LETTER TO ANGUILLIANS: Anguilla Strong, update

By anguillian October 30, 2017 10:34 Updated




With the last leg, a precarious after dark flight on a puddle-jumper from St Kitts to an unlit tower-less landing strip; Alex, Arri & I finally arrived last Saturday on a darkened and seemingly deserted Anguilla!

Our home, upon inspection the next morning, revealed an unexpectedly small amount of damage. Aside from the immense amount of interior & exterior cleanup, the total loss of landscaping (including my coveted, producing coconut trees – which some claim MAY come back) and of course both of our little beaches (which have already returned – due to our hot-sun-back-breaking 4 hours of bucketing & wheelbarrowing sand down – which now have partially been swept out again!), our only real loss was the 4 heavy wooden, teak-like garage doors, which were literally splintered!

We spent the next two days extracting our pick-up from the boarded up garage & getting it running, enabling us to find the 2 or 3 spots to acquire basic supplies: bottled water, batteries, candles, non-perishable food & etc. Then acquiring the necessary gas containers & the gas & oil for the small generator (46 lbs) which we’d brought down as luggage. By Tuesday evening, we were all set with a “dorm” fridge, 2 drop lights, had tied in the water pump, and, along with our gas kitchen stove: luxury!

I am sad to say, regarding the rest of the island, things are not as fortunate or as lightly or easily solved. Many of he houses, particularly those with elements other than of concrete construction, have been badly damaged or worse. Most of the major hotels have been devastated. And, despite the literally hundreds of workers on several of the properties, it will take many months or more for some to reopen! Electric distribution is slowly being repaired around the island. But both the Blowing Point Ferry Terminal and the Airport radio/landing Tower, simply DO NOT EXIST!

The boys and I have spent the week working on the property and attempting to give what little assistance we could to the rest of the island. Hard day’s, then mostly road-side barbecue at home by drop light and read until early bed. They will head home tomorrow – hopefully – dependent on the continued running of Calypso, our one running ferry; office operating on the trunk of his car and clearing thru the Police encampment at Blowing Point. Their trip home will also depend on whether St. Martin Airport – I’m told similarly destroyed – will continue it’s (limited) flight schedule. I’ll remain another week or so, finishing what can be done.

Anguillians are a hardy, capable, determined people. Although they have gone thru what historically has been probably their worst recorded natural disaster, they remain positive and upbeat. They seem to me to evoke less a sense of defeat, than a feeling of opportunity. The opportunity to rebuild stronger, and smarter the island nation they so deeply and truly love: “Tranquility wrapped in blue!”

All the best, Michael Taylor

Editor’s note:
Mr. Michael Taylor is a semi-retired American Attorney (Connecticut). He and his wife are Belongers of Anguilla. They, and their children, have a home at Little Harbour since the late 1980s.

By anguillian October 30, 2017 10:34 Updated


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