight to restore power to as many customers as possible. When they stand down at midnight, they expect that approximately 5,000 customers will remain without power, down from 28,7000 customers at 5:30 am today.

7:53am Sept 21: BELCO reports all mainline circuits are on and approximately 4400 customers remain without power, which is down from 28700, just one day after Hurricane Igor.

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Articles that link to this one:

  1. Residents Praise Cedarbridge Shelter | Bernews.com | September 20, 2010
  2. Igor: Aftermath | Donnie's Blog | September 20, 2010
  1. Fergie says:

    Thank you for your excellent coverage of how Bermuda prepared for and survived Igor. This is a good example of the high tech age. People are turning to their computers not radio. Sad to say no radio stations broadcast storm updates for the many people who do not have computers. I assume no radio stations had backup power.

    John Ferguson
    Retired Broadcast Journalist
    Former ZBM News Director
    Former VSB Consultant

    • chris says:

      the radio stations played musi instead. lol

    • chris says:

      the radio stations played music instead. lol

    • bernews says:

      Thanks Mr Ferguson, I understand VSB went hardcore with Chris Lodge apparently broadcasting from his house under battery power or something like that…

      Patricia

  2. Fergie says:

    Chris Lodge did a excellent job. However I think his reports were hourly. I know he worked out of his house under candle lite and fed his reports to the VSB website. Not sure if his radio station was on the air.

    John

  3. geoff says:

    wonderful to be able to report news to relatives in Bermuda from rural West Australia as they have no access to local news

  4. Jay says:

    Thanks for providing updates. My wife is on vacation in Bermuda. I’ve been updating her with the info from this website.

  5. Carole says:

    What about the airport and the Causeway? I can’t believe that they haven’t said anything yet – this is what EVERYONE wants to know.

  6. Candace says:

    Thank you so much for your excellent reporting and for keeping us to very well updated, especially those of us overseas. The news here doesn’t give us the “Bermuda details”. I sincerely appreciate and can relate to your detailed reporting. Keep up the great work and know that there are many of us overseas who appreciate it.

  7. Yoda says:

    Causeway update please!

    • bernews says:

      Sorry, we know alot of people are waiting, but there is basically nothing left to update until we get official word….we did 2 unofficial updates – on both sides.

      Next update will come when Gov makes an announcement. We just have to wait to then really..

  8. belcario says:

    EXCELLENT job Bernews. My #1 source of info as it happens via Facebook on my my mobile.

  9. Andrew says:

    FYI – BF&M has been open since 10.30 this morning as well!!!

    • bernews says:

      Thanks, we hadn’t been notified…but have now amended the post, so thanks for that..

  10. RichC says:

    Glad to hear all the positive news in the aftermath of Igor. A great job by Bernews in their liveblog made visualizing the lead up and follow down of the storm clear for those of us miles away. Great job.

  11. Colleen says:

    So very grateful to hear the official news stating- no deaths, no serious injuries. Prayers were yours for the hurricane hours. Congratulations to all of you and to those who kept you from harm, from the structural engineers who built solid homes to keep you safe and sound- to those (emergency personnel) who gave their time and checked their own safety at the door to make sure no one died needlessly on the causeway, and other areas deemed unsafe- to the men and women who have and will put themselves in risky situations to restore power, and of course, to those who offered time and hospitality to those who felt the shelters a better (and perhaps a more comforting) place to be. Those of us who watched and prayed for all of you saw a people who rose to the occasion with stoicism and (from reading some of the blogs) a darn good sense of humour. One day I hope to visit your beautiful island. I live on Vancouver Island in BC Canada, so it may be awhile, but the Bermudian way is something I would love to experience first hand! BRAVO Bermuda!!

  12. Diane says:

    Hi

    We are travelling from England to Church Bay area tomorrow. Can anyone update us of the damage in the area. Also is the power on 100%. Are there any hotels locally that could offer accommodation if our holiday accommodation is not available?

    Many thanks

    • ummm says:

      Shouldn’t you call the place at which you are staying? Seems like the smart thing to do..

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