Hurricane Matthew Georgetown Bahamas

Hurricane Matthew: Waiting for the Eye of the Storm

I’m compiling all of the updates here so they can be more easily found later. You can see the previous updates here Preparing for Hurricane Matthew

Byn was back in the US visiting our other kids when this storm came our way. You can read the events from her perspective here. Surviving Hurricane Matthew from Afar While my Family is in the Midst of it.

Calm before the storm Hurricane Matthew

October 5, 2016 approx 9:50 am

All the humans and pets are safe and secure at St Francis resort. Now it’s just the calm before the storm, and waiting on Hurricane Matthew to unleash his fury.

The approaching storm covers horizon to horizon. I’m used to seeing storms approaching, and when they are you can usually tell whether it’s going to miss you or not based on the direction it’s traveling. In this case it’s painfully obvious that regardless of whether it turns left or right, it’s going to be here. Right here, as in ‘X marks the spot’. It wouldn’t matter if we were 75 miles East or 75 miles West. Watching it approach fills me with a deep sense of foreboding.

The first picture is the view north from St Francis into Hole 2 – our boat is at the back. The other two show the approaching line of thunderheads to the Southeast and Southwest.

It’s a serious enough storm that evacuation orders have been issued in four states in the US, with approximately five million people under hurricane warnings and close to a million under evacuation orders.

Feeling a bit apprehensive here.

hurricane matthew hurricane hole Georgetown Exumas Bahamas

georgetown bahamas before hurricane matthew

11:00am Getting hit by the first outer bands of Hurricane Matthew. Winds gusting to about 50 or 60 with more to come. Thought I’d post a quick video in case our communications go down, which is pretty likely to happen at some point today.

We’re on Stocking Island across from George Town, Bahamas. We are on a mooring ball in hurricane hole 2.

1:45pm Hurricane Matthew update, Stocking Island, George Town, Bahamas.

Nothing really serious here yet. Strong winds and a lot of rain so far, though intermittent. We’re seeing about 35 knots sustained with gusts to 50 or so. The bulk of the storm has yet to arrive. Based on the current track it looks like we have a couple of hours yet before it gets ugly.

We had a brief bit of sunshine between rain bands so I took the opportunity to shoot a quick video of conditions on the ocean side (the direction the wind is coming from).

2:20 facebook PM:

Byn: So the kids are okay?

Patrick: Abyni is good. She’s glad we’re leaving the boat, and we already have her guitar and uke up at St Francis.

Yeah, they’re good. Both in good spirits and both understanding that we’ve done all we can for the material things. It’s the lives by things that matter at this point. They both get it. They both understand that there’s a plan, and have both been strong, brave, and helpful.

We’re as prepared as can be. The living things will be fine. Not so sure about our home, but home is just an idea. If need be, we can transfer that idea to a new home.

Byn: So how is it right now?

Patrick: Actually not that bad yet. Having never been in a hurricane this has not at all been what I expected. I was expecting a gradual buildup over the course of the day instead of having just scattered thunderstorms leading up to the big one

2:30pm Hurricane Matthew Update, Stocking Island, George Town, Bahamas.

We’re still experiencing conditions here not much worse than a bad thunderstorm. The wind has picked up a bit and is now somewhere around 45 knots sustained or so.

The main wall of the storms appears to be about 20 miles south of us yet, based on radar imagery from NOAA. So we’re at about t-minus an hour or two until it hits us head on.

On its current track the eye will miss us to the west by about 10 miles or so.

Going to be really ugly here really soon. This may be my last update from here. I’ll try to get one more out in a hour or so if communications are still up.

We had another break in the rain so I repeated the process from before of going over to ocean side. Sorry for the shaky video. It’s getting kind of difficult to stand up over there.


4:45pm Hurricane Matthew Update, Stocking Island, George Town Bahamas

This is the last update I will be able to get out that includes footage from outdoors. From here on out it will be too dangerous for me to be out there.

The good news is that the eye is passing to our west by a big enough margin that it shouldn’t be too devastating here. It’s still going to be bad, but we might get winds of 80-90 instead of 115-125. That might be the difference between ‘just damage’ and ‘total loss’.

It’s been a very odd day. Having never been through a hurricane I was expecting a gradual buildup over the course of the day. What we’ve had is intermittent thunderstorms, with each one lasting about 30 minutes or so but spaced out with an hour in between. We’ve actually had several times today when it was bright and sunny outside.

I find myself wondering what it must have been like to live here before the advent of modern technology and forecasting. Even as late as noon today I would have had no idea that anything but a squall or two was rolling through.

As I’m typing this, conditions outside are getting considerably worse. I’ll definitely not be able to go outside again. It’s here.

3:52pm Facebook PM

Just got off the phone with NPR. Had about a 20 minute interview. She didn’t know when it might air or how much they would use, but she seemed really excited by the material.

 Conditions are deteriorating. Still not awful but definitely worsening.

See my other posts on Hurricane Matthew:

Preparing for our First Hurricane

Hurricane Matthew: Waiting for the Eye of the Storm

Watching from Afar as my Family Preps for a Hurricane (Byn’s perspective from the US)

Weathering Our First Real Storm

Broken Dreams and Happy Endings: The Aftermath of a Hurricane in Georgetown, Bahamas

Hurricane Matthew Salvage Report