Disaster Coordinator Richardson says we have much to be thankful this hurricane season

Disaster Coordinator Fire Commander Clive Richardson, is thankful that once again the nation has been spared the full onslaught of a major hurricane for the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season.

The six-month 2014 season came to an end on Sunday, November 30.

Storm activity for the season was slightly below normal.  The National Hurricane Center had forecasted eight to 13 named storms, three to six hurricanes and one to two major hurricanes.

It turned out to be eight named storms, six that became hurricanes and two of those became major hurricanes, namely Edouard and Gonzalo.

“Our country experienced Hurricane Gonzalo as a strong category 1 hurricane on October 13.  It caused damages mainly in the marine sector and to some infrastructure throughout the country, as well as to foliage.  There was also one loss of life.

“Today, our country has bounced back very quickly and nature has taken care of itself.  The marine sector continues to clean up and probably several more months will be needed to have this completed.

“Hurricane Gonzalo after it passed our country became a major category 4 hurricane out in the open Atlantic ocean.  We were very fortunate that this happened after it had passed our island; otherwise we would not have been so fortunate.  The passing of hurricane Gonzalo showed weaknesses and there were lessons to be learnt with respect to how we prepare for hurricanes as well.

“The country did not experience a storm/hurricane in a very long time, and hence we must as a society never become complacent because it only takes one to make it a bad hurricane season.  The lessons learnt this season will result in the disaster management system doing things differently for the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season.

“I would like to thank the people of our island nation for taking the necessary preparations during the past season when it was advised to do so.

“I would like to thank the island’s disaster management team and emergency support functions for their role played in preparing the country and taking the necessary actions required during two weather related events in October and November.

“In conclusion, we have much to be thankful and for the next season we will need to reflect and plan accordingly,” Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson told the Department of Communication (DCOMM) on Monday.